Saturday, February 28, 2009

Swiss Transport Museum

Yesterday, being Payton's last day of school break, we went on a little road trip. Instead of driving we took the train, so I guess we really took a rail trip. We headed east to the city of Luzern to visit the Swiss Transport Museum. We headed out our door at 6:45 and walked down the hill to catch the 7:12 train to Neuchâtel. In all it was a 3 hour trip. Luzern isn't that far away - we had a 55 minute layover in Bern. Which isn't a bad thing for us and turned out to be a good thing today.

We were coming into Bern station and since we had a long layover and Starbucks was real close, we knew just how to pass the time. The trained pulled into Bern station right on time at 8:00 and we disembarked. A couple of minutes later the train pulled away, my face went flush and I told Kathleen that the backpack was still on the train. In it was Parker's food and diapers, our train tickets, Nikon camera and video cam. The food and diapers could be a problem. The tickets were replaceable, but a bit of a pill to swallow. The cameras on the otherhand... losing them made me sick and mad and sick and miserable. Fortunately for me and unfortunately for you Kathleen didn't take pictures or a movie of me with her pocket camera.

To make a long story short we got the bag back with everything in it. We filed a lost bag report and then bought tickets taking us back home. We couldn't continue without food and diapers for Parker. While walking to the train platform I got a call and they had our backpack at the baggage desk. My face brightened and I hurried back to baggage and praise the Lord Almighty there was my backpack. Fortunately the train we were on went down the track somewhere but came right back. At the end of lines train staff checks for bags and things. Anyway, we got out bag back. And guess what? The 8:54 train to Luzern hadn't left yet so we were good to go - except for not getting Starbucks - and soon back on the rails. That 54 minute layover turn out to be a good thing indeed.

We were on the rails again and I was a happy camper. We finally arrived at the museum at 10:12. A train stop is just across the street from the museum.

The museum has four main sections dealing with trains, air and space, road and marine. There is also an IMAX theatre and a planetarium. We didn't get around to checking out the road and marine sections so we'll just plan another trip.

First we checked out the trains. Payton is still too young to really look at things, but he is great at checking things out. "Oooo look at this!" And a second later "Oooo look at that!" He was able to walk through a real train engine. It had cut-aways of various sections so you could see how it worked; like the diesel engine, the generator, brakes and transmission.

After the trains Payton and I went to see Dinasaurs 3D at the IMAX. We didn't understand a word of the German voiceover, but the picture was cool. It was funny watching Payton see 3D. He was reaching out with his hand trying to touch the 'things' in front of him. While we were watching the film, Kathleen and Parker were hanging out in the cafeteria.

After the film we were off to see more exhibits in the air and space section. As you can imagine most of the displays were of Swiss exhibits and achievements just as it should be. The air and space section was really cool. They even have a full size 4-engine jet passenger plane from the 60's out mounted high on columns. It looks pretty impressive up in the air (I'd say about 30 feet).

We also sat in on 'Cardboard Rocket' in the planetarium. It was an animated story of kids that built a cardboard rocket and travel through our planetary system. Payton had fallen asleep by the programs end, but he saw the part about the sun and he talked about it many times the rest of the day.

Well as I said, we didn't see everything so we'll just plan another trip. We had been up for quite awhile with not much to eat and little rest. It was now about 4:00 and we headed home. As on the outbound trip, the return trip had a layover in Bern. No matter, we were hungry and there is a Burger King just across the street from the train station. Kathleen and I never did get our Starbucks.

We finally got off the train at the Corcelles-Peseux station and had the hardest part of the day ahead of us. We had to walk up the hill to our house - a 15 minute up hill walk. We made it - huffing and puffing. It was 8:00 in the evening and time to rest and reminisce.

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