When I come to Switzerland every year on my nostalgia-fuelled visit, I buy the Swiss railway pass.

I look through my fingers when I pay for it online because it is so eye-wateringly expensive that I get such a sudden and very sharp dose of the ague, I have to lie down in a dark room with gentle music playing.

I rationalise this extravagance, which is most unlike me, by telling myself that it allows access to any train, bus, tram, boat, cable car and museum for a fortnight. And being a good, parsimonious Scot, I ensure that I make good use of it.

Generally, on this latest trip, I left my hotel around 10am and returned 12 hours later, having travelled the length and breadth of the country. Of course, to do this requires abundant use of buses and trams to get to and from the railway stations in question, so I was always getting the biggest possible bang for my buck.

And sometimes, with a spare hour or so, I would just jump on a train to somewhere random, hang around the station for a coffee or a beer, and jump on the next train back.

This year, after my hefty purchase, I noticed a most un-Swiss tactic for the first time. I received a tranche of emails from the railway company asking me to send them a diary of where I had gone and when.

This I studiously ignored, and deleted the emails, because I have no doubt that this was a device to monitor how much flâneurs like me use the pass, so they can charge me even more for it next year!

Aye, that’ll be shining.

(Image: Josef Ivan Jimenea/Unsplash.com)

It wasn’t really an issue on this trip, because unless you’re going long haul, you are generally stuck with the budget airline with the orange and white branding.

And so it proved there and back to Switzerland this trip. When they say no frills, they mean no frills. If they could charge you for breathing, I’m sure they would.

It’s something I have often done, particularly on the longer journeys, because I am fascinated by the earth. If there’s nothing in the in-flight entertainment system which tickles my fancy, and that is usually the case, I will alternate my gaze between the window and the route map on the video screen. Now they’ve given it a name – rawdogging.

If only the same could be said of passengers on the Goldenpass express train I took last week between Interlaken and Montreux. It is widely regarded as the most stunning of all Switzerland’s railway journeys and I try to fit it in on my annual visit.

The views of mountains and valleys are exceptional, whatever the season, and I sat there all agog yet again as this amazing country’s landscape slid by.

What I couldn’t understand was that every other passenger, without exception a tourist, was sitting glued to phones, tablets and laptops, with nary a glance through the train’s massive windows to the vista outside.

Was it panorama fatigue? Were their senses full? Had they had enough of the majestic views and simply run out of superlatives?

I’ve done that trip a dozen times and I never tire of it. Swiss railway managers could start a wee side hustle by taking people’s devices off them prior to boarding the train and rename it the Rawdog express.