Bart Och - Travel Journalist
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The thudding and clonking rumbles riotously through the carriage. Ardent skiers in heavy boots, like armed troops, stomp into the small cogwheel train that in just under an hour will put us on the gelid peak of Rochers-de-Naye. It is the start of the Winter holidays and everyone is eager to enjoy what is left of the season.

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A familiar, rhythmic “clickety-clack” sound permeates the wood-panelled carriage adorned with gold-plated decorations as the wheels roll over rail joints and squats. Terraced vineyards gently slope on one side and the chic, palm-studded Swiss Riviera stretches along the shore on the other. In and out of the morning light, we glide beside crescent-shaped Lake Geneva, or as locals prefer to call it, Lac Léman – at 72 kilometres in length, it is the largest Alpine lake in Europe explored by four submarines! The clear sky and the water appear to merge into one. Small fishing boats, heavily laden with the fruits of their labour, slink on the glimmering surface of the lake as the careening gulls gather above and await their chance to swoop on the leftover feast of perch, fera, pike, and char. Although it is only February, spring is poking its head through majestically-towering, snow-capped Alps. At just over 2,000 meters, Rochers-de-Naye’s gunmetal icy peak looms beside the train. High up, rocky outcrops crawl with pine trees that look like they were dusted with confectioners sugar.

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