November 15, 2002
We flagged a cruise boat and within 30 mintues were knocking at the door of this unusual Park. Inside, past the turnstile entrance, the park stretches away toward the lake, and a paved walkway twists and turns upon itself while in every corner is a replica of one of the stunning attractions of this unique country. Mountains giveway to hills, cities with monuments, and harbors humming with doll house boats on their way to doll house destinations. Through it all runs 18 working trains on 2 miles of track, that stop at stations, stop at lights and pause to let other trains go by. Even the rairoad gates work, with flashing red lights while ships pull up to the child size docks and then putter away again to another port. Toy sized Cable cars climb miniature mountains, and funiculars creep to the summits all surrounded by replicas of castles, cathedrals and other momentous buildings.
Even though there are over 120 models on display there is not an exact copy of every one of the mountains or airports, there is a symbolizing such as a lake could be Lugano, Lake Constance, a river could be the Rhine or the Rhone. Small farms dot the hills and tiny sheep and cattle are sprinkled about. Steep grey mounds with painted snow pretend to be the mighty Alps in a cluster to the rear as a backdrop.
At the entrance you will recieve a guide book (multilingual) with your ticket which furnishes Swiss history and lists with desciption all the numbered exhibits. It tells you that their purpose is to "analyze, simbolize and summarize Switzerland and then choosing subjects taken from each region for models on a reduced scale". You can follow numericaly or just stroll about interconnecting walkways and and then look up the number in the guide book. As you wander just look down to the front of each display and there you will find a small round sign that matches to the desciption with the same number in the guide book. A larger path encircles the whole park to give an overall view and leads to the playground on the left.
Spread through the entire park and planted next to the models are beautiful flowering plants like gerainiums, red begonias and yellow marigolds. Of course they are not to 1/25 to scale like all the buildings and landscape, but it does bring it all together. All so perfect.
From journal A Run to South Switzerland (Lugano)