It’s Sunday so it’s time for our weekly virtual trip to one of the worlds most beautiful places, Switzerland.
This week is a little different. A transport theme. Switzerland is renowned for it’s staggeringly efficient public transport system.
Riding on the train, boat, bus or cable car is a visual delight. Just sit with a drink and take in the views. All the photos from here on are taking from the comfort of the passenger seat.
It’s one of the few countries where you really don’t need a car to travel. Bus, train, boat, tram and cable car all link seamlessly.
The system is completely integrated. As you approach a train station, look out the window. Watch the all the connected buses, boats and trains coming in at the same time. Everything links up.
It runs to precision timing. Living in the UK that thought is mind blowing. If a train is listed to leave at 11.59, then watch the station clock tick round and unbelievably it does leave on the dot.
All the announcements are beautifully delivered in German, French, Italian and then in English. Sometimes traditional Swiss singing is even provided onboard.
In all my time I only ever experienced one late running train here. I was on platform at Spiez waiting to get to somewhere deep in The Alps. The PA announced that a mountain rockfall had blocked the line and the train would be delayed. The PA promised an update within 5 minutes. In the UK that would block the line for weeks. Quickly followed another announcement saying that specialist teams were already on site and the train would be be delayed by 20 minutes. 20 minutes….. Then guards walked up the platform apologising for the delay and making sure every passenger had a revised connection schedule. When the guard spoke to me, he phoned the other station to ensure a connection would be available for me. Unbelievably I did eventually arrive at my destination only 20 minutes late. My bus connection was waiting. Simply staggering.
My partners mum always loved to get to the top of at least one Swiss mountain every time she visited. It reminded her of the days she would walk in The Alps with my partners beloved Dad. Unfortunately as she got older her mobility declined and she became very frail. Yet thanks to the wonders of Switzerland she managed to keep making those mountains journeys. A bus (or tourist road train) would pick her up from the hotel and take her to the station hub. Then trains would take her to the bottom of the mountain. Finally either a pulley train or cable car would carry her to the top. Here she should would sit in the restaurant, drink coffee and just look at the view. That meant so much to her.
Until next time. Stay safe and be happy. And finally travelling on a boat is such thirsty work….