Day 10: Berlin/Zurich/Lucerne (21 Mar) #2

From Zurich Airport, it was straight through to the bahnhof and down to Zurich city using my 4-day Swiss Travel Pass, active starting today till the 24th. As with Berlin, Swiss public transport runs mostly on the honor system; i.e. no ticket barriers, though sometimes inspectors will run random checks to deter fare evasion.

As per my plans, I travelled to Zurich Hauptbahnhof, dropped my pack in one of the luggage lockers there. You’ll have to take an escalator down one level from the main platform level to get to the lockers; they are pretty noticeable. Who would miss row after row of blue painted lockers lining one side of the wall? The large one that I chose could comfortably fit both my backpack and ruck, and it’ll probably fit 2 65+L rucks in there with a wee bit more room for a small backpack or two. Cost varies with the locker size, mine was 9CHF and payment was done in coins (duh). Just insert enough coins, close the door, turn the key to lock and remove it. Voila, done.

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Zurich HB on the left, the Swiss National Museum on the right.

The Swiss National Museum is right next to Zurich HB, literally. And of course, entry is covered by my Swiss Travel Pass which is also valid as a Swiss Museum Pass. Just walk in and present your pass to the receptionist and she’ll issue you a ticket with ‘Swiss Pass, 0.00CHF’ printed on it.

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The Landesmuseum.
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Very interesting architecture, but don’t be fooled by its exterior looks. The interior is one whole other story.

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I’m not sure what standards to hold the museum to, but if I was to compare it with the British Museum, it was a bit of a let down. Nevertheless, they had quite a good section on archaeology and artifacts, but there’s also one huge section dedicated to the Russian Revolution which I found was a little lackluster. One wing of the museum is also under renovation when I visited, so I’m pretty sure that there are some parts which I missed out on. However, one of the things that I found interesting was their impressive number of interactive exhibits/displays.

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I stayed for only a little more than an hour, not much retention value to keep me there, and after a short walk around the immediate area, I decided to travel onward to Lucerne. Yes, I know, 9CHF for locker storage for less than 2 hours is a bloody waste, but hey, time is worth more than that eh?

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The large lockers that I stowed my ruck in. Apologies for the blurry photo.
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Twin deck trains! This is the first time I got to ride on one of these. Was it one of the new TWINDEXX sets?

As you’ll notice, all Swiss trains are run by the national rail company, SBB CFF FFS. I can’t remember the exact wording each set of the acronyms stand for, but I’m pretty sure that SBB is in German, CFF in French and FFS in Italian, the languages of Switzerland’s 3 neighbours.

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The interior of an SBB train.Its common to find left newspapers onboard trains, even though I couldn’t read a lick of it except for the weather forecast.

Regular trains run between Zurich and Lucerne, with journey times just under an hour and a couple stops along the way. I took the train during the evening rush hour, so it’s a bit of a squeeze.

Luzern Bahnhof at nightfall. It’s a fairly modern station, and the arch that you see in the center of the picture used to be the main entrance of the old station.

From Luzern Bahnhof, I took the a short bus ride down to Ibis Budget Luzern City. I planned on visiting the grocery store next door for some food, but by the I went up to my room, dropped my gear and came back down, it was already closed. Heh.
I ended up walking down main street to a gas station nearby to check out the goods, and of course, get the food that I came for in the first place.

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Swiss chocolates on sale.
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