August 14, 2008
Another Great Day: Bus & Train to Zug, with German Hangman
We bought the "Half Tax" annual cards for David and me, which make all public trains, buses, boats, trams, and most cable cars half price all year long. The kids are already half price, but we got them the "Junior Cards" which are only 20CHF and make them FREE anywhere in Switzerland on any bus, train, boat, tram, and most cable cars, IF they are with me or David, for the whole year.
So then we had to try it out, and the kids and I walked to the bus, missed it by one minute, walked the rest of the way to the train station, caught another bus to Thalwil, caught the train to Zug, changed to another train to go two more stops to just up the hill from Jason's school. We walked past the school and continued down the hill to hop on a bus back into Zug (to try out all the methods of getting around near his school), and had a nice lunch by the lake. We learned "Trothahn" is turkey, and "Teigwaren" is pasta. Great to add a few new words at each meal...we did all the transactions with the waitstaff in German, which felt good. Emily was tickled that her request for cheese to go with her Teigwaren worked, as she configured the sentence on her own out of her head... We played hangman on our paper placemats - in German of course. I did "Baumnuss" (walnut, literally "tree nut" - another new word we gleaned from the dessert menu photographs), and Jason guessed it straight off without even bothering with letters! Wow. Then Emily did "Nachtisch" (dessert), and Jason nearly stumped us with "Sonnenbrille" (sunglasses, which Emily wearing). I got another chance since my first lasted so short a time, and I nearly hung them with a word that has SIX different consonants in a row with no vowels interrupting the streak: Kühlschrank (H-L-S-C-H-R!), which means refrigerator.
Then I had Jason lead us all the way back home (via walk, bus, train, another bus, and more walking), to help him solidify his bearings and figure out where to look for all the information we needed. There are a lot of helpful screens at stations and on vehicles doling out information about which "Gleis" (train platform) to wait on, how many stops left until destination, etc.
It felt like a very successful trip. And boy was I glad we had all our tickets in order when that inspector came by and asked for them on the 2nd train of the day!
The upshot of our discoveries: public transport would be a good back-up method for Jason to get home if needed, and it's good for him to know how to do it...but it seems just way too long a commute to ask him to do daily (55 minutes each way, with 3 different vehicles involved). So we will probably end up driving him at least partway. In the car it's more like 30 minutes, although we haven't tried it at rush hour yet. We can also try the back way over the mountain.
(photos are Lake Zug, with views over the Alps - notice there is a tiny little fountain coming out of Lake Zug - tiny compared to what I can't help but feel is the "real" Jet d'Eau in Geneva ;-) Being from there and all)
August 14, 2008 | Permalink
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Such memories I have of my time en Suisse when I look at those photos of snow-covered Alps and the pristine lake with swans! Good for all of you to be mastering the routes and languages. I am happy for you and your adventurous times with Jason and Emily. As your brother is discovering, they grow up all too fast, but for grandparents, it is also an adventure! Mark comes on Tuesday! Love you, Mom
Posted by: Patricia | Aug 15, 2008 6:57:26 PM