swiss sunday: transportation to set your watch by
I’ve never owned a car. I once admitted this fact to a group of 16-year olds from Texas as I worked as their guide of New York (story for another day). Jaws hit the floor and one girl who could barely sit at the dinner table without a booster seat told me she owned two pick-up trucks. I asked how that was possible, she told me her parents bought them for her. I clarified “No, I mean how is that physically possible? Isn’t it too big for you?” She confessed that she had trouble with it, but she “had” to drive pick-ups. I didn’t continue with the questions, I don’t think I wanted to know the answers. Many years later, I can only imagine how those same kids would respond if I were to tell them that I still don’t own one. They would likely require medical attention.
My point? Never owning a car makes me no stranger to public transport. And in the U.S., although schedules existed, they weren’t anything I paid much attention to. They were more guidelines, suggestions for when a bus or train might make its way in your general direction. Could be early, could be late. Might not show up at all, but it was something to work with.
Then we moved to a country that makes public transportation a religion. The novelty of watching the train starting to move right as the minute hand moves to the designated time still amazes me. What amazes me even more is that now, three years later, I notice when the train leaves a minute and half after it was supposed to and I find myself “tsk-tsk”ing under my breath. They take their timing seriously. Mr. KC literally sets his watch by the train clocks, no lie.
Transportation here is easy to plan, almost always scenic, clean and, of course, punctual. If you’re planning a trip here, make sure to check out the SBB site before planning travel. You can even just put in general tourist points and it will include walking times, waiting times and actual transport time. Renting a car for most of Switzerland is not only unnecessary, but borderline silly. After all, you can’t crack open a bottle of wine to eat with your cheese and bread in the car.