The largest and most easterly canton of Switzerland is Graubunden. Tracing its history all the way back to 15 BC, Graubunden became a formal part of modern day Switzerland in 1803. Only an hour outside of Zurich, it is an excellent vacation destination for those wanting to do the Alps without feeling isolated. In addition to the fine skiing available, Graubunden is also home to Davos, an important diplomatic meeting place. Most come for the Alpine views, billed as the “authentic” Alps, and the outdoor sports, however. Also for the leisurely are scenic tours on the more than 230 miles of trains through the regions, known as the Rhatische Bahn. Touring will be well worth it, and in the evening you can sample some of the canton’s excellent delicacies. The main one to not miss is the dried beef, called Bündnerfleisch, which you can wash down with one of the local wines from the town of Chur. For dessert there is a cake known as the Bündner Nusstorte made from honey and various nuts. Don’t be put off by the linguistical challenges when ordering, either—although there are three main dialects across the canton, German should get you by everywhere English fails you.
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