Frozen folklore '‹a'‹'‹ll-ice in'‹ '‹wonderland'‹ adventures
"In a land far, far away" sounded suspiciously like a Disney franchise trailer.
'‹The Switzerland Tourism trip did indeed prove no less fanciful than "Frozen".
Long-held legends from centuries past were at the chilled core of an alpine adventure around an area whose fabled folklore remains richer than Gnomes of Zürich, here accompanied by "which Swiss city should you visit" quiz and video montage showcasing the central European popular attraction, newly hailed world’s top country due to such attractive attributes as "progressive social systems, protection of human rights and business-friendly environment”.
Meanwhile hackneyed myths of a culture completely comprising cliched clocks, chocs and cheese were dispelled amid Lucerne region mountain excitement.
Remotest of regions promises Brits beauty abound, breath-taking not just for altitude, higher than wheeling whinchats and wheatears, so potent one entrepreneurial Blighty business boss is bottling such rare air for Â£200 to make a glacier mint.
Alp idyll Andermatt was focal point of our frosty fairy tale, courtesy of www.swisstravelsystem.com unique catch-all travel cum discount museum ticket.
First class doesn't do justice to this ever punctual '‹cuckoo clockwork '‹transport of delight, passport to 75-city train, bus and boat network boasting such scenic routes as Glacier and Wilhelm Tell Expresses.
As with www.swiss.com/swisschoice www.swiss.com Swiss International Air Lines Swiss Choice, convenience and comfort combine to make tourism commuting truly moving experience.
Hotel Schlüssel www.hotelschluessel.com was basic base camp, ice-coated home from home chalet, complete with perfect views to distant horizons upon Heidi hi awakening.
Luxury Asian-infused chic is embodied nearby in unique five star shape of The Chedi Andermatt www.chediandermatt.com that could rightfully be rebranded Chedi Gorgeous.
Switzerland Tourism: For more information on Switzerland visit www.MySwitzerland.com or call our Switzerland Travel Centre on the International freephone 00800 100 200 30 or e-mail, for information [email protected], for packages, trains and air tickets [email protected].
Courtesy of www.andermatt.ch/en/horsesleigh-rides nightfall saw us dashing through the snow in one (neigh, two!) horse open sleigh. Olaf-ing, to develop film theme, all the way.
Convivial dinner was enjoyed at The Club House www.thechediandermatt.com/de/Restaurants/The-Club-House surrounded by snow-softened silence utilised to dramatic effect in TV favourite "Fortitude".
Other Nordic noir ingredients including decapitated corpses, parasitic wasps and psychotic polar bears are thankfully thin on the frigid ground in this peaceful paradise.
Indeed so universally desirable is this destination, past illustrious visitors to enjoy the vista have included US King of Rock n Roll and UK's quintessential spy.
Elvis enjoyed Presley family hols here while Bond buffs will recognise former forecourt where 007 filled up, accompanied by obligatory femme fatale, after Aston Martin DB5 tyre-shredder car chase action.
Safe to say same snaky circuits that lattice these uplands still offer hair-raising hairpin spins for adrenaline junkie petrol-heads whose penchant is pulse-racing driving.
Transfer to Intschi then onward and upward to www.arnisee.ch Arnisee culminated in www.arnisee-alpenblick.ch hill-top hut amid mystic isolation far from 21st century madding, and increasingly maddening, crowd.
Traditional labrophone soundtrack and snowshoe trek touring seem a million miles - actually only 850 as the tern flies - from daily work humdrum n bass-backed crushed commute.
Equally entertaining is www.andermatt.ch/en/gotthard-base-tunnel-opening Gotthard Railway and Railway Tunnel tour, back-tracking 135 years to what was then biggest and best engineering feat of its kind.
Its rock-hewn construction, close to quarry that proved key to local economy, continues to awe-inspire while Wassen loop, encircling Göschenen church no less than three mind-tripping times, equally amazes.
Swiss Travel System: By road, rail and waterway throughout Switzerland: The Swiss Travel System provides a dedicated range of travel passes and tickets exclusively for visitors from abroad. The Swiss Transfer Ticket covers a round-trip between the airport/Swiss border and your destination. Prices are Â£116 in second class and Â£188 in first class. For the ultimate Swiss rail specialist call Switzerland Travel Centre on 00800 10020030 or visit www.swisstravelsystem.co.uk site.
Nowhere does history and heritage unite with more than splash of superstition than www.andermatt.ch/en/schoellenen Schöllenen gorge and Devil’s Bridge, imbued with timeless tales of good against evil and gods against demons among avalanches signifying Satan's wrath.
Culinary tour de force came at http://www.baeren-andermatt.ch/ Bären Restaurant and Rooms in unlikely guise of served up super-sized squirrel - a Marmot moment, if you will.
Delicately delicious flavour ensued while the mammal's ample fat reputedly eases rheumatism, cleanses skin and, should need arise, straighten's your cattle's horns on application.
Heights don't come any headier than post-meal ascendance culminating in cable car carriage to vantage point, approaching 3,000 metres aloft, affording panorama par excellence. Summit special!
Our Swiss mission easy escape was perfectly timed, coinciding with start of Uri canton's '‹Schmotziger Donnerstag - Fat Thursday to us - that saw settlement echo to 5am dawn chorus staccato of drums signalling carnival merriment.
Back to nature Nätschen Dinner in www.skiarena.ch/skifahren/gastronomie.html Scandinavian Grill Cottage proved another feast first, barbecuing within wooden cosy confines.
Such warmth is welcome indeed when day's sun drops beyond peaks and, with it, thermometer mercury falls faster than native golden boy Beat Feuz on slalom paciest piste
Sporting more layers than a silverskin and without aid of army knife nor mint cake, we then braved www.andermatt.ch/en/sledding-andermatt nocturnal toboggan ride down town.
Starry skies formed a celestial canopy for our snowscape swan song, equally exhilarating and etched forever among marvelous memories of a land that time forgot. But we never will.
One can't help but warm to the country's crystal clean crisp climate. After all we are Englishmen and women abroad and, to complete the "Frozen" allegory analogy, the cold never bothers us anyway.
Swiss International Air Lines: UK to Zurich, SWISS offers up to 119 weekly flights from London City, Heathrow, Gatwick (seasonal), Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh (seasonal) and Dublin. All-inclusive fares start from Â£67 one-way* including all airport taxes, one piece hold luggage and hand luggage, plus meal and drink. SWISS are also happy to transport your first set of ski or snowboard equipment and boots free of charge in addition to your standard free baggage allowance. (*Seasonal one-way Gatwick – Zurich leading fare, subject to change, availability and not available on all flights. Terms and conditions apply). UK to Switzerland: SWISS offers more than 180 weekly flights from London City, Heathrow, Gatwick (seasonal), Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh (seasonal) and Dublin to either Zurich or Geneva. All-inclusive fares start from Â£54 one-way* including all airport taxes, one piece hold luggage and hand luggage, plus meal and drink. SWISS are also happy to transport your first set of ski or snowboard equipment and boots free of charge in addition to your standard free baggage allowance. For more information visit swiss.com or call 0345 6010956. (*Seasonal one-way Gatwick – Geneva leading fare, subject to change, availability and not available on all flights. Terms and conditions apply).