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elizabeth.killough's picture

Foundation Fridays: The Slave Trade

on Fri, 04/13/2012 - 09:47
Untours Blog Foundation Fridays - You can help fight the slave trade

I met Carol Metzker through the generous Trust Committee of her Quaker Meeting, Willistown Friends Meeting, which recently granted funds to our Fair Trade committee for educational materials. Carol is a writer, frequent speaker and coauthor of the book, Appreciative Intelligence: Seeing the Mighty Oak in the Acorn. An encounter with an 11-year-old girl rescued from slavery sparked her quest and projects to help survivors of modern slavery. 

Here are Carol's words..............

nickfortunatus's picture

Untours Featured Property: Chalet Berit

on Thu, 04/12/2012 - 10:32
Untours apartment overlooking Lake Sarnen in Sachseln, Switzerland

The Chalet Berit is consistently rated highest amont Swiss Untours vacation rentals. While the beauty and culture of Sachseln have a lot to do with it, no doubt, there is something else about this property and its great views, access to Lake Sarnen and nearby hiking trails. It's the hosts: the Greuterts.

mtaussig's picture

Culture Clue: So what's with cheese and Switzerland?

on Wed, 04/11/2012 - 10:22
grandchildren, Switzerland, festival
One definition of culture that I have always liked is:  Culture is groups of people solving problems over time. )  And no where is that more ably illustrated  than the answer to a seemingly simple question:  Why do the Swiss make cheese?

Find more photos like this on Untours Cafe

There are many cultures that have cheesemaking as part of their culture, of course, but few that are more associated with cheese than Switzerland.

Why is that?  The simple answer is....they use what they have.

Unless you count the tourists who come to see its incredible beauty, the Swiss Alps do not have a lot of

nickfortunatus's picture

3 Ways to Explore Switzerland on the Cheap

on Tue, 04/10/2012 - 10:50
Coop grocery store in Meiringen, Switzerland

Although the Swiss Franc's value against the dollar has risen dramatically over the past 3 years (up almost 27% since April 10, 2009), there are still many ways to enjoy the marvels of Switzerland at a, shall we say, more reasonable price. Check out our top 3 suggestions below!

mtaussig's picture

Untourist of the Week: John Meyn

on Tue, 04/10/2012 - 09:02
John Meyn
Attention, wine and hiking aficionados.  John Meyn, our Untourist of the Week, could be  the poster child for the traveling wine and hiking enthusiast.  We were delighted to hear of his adventures especially hiking in the under appreciated and truly spectacular Valais, a part of Switzerland treasured by the Swiss but lesser known internationally.  John's next trip to our Swiss Oberland region will be his sixth!

Tell us a little bit about your most recent Untour.

My most recent Swiss Untour was to Kandersteg, June of 2011.  I've come to love that valley, its people, and the surrounding hills

elizabeth.killough's picture

Foundation Fridays: Meet Norma Taussig!

on Fri, 04/06/2012 - 09:52
Untours co-founders, Norma and Hal Taussig

Norma Lee Black met a young Hal Taussig at the First Baptist Church in Amarillo, Texas, when she was 22.  They married and have taken decades of adventures together from ranching in Colorado to working at Untours. In 1993, Norma and Hal founded the Untours Foundation as a way to channel Untours profits to those in financial need. Norma is often in Hal’s shadow, but make no mistake, she is a beautiful force of nature in her own right!

Here’s more on Norma:

Last splurge:  Paying all my debts and being able to not worry about future indebtedness.

nickfortunatus's picture

Untours Featured Property: Bolli

on Thu, 04/05/2012 - 10:47
Gorgeous view from Untours Bolli apartment in Hünibach, in the Bernese Oberland section of Switzerland

While you may already know that Switzerland is our largest (and the original!) Untour, you may not know that we have three different regions that we serve: Heartland, Oberland and Ticino. And, in each region we have very different types of apartments. In the Oberland, though, we are in love the Bolli apartment.

mtaussig's picture

Toasting, to your health, the Swiss way

on Wed, 04/04/2012 - 09:58
Making a toast in Switzerland and the US

Today's Culture Clue comes from the "who knew" section of cultural lore.  We're sure you've had a "who knew?" experience.  It's when you're in a new setting, and there's a subtle rule difference from what you're used to.  As long as you don't know about it,you can remain reasonably blissful in your cluelessness.  But once you DO know....there's always a forehead slapping "Who knew!?" moment, when you realise that you were out of step with your surroundings....and perhaps wish you'd known. 

I spent about 8 years in the early days of Untours, living part of the season in our Untours' European

nickfortunatus's picture

How to Be a First Class Untourist in Switzerland: Ride Second Class Trains

on Tue, 04/03/2012 - 10:50
Riding second class trains in Switzerland with a Swiss Pass

If you're planning on taking a vacation in Switzerland anytime soon, make sure you take a moment to acquaint yourself with the fabulous Swiss train system. They are so convenient and far-reaching that you'll hardly ever miss your Prius while you're over there. In almost every instance, wherever you want to go in Switzerland, a train (or an easy bus connection) will get you there. So, step 1 at being an Untourist in Switzerland is to rely on the trains - don't rent a car.

Having heard that advice, and following it as the gospel (as you usually do :P), you may be tempted to check out Schweizerische Bundesbahnen (SBB - the Swiss rail system) online and buy some 1st class rail tickets for your trip.

Whoa, there. Hold the caboose.

mtaussig's picture

Jerry and Sandy Nolan...Untourists of the Century?

on Mon, 04/02/2012 - 09:35
Jerry and Sandy Nolan
Jerry and Sandy Nolan, having lunch with two former Untour staff, Marianne Rosa and Madeline Thöni.

With eighteen Swiss Untours under their belt, Jerry and Sandy must be exceeding the "Untourist of the Week" category.  During our interview for this peice, they kidded us that they think  "Untourist of the Month, Year, Decade, Century"  might be more like it!  We agree!

Here's where they've stayed...does anyone detect a trend?   

1997, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011: Chalet Steinli, Swiss Heartland

2009: Hermann Lower, Swiss Heartland

2008: Mirabelle, Alsace

2006: Alcaraz,