What is your favourite holiday destination?
Ashley: Well I would have to say my favourite holiday destination is the Bernease Oberland region of Switzerland
Why have you chosen this particular place?
Ashley: This whole area displays some of the best scenery in the world overlooked by stunning North face of the Eiger and the huge mountain ranges of the Jungfrau. It is a year round resort but the snowboarding in the winter is some of the best in the world!
How did you discover this winter wonderland?
Ashley: About twelve years ago I went travelling and went to Switzerland; I ended up staying there two years! I worked as a resort rep in Interlaken in the summer which is situated on Lake Thun and in the winter I moved to Wengen where I continued my job as a ski guide and holiday rep.
What makes this area so good?
Ashley: The whole area is connected by a looping train system which allows you to do a full circle from Interlaken, up the mountain all the way to the top of the Jungfrau through the mountain railway! You can then travel down through to Grindlewald and back to Interlaken, it is one of the most travelled sections of rail on the planet and the most profitable.
Isn’t Switzerland very expensive?
Ashley: Personally with how the Euro is so strong against the pound, now is a good time to go. In some ski resorts in France at the moment you will pay over £8 a pint. I have recently returned from Switzerland and paid £5. So I think currently it is cheaper as Switzerland has its own currency and is not in the Euro.
How long have you been snowboarding?
Ashley: Over 15 years now, I used to ski, but don’t tell any one!
What is the best thing about a ski holiday?
Ashley: I can’t sit on a beach; I simply get bored after about ten minutes. What could be better, flying down a mountain out of control in some of the best scenery in the world getting fresh air and knowing at the end of a long hard day, you have the après ski which goes on and on and on!
What makes Switzerland a good place to visit?
Ashley: The train network is so reliable you can set your watch by the departing trains, it is such a clean country where young and old have total respect for it. There is more chocolate to eat than you know what to do with! It’s one of the safest countries to go and visit and the whole of Switzerland is very accessible.
Can you tell us some interesting facts about Switzerland?
Ashley: Well sit tight! Switzerland has three languages, German, French, and Italian but also has its own unique language called Romanch. In the deeper parts of Switzerland this language takes on over 49 different dialects. You can travel just a few miles and the language changes. Also Bern is the capital, not Zurich or Geneva. Interlaken where I used to live in the summer stands for ‘in-between’ as it sits in-between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. It took 16 years to blast through the rock on the Eiger Mountain to get to the Jungfrau! And the myth goes that Sherlock Holmes fell to his death at the waterfall at Meiringen on Lake Brienz. The Swiss speciality is Rosti! This is shredded potato and with bacon and onion sauce it is simply divine! And finally Switzerland is surrounded by mountains; the Swiss have planted huge amounts of explosives, so if they should get invaded they will simply blow these and shut themselves in! Exciting facts I know!
With such beautiful scenery surely this area would have been featured in a film, can you name one?
Ashley: Yes, two films. The Eiger Sanction with Clint Eastwood is one. The other is James Bond but I can not remember the name. It’s the film with the 360 degree revolving restaurant right on the peak of the mountain over in Murren near Lanterbrunnen. You can only get to it by cable car but it’s breathtaking when you get there and every time you look out the window the scenery is different!
Can you get to Switzerland with Leger Holidays?
Ashley: You can indeed, some of which I have been talking about you can go and see for yourself if you were to go on our ‘Summertime Alpine Highlights & Swiss Mountain Railway’s’ tour. This tour takes in the Jungfrau Mountains, Lake Thun, Brienz, Interlaken and the famous waterfalls at Meiringen. You can see it all for a great price on our ‘Summertime Alpine Highlights & Swiss Mountain Railway’ 9-days starting at just £615!
Once again, congratulations to Leger Holidays for winning our award for the Best European product of 2009.
During a very tough year for all European Coach Tour operators, Leger Holidays continued to innovate with many new and exciting itineraries and has quietly built its Silver Service brand into one of the outstanding success stories of the Coach Tour industry.