Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Three Weeks on the Road


Today was my 21st day away from Camarillo, my family and my friends. As usual, I am torn because I miss them all but at the same time I am having such a wonderful adventure here in Switzerland.

I guess I just need to keep taking life and Helvetica one day at a time.

For today's field trip I boarded the #4 bus which took me to Thun's military installation at the Waffenplatz Polygon.

The entrance to Switzerland's
largest Tank Corps Base

In exchange for my California Drivers License, I was given free rein throughout the base.

Base Coat-of-Arms


Panzer is German for tank and the base has a very nice collection of World War II vintage tanks as well as some newer ones.

I love tanks.

This one looked sporty

A Classic Look

The "CH" means that it is Swiss

It quickly became apparent that the Swiss Army has more than their world famous knives at their disposal it case of an invasion.

U.S. World War II Sherman Tank

Little Kevin Contreras' long lost uncle.

Two German World War II Panzers

No History Channel in Switzerland, now that is something that I really miss.

Erwin Rommel's Pride and Joy

Besides these great Panzers outdoors, the base also houses an indoor museum which was not as impressive as the tanks themselves but nice nonetheless.

I had to ask directions as to how to find the indoor exhibits since everything is written in Swiss German.

The first soldier that I asked for directions pointed me to a set of buildings about 500 meters away. When I got there I saw another soldier and asked him if this building was indeed the indoor Panzer Museum. His answer was no, it was across the street about 200 meters from where we stood.

No dice. I asked a third soldier if he knew the location of the mysterious museum. He pointed me back towards the outdoor museum and said that it would be on the left about 200 meters past the WWII tanks.

That is when I ran back into the first soldier who asked me if I had enjoyed the indoor museum. After I explained what had happened, he personally escorted me directly to the front door of the hard to find indoor museum. I told him that if I ran into him in town, the first beer was on me.

I think I also talked him into coming to one of our Tiger games.

By the way, the indoor Panzer Museum was about 50 meters from where the third soldier had sent me back in the opposite direction.

It was a colorful day at the base

Not sure why he was on a Panzer Base

I guess that they are Thun Tiger Fans at heart

U-16 Practice

This team is for players 13-15 and is of the nine man variety with two less linemen than what the Senior and U-19 teams play.

Nice T-shirt

Simon is only ten but is very fiesty. He is too young to play on any of our teams but loves the game and just wants use his speed and his excellent hand-eye coordination to catch every pass that I threw him.

He'll be a good player someday.

Those pads look familiar

Our overnight, three day, five practice Juniors Camp is looming this weekend in a village called Castel San Pietro near the Swiss city of Mendrisio. Thus we were handing out equipment tonight after practice to the yougsters that were going to travel with us via a five plus hour bus ride starting at 6:00 a.m. Friday morning.

The season begins for the U-19 team on March 25th against the Lugano Lakers. Our Seniors tee it up for real in our first NLB game of the 2012, at home against the Basel Meanmachine on April 1st.

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