Trains, Planes, Automobiles, and Boats

The day before, when walking past the beautiful Jesuit church, the doors were locked, but I saw they had a 7am daily mass, so this morning I wake up with the sunrise intent on catching the morning mass and having a look around the church. Sadly, when I got there, a moment before 7, the doors were still locked. After a bit of exploration I deduce there must be some back entrance the faithful use, but I am unable to find it before it is too late to be proper to walk in. I guess I’ll give myself more time when I next try to find my way into a seemingly locked building.

My plan today is to visit the Swiss Museum of Transportation, but it does not open until 10, so I spend the morning exploring the shopping options near the station, and have a breakfast or two. Drinks of the World is overrated, though it does have Dr Pepper, no Mtn Dew is to be found. But, as I exit Drinks of the World, I see an Aperto on the other side of the station, and a welcoming set of green cans. Apparently they import Mountain Dew from Germany! It’s probably not as expensive as the stuff imported from the USA at the American Market in Geneva, but it’s hard to tell because the can sizes are different. I make note of this store and buy 6 cans later in the day on my way back to Zermatt.

The Swiss Museum of Transportation is pretty good. I’m not a huge fans of planes, trains, or automobiles, but it’s pretty interesting. There is one exhibit in which I see people strapped into a pair of Oculus DK2s (at least, I think that’s not the consumer version…), I think they are taking a virtual tour of some kind of train. There is a little exhibit on funiculars, having both an old one, and a model of the latest funicular, which apparently will take it’s first ride in… 567 days! I’m a little surprised there’s a museum exhibit for something that won’t exist for another year and a half, but hey, it’s pretty cool looking. From the design I guess it must rotate to keep passengers level on changing inclines or something. Or maybe they just like the look of hamster wheels.

The undersea bits are the most interesting to me. I walk in to that area, see a yellow submersible in front of me and am greeted by some kind of song by the Beatles. There is a bit where I walk through scaled up orthographic designs of the Nautilus (fictional ship by Jules Verne), and I realize that Disney’s “2000 Leagues Under the Sea” ride really misled me about the Nautilus, it’s actually really cool.

Finally I visit the planes and outer space exhibits, finishing up my tour right as my legs get nearing their limits, so I sit down for some lunch, finally giving in to picking up one of the many tasty looking desserts available at most of these lunch cafeterias. Also, I still have no idea why the space suits in their collection are displayed in a mausoleum.

I get myself a ticket for the Saphir, an hour-long boat cruise around Lake Lucerne. We see many good views of the Mountain of Dragons, and many castle-like villas. We also see the meadow in which Switzerland was founded. What foreigners refer to as Lake Lucerne is actually named “The Lake of the Four Wooded Kantons” because four “kantons” (like counties, I guess?) around here all came together to form a mutual defensive pact which was the beginning of the country that is now Switzerland. I learn this, and a bunch of other interesting things which I will have forgotten by tomorrow, from the audio tour that we were given with the boat tour.

Finally, I return to Lucerne, kill a little time, and hop on my train back to my temporary home in Zermatt.  This train ride is spent mostly going through my photos and starting to write a blog post, but on the last leg I’m seated next to a couple speaking English, and in chatting with them I find they’re from Colorado (but originally the Bay area).  They aren’t going to do any skiing here though, they’re spoiled with being from Colorado.

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2 thoughts on “Trains, Planes, Automobiles, and Boats”

    1. It is! That’s actually a prominent point in my next blog post that will go up as soon as I get to Venice and find some WiFi… 🙂 Reception is not good taking a train through the Swiss and Italian Alps.

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