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30 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 24 July 2010

When people think of Switzerland they tend to think of watches, chocolate, clocks, cheese and banks. But what about the Swiss themselves? Sandi Toksvig talks to travel writer Diccon Bewes who sets out to describe the culture and customs of this notoriously private "landlocked island".

Sandi also talks to presenter and travel journalist Kate Humble who has devised a way for travellers to put spare rucksack space to good use. She has founded a charity called Stuff Your Rucksack which shows how packing supplies of much needed items like pencils, school books and maps can change the lives of people in the country you are visiting. Sandi is joined by veteran traveller Kate Booth who describes how directly delivering the contents of her rucksack to a children's charity added new meaning to her trip to Namibia.

Producer: Laura Northedge.

  • Diccon Bewes

    Diccon Bewes is a travel writer and has lived in Switzerland for five years. In his latest book Swiss Watching, Diccon writes about the formality of Swiss relationship, a country where people prize privacy and trust above all else. Mountain trains were built for British tourists in the 1870s; according to Diccon the Swiss national transport system is their best feature.

    Swiss Watching: Inside Europe’s Landlocked Island
    Publisher: Nicholas Brealey Publishing
    ISBN-10: 1857885481
    ISBN-13: 978-1857885484

    Find out more about Diccon Bewes
  • Kate Humble

    Kate Humble is the presenter of Springwatch and a travel writer. Kate founded the charity Stuff Your Rucksack three years ago. The organisation aims to unite travellers with charities in their destinations so that they can take much needed items in their rucksacks to personally deliver to the charities. Kate was motivated to set up the charity when she visited a school in Timbuktu that didn’t have a world map. She realised that she could have easily taken one out had she known there was a need for one.

    The Stuff Your Rucksack Foundation
    C/O Think Publishing
    The Pall Mall Deposit
    124-128 Barlby Road
    W10 6BL

    Or call +44 (0)20 8962 3020

    Find out more about Kate Humble
  • Kate Booth

    Kate Booth has travelled for many years; in 1962 she went hitchhiking to Greece with her sister and went to the Middle East 1963. She recently visited a charity in Namibia through Stuff Your Rucksack. Once in Namibia they went to the Bernard Nordkamp Centre which looks after children in the day, keeping them off the streets and educating them.


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    Excess Baggage

    Travellers' Tales from home and around the world: their destinations, experiences and issues arising…

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