Sunday, 29 June 2014

Adventures in Switzerland Part 2: A day at the Swiss museum of transport

Okay, back to Switzerland (warning: I will probably be reverting back to our trip off and on over the course of this summer in numerous posts because I am too lazy/do not have the time to organize our whole trip into one concise and reasonably brief post so bare with me, Switzerland is going to be with us for a while here on Boyds.) Besides the place I am about to share with you is so incredible it deserves it's very own post.

Right, so if you are travelling to Switzerland with kids/big people/transportation lovers/or anyone else you must hop a train down to Luzern to visit their most amazing transportation museum, Verkehrshaus.
This is place is for the books friends. You will not regret visiting here even if transportation isn't your first love in life, AND if you get the Swiss Pass like we did (also worth every penny, trust me)  you get to go to this museum half price and dozens more for free (worth. every. penny.)

I have been to Verkehrshaus many times in past trips and knowing my son, and my husband, and my father I also knew that on this trip this museum would definitely be on the top three places to visit while we were there. Here is a Boyds-eye-view glimpse of what this museum has to offer:

Trains, always a Boyd favorite.

That's right, they are walking underneath a locomotive.

Aviation your shtick? they got that too.

Oh and this, you have got to check this out when you go. It is the juke box of automobiles.  Just select the model you want to see up close, press a button, wait for it while this fancy machine pulls the life sized car out and brings it down to nose level for your viewing pleasure. Car lovers bliss.

There is plenty to see inside the museum, but there is also a massive outdoor arena full of wonderful interactive activities for kids (and adults) to engage in ranging from construction play, water works, aviation, trains, and more, so much more.

This arena is huge, and if you don't feel like you have any energy left to walk from activity station to activity station, no worries, the fine people at Verkehrshaus have left dozens of scooters lying about, large and small, for your riding pleasure that make getting around much easier. Just pick one up, hop on, scoot, hop off, play, pick up scooter, repeat.

Coming soon: visiting our heimatort, eating in, and entertaining kids in Switzerland.

Happy summer, friends!

Friday, 13 June 2014

Adventures in Switzerland: Part 1 of probably many

Well, it's been a while. I have no excuse except to say that the internet connections in rural Switzerland stink. That's right friends, we Boyds have been in Switzerland these last four weeks!

There is so much to write about if I started on it now it would probably end up being some rambling novella. Plus there are some 500+ photos to sift through. So instead of writing the longest post ever I'll just leave it by saying we had a wonderful time, full of urban and rural European adventures topped with far too much decadent food and drink. We road the rails, walked some beautiful walks, shopped in some spectacular cities, sailed, swam, and inhaled one of the most beautiful countries on the planet. And boy don't we know we're lucky we can also call it a home away from home.

Here are a few images, and this ain't even the half of it. Heck, this all happened in just our first week. But I have yet to upload weeks two, three and four onto the computer, which is probably for the best or we might be here all day.

Jakob could have probably spent his whole vacation doing just this:

That boy loved the trains. Riding them, watching them, counting them, listening to them. For a train lover, we brought him to the right place.

Here is Wil, the city nearest to where we lived.

And this little guy is the commuter train that travels all day between Wil and Frauenfeld. We are the third stop in from the town of Wil. And the stop was right in front of our place so Jake could watch this little train go back and forth all day long. Every fifteen minutes or so he'd hear a whistle blow and run to the window. Instant entertainment that came in handy when he was up at 6 am because of jet lag and we didn't know what to do with him.

And these guys? well, people there seem to have cows like people here have dogs. They grazed along nearly every path we walked.

You see that skinny blue rope? yeah, that's their "fence".

Yes, it's true, there are play areas on the big double decker trains that run across the country. We found those on day one.

This is the path to my aunt's house, we walked it nearly every other day.

Hello Zurich.  Yes, you are amazing.

And finally (for this post anyway) is Arbon. I have travelled to Switzerland many times in my life and have never ever visited Arbon. Then a couple of years ago my Uncle moved up here, and so this visit we went, and let me tell you this place is like a mini paradise. Right by the lake that borders Germany, Switzerland and Austria. It is, like a great many other places in Switzerland, picture perfect. I can't believe I've never been before. I can't believe I didn't even know it existed! From here we took a quick boat trip to Germany then back again. Jake thought he favored trains, then he sailed on this lake and was torn. Poor guy.

I could go on.  I probably will go on as I upload more photos, and reminisce over the course of the summer. It was a very special vacation for my family and I. I feel grateful that I gathered the guts to pack up my kids and husband and embark on this transcontinental flight. Despite the long hours trapped in a plane with two kids, and the nightmare that most people call jet lag, it was all well worth it to see my children enjoy the many riches of their heritage, to watch them be embraced by a whole other set of relatives, to hear them soak up and learn another language, too witness them live, laugh and love in this country that is such a big part of me, and now such a big part of them.

Traveling with a 7 month old and a 4 year old? no, it's not easy, and it's not always fun. But I'll never regret it and it was worth every single second.