If you feel drawn to the east, then give the fast trains via Zurich a miss at Lucerne station. Instead, take the direct train to Romanshorn via Biberbrugg – St. Gallen. This is the Pre-Alpine Express. It departs every hour, always at the same number of minutes past the hour. This isn’t a train of superlatives, more of an insider’s recommendation. It doesn’t conquer the Alps. It shows you the finely-chiselled charm of the foothills to the Alps, the recalcitrant rock faces behind gently-rolling hills. Cosmopolitan resorts are not its thing. Instead of jagged rock faces and deep gorges, the charming hills of the Appenzellerland and Toggenburg will work their magic on you.