Month: June 2021

Home / 2021 / June
Rail Europe – 5 Most Charming Villages In Switzerland

Rail Europe – 5 Most Charming Villages In Switzerland

The Grand Tour of Switzerland passes by a multitude of hidden gems – such as many places listed in the Federal Inventory of Swiss Heritage Sites (ISOS). We’ve picked a selection of 5 villages to whet your appetite. You can learn more about these fascinating places here.

The former fishing, farming and winegrowing village of Ermatingen is located on the delta of a stream directly on Lower Lake Constance, between Kreuzlingen and Steckborn, and is the first village in the Canton of Thurgau mentioned in a deed that still exists to this day.

The small, historic village centre is comprised of residential houses and inns, most of which are built in the traditional Central Swiss farmhouse style with their gables facing the sea. These buildings surround a small square, which contains a monument dedicated to Alberik Zwyssig, who was born in Bauen and composed the Swiss national anthem, “Trittst im Morgenrot daher”.

The pretty laneways in the village have all the elegance of a city in places, while elsewhere, they are filled with rustic, rural mountain charm. The high street, or Hauptgasse, is lined with tall, sometimes elegant townhouses dating back to the 19th century. Here, you will find small, stone-clad cottages, prominently interspersed with stately buildings of importance, such as the Palazzo à Marca

The village is characterized by a blend of urbanity and village charm, and is closely linked with the history of the Zellweger merchant family. Entire village centre is occupied by classicist buildings with the typical windows, set closely together, which give the village its unique urban appearance

The village features numerous well-preserved single structures from various eras, built in the traditional regional style. In addition to Simmental houses, richly decorated with ornate carvings, these also include the Ründihäuser (with arched, connected tympana and elements of typical Bernese farmhouse architecture) built after a village fire in 1765 in the Grossdorf, the historic inns and the mediaeval church with its rectory and the Pfrundscheune (a barn-like church hall).

Iloilo, the heart of the Philippines

Iloilo, the heart of the Philippines

Iloilo is the name of both a province and its capital city. An established trading hub long before the Spaniards arrived in the 16th century, Iloilo remains one of the busiest seaports in the country. Here the old and new are in harmony, with well-preserved ancestral homes and centuries-old churches standing beside modern buildings. The city also offers a dynamic culinary history and boasts numerous cycling routes to burn those calories when you’re done feasting.


Things To See & Do

Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Art
The first modern art institution in Iloilo province is located in a newly built colonial-style building at the Megaworld Iloilo Business Park. It houses paintings owned by former New York investment banker Edwin Valencia, who started collecting art in the 1980s.

Go cycling
Hop on a two-wheeler and explore the longest protected bicycle path in the country, which runs through Benigno Aquino Avenue in Iloilo City and connects the municipalities of Molo and Jaro. You can also take a more scenic route downtown to see buildings built in the American and Spanish periods, or plan a half-day trip to the municipality of Leon, where avid bikers go to test their limits.


Where To Dine & Drink

Seventy N Coffee + Drinkery
Formerly a hole-in-the-wall bar in a residential area, Seventy N Coffee + Drinkery has traded up and now occupies a prime spot on the lower ground floor of the shiny and brand new Greenfield commercial complex along Diversion Road. A full bar offering delicious modern cocktails awaits thirsty patrons.

Bakery by Louis
The smell of freshly baked bread inside the tiny space could entice anyone to abandon the pretense of a carb-free diet. This modern and glamorous take on the nondescript neighborhood panaderias (bakery) that Ilonggos have grown up with whips up delectables such as crusty French baguettes and Italian panini alongside sandwiches, calzones and round loaves stuffed with stringy mozzarella and topped with crusty, melted cheese.

How To Get Here!  Philippine Airlines operates daily flights from Manila to Iloilo.  Below is the schedule of the flight.

Route Flight Departure Arrival Frequency
MNL-ILO PR 2141 08:10 09:20 Daily
ILO-MNL PR 2142 10:10 11:30
Aeroflot – Nizhny Novgorod, The Russian Detroit

Aeroflot – Nizhny Novgorod, The Russian Detroit

Nizhny Novgorod is a lovely place for a family vacation for those who enjoy outdoor strolls. You will find the Chkalov Monument, from which you can get to the Nizhne-Volzhskaya Embankment by taking the challenging Chkalov Staircase. Those who manage it are rewarded with a wonderful panorama.

Every city’s embankment has its own features. Nizhne-Volzhskaya’s has a dock from which you can set off on a cruise ship down the river. And from the Verkhnevolzhskaya Embankment, you can view the wide-open space beyond the Volga. Besides, nearly every building here is an architectural monument in its own right.

Like any other self-respecting city, Nizhniy Novgorod couldn’t have done without its own pedestrian promenade. Nizhny’s is Bolshaya Pokrovskaya Street with its wonderfully restored historical buildings. You can walk down the street, slipping into museums and cafes and taking selfies with unique monuments dedicated, for example, to a shoeshine, a constable, a postman, a lady in front of a mirror and even a goat.