• The country is situated in western Europe,[where it is bordered by Germany to the north, France to the west, Italy to the south, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east 2
History Archeological evidence suggests that hunter- gatherers were already settled in the lowlands north of the Alps in the late Paleolithic period. By the Neolithic period, the area was relatively densely populated. Remains of Bronze Age pile dwellings from as early as 3800 BC have been found in the shallow areas of many lakes. Around 1500 BC, Celtic tribes settled in the area. The Raetians lived in the eastern regions, while the west was occupied by the Helvetii. In 58 BC, the Helvetii tried to evade migratory pressure from Germanic tribes by moving into Gaul,
Micheline Anne-Marie Calmy• She is the 2011 president of Switzerland. She was also the president of Switzerland in 2007, and was the 2nd woman president of Switzerland.
Bern• A diverse and beautiful city! Berne is a medieval city founded in 1191, on and around the River Aare. Berne has quite a few attractions and historic sites, as well as an active cultural life. It is here that Albert Einstein worked, the Toblerone chocolate bar is made, and Emmental cheese, known as Swiss Cheese, reached out to the world. Over the centuries, the townscape has been preserved virtually intact, and in 1983 the UNESCO inscribed Berne as a World Heritage Site. The noble dome of the House of Parliament presides above the city, just a few steps from the main station, and also from the Aare River, the Prison Tower and all the other places of interest in Berne.
Weather• The weather in Switzerland varies greatly between different places. The highest precipitation receives Rochers de Nave, a mountain near Montreux (VD) with approximately 260 cm per year. Also the parts south of the Alps get quite some rain, Lugano (TI) for example receives about 175 cm per year. If the winds blow in clouds from the south, they get blocked at the Alps and drop their water. Usually this causes dry and warm weather north of the Alps, often accompanied with heavy winds and an extremely good view where the mountains appear much closer than they are. On the other hand, the valleys Engadin in the very east and Valais in the southwest of Switzerland receive relatively little precipitation. Scoul (GR) receives about 70 cm, Staldenried (VS) about 53 cm. 7
Fondue One of the best-known Swiss foods is fondue, a pot of melted cheese into which are dipped small pieces of bread. The fondue pot stands in the middle of the table over a flame that keeps it hot, those sitting around it are given small cubes of bread and a long fork, and everyone simply dips their pieces of bread into the hot cheese and eats one cheesy piece of bread after another. The secret of a traditional fondue is in the mix of Swiss cheeses that go into the pot. It is very easy to eat fondue until you suddenly feel ready to explode. But fondue does not have to be made of cheese; fondue Chinoise is a beef fondue, and for dessert there is always the chocolate fondue. 9
Chateau de Chillon, Montreux• The town of Montreux is located in the heart of the Swiss Riviera on the shores of Lake Geneva. Walk by the lakeside and explore the Chillon Castle, or take a tour of the tower, courtyards, dungeons, and rooms of this eleventh-century castle, the most frequently visited historical building in Switzerland where its numerous rooms house weaponry, frescoes, and furniture. The castle can be reached by walking along the lakefront or taking the train or trolley bus. 10
• Situated near the town of Schaffhausen, Europes largest waterfalls, is a magnificent natural wonder. Near the falls is the medieval castle, Schoss Laufen, which houses a restaurant, a youth hostel, and shops. On Swiss National Day, 1 August, the Rhine Falls is host to fantastic display of fireworks which attracts thousands of tourists• 8/24/2012
Mt. Pilatus• Near the lakeside city of Lucerne stands Mt. Pilatus, a 2,120-meter- tall mountain. Tourists can take a cable car to reach its top and enjoy the thrilling view. It is also a great venue for walking with numerous trails, and the visitors here can witness the spectacular scenery of the Swiss Alps.• 12
The Matterhorn, Zermatt• The most famous peak in the Alps, the Matterhorn in Zermatt stands 4,478 meters high. Mountaineers flock to this town to conquer this technically difficult peak, and Zermatt also offers skiing and beautiful views. There are also non-skiing activities, best restaurants and lots of energetic nightlife for visitors to enjoy. 13