Follow Bangs on a quest to discover the roots of adventure travel and to search for what philosophers and poets of earlier times called “the sublime.” This search for a deeper connection takes him to the scenic splendor of Switzerland. He begins in Lucerne with stops at Mr. Pilatus and nearby Entlebuch Valley, travels to St. Moritz, and boards the famous Glacier Express train. He side trips to the Jungfrau region, and finally lands in Zermatt to experience the rapture of a deadly mountain that helped change our perception of nature – the Matterhorn.
LENGTH: 1 x 60 Minutes
INTERNATIONAL TRACK: Yes
CLOSED CAPTIONS: No
ASPECT RATIO: 16:9
PRODUCTION YEAR: 2008
RELEASE YEAR: 2008
SUPPLIER: Small World Productions
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
RIGHTS TERRITORY: Worldwide exclusive of US
If there is one word that writers through the centuries have used to describe the great peaks, the glaciers, waterfalls, and grand scenery of Switzerland, it is the word “sublime.” Many consider Switzerland the birthplace of adventure travel, the wellspring for ecotourism, the spur for organized tours into the wilds. But what is it that makes this vault of Nature so sublime? In fact what exactly does sublime mean, and what is its sensibilities and applications here and now?
This time we join explorer Richard Bangs as he delves into how Switzerland’s alpine beauty helped inspire today’s ecotourism movement. Bangs’ quest is to discover the roots of adventure travel and to search for what philosophers and poets of earlier times called “the sublime.”
Mountains fill the human spirit with awe and wonder. They absorb the imagination offering challenge, veneration and exhilaration. In early writings they’re associated with the divine. Mountains have both a physical and spiritual attraction. They are the backbone of the earth rising to rip the sky. No matter how one perceives them, mountains have power.
English author Mary Shelley wrote: “The mighty Alps, whose white and shining pyramids and domes towered above all, as belonging to another earth, the habitations of another race of beings.”
A few hundred years ago, British writers, fleeing the smoggy, coal-blackened cities that stifled their imaginations, embarked on the Grand Tour of Europe. When they arrived in the Swiss Alps, the word they chose to describe this land was “sublime”.
Bangs will unearth what “sublime” meant to those early travelers, and what Switzerland has to offer visitors today. He’s in search of the origins of adventure tourism and how the experiences of past artists and writers have transformed our
notion of travel.
According to Bangs, it’s no longer enough to just tick another destination off the list. It’s no longer enough to just check in, do some shopping and check out. Some travelers are looking for greater adventure and a deeper connection with the world around them. They’re hoping to make a difference. They’re looking for adventures with purpose. Bangs’ purpose this time takes him to the middle of Western Europe, and the small country of Switzerland. He begins in Lucerne, travels to St. Moritz, and boards the famous Glacier Express train. Bangs takes a side trip to the Jungfrau region, and finally lands in Zermatt to experience the rapture of a deadly mountain that helped change our perception of nature.
2009 Silver Telly Award Documentary
2009 Silver Telly Award Travel & Tourism