This pretty Alpine country has been in existence since 1291 when the four “primal Cantons” of Uri, Schwyz, Obwalden and Nidwalden promised each other eternal allegiance and founded the “Confoederatio Helvetica” (CH). As time went on, more and more areas joined them and today Switzerland comprises 26 Cantons. Bern, famous for its bear-pit, is the capital city and the seat of government of the Federal Republic. Switzerland covers an area of 41,285 square kilometres and has some eight million inhabitants. The nation still maintains its neutrality and its economy depends on both its watch-making and chemical industries but also chiefly on income from tourism. It is a country containing pretty much everything Mother Nature has to offer: high mountains with everlasting snow, rolling hills, shady forests, deep blue lakes and rivers and above all breath-taking panoramic views and clean air.