Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Navette Autonome - a PS Part 1

We saw that there are two distinct bus operators in Sion, Switzerlamd. Car Postal (Postbus) runs the out of town routes whilst Bus Sédunois covers the set of town services. We will start with the latter.
What impresses immediately is that the town's web site has everything listed, grouped according to broad areas of the town.
Each service has a link to the PDF timetable; here is no annoying clutter or "tempting offers" in the way of finding where and when the buses go. There are just five local routes and these do have their own crude diagram.
Timetables take a bit of getting used to. 
Here we have (2) Monday to Friday schooldays,; (3) Monday to Friday NON schooldays plus Saturday and (1) Monday to Saturdays - all excluding "jours fêtes" the equivalent of our English Bank Holidays. Later in the day we get (5) Monday to Sunday including "jours fêtes".

Once you realise you have to check those column header notes for days of operation it become straightforward. Here is the somewhat spartan Garenne terminus of route 1 ...
... but it does have a very nice and non-vandalised bus shelter.
The schoolday extension wiggles round some outlying districts and terminate here at Mon d'Or.
And because most of Sion is on the Rhône Valley floor, everywhere you go there are view of gorgeous mountains.

In addition to the Bus  Sédunois diagram, here is an even more helpful geographical map which shows everything. Here, for example is the end bit of route 1 with the occasional extension shown dotted.
The blue and pink background colours delineate the two fare zones for the town area, zones that include local journeys on the Post Bus services coloured yellow.

Talking of Post Buses, their timetables are, of course, all on the same site. Some look very exciting indeed!
It looks like a spectacular ride.
And fun, fun, fun in Winter!
fbb has never tried the pistes of Sion; OK, fbb has never (and will never) tried any pistes, anywhere! Unfortunately, Google Streetview is very limited up on the mountains and so fbb cannot take a virtual ride. Maybe one day for real?

Another excellent feature of this web site is the way in which departure points are shown at the station.
The stand for bus 5 is just off this map extract, top right. And, because the buses are run by the Swiss Postal Service (La Poste) all information is available in the Post Office just across the road from the bus station.
It would also appear (but keep it quiet in case anyone n the UK is listening) that there is a timetable book with everything included ...
... including bikes!
fbb has never been to Sion. But so good is the information that the old man is confident that e could alight from a train at the station and catch a bus to his digs in the town with consummate ease.

And, of course, he could take a ride on the driverless bus (with driver) to complete his omnibological enjoyment.
It so happens that our Isle  of Wight correspondent has been to Sion and has sent fbb some photographs. Tomorrow we will look at an excursion That Alan made from that lovely bus station.
Ash Wednesday
It goes way back into Old testament times. Wearing sackcloth (coarse and uncomfortable clothing) and applying handfuls of ashes thereto was a long-standing symbol of self-abasement, If you met someone wearing this rather unsociable garb, you could be sure they were being very penitent.

It was a continuation of the shriving of Shrove Tuesday.

Some Church rituals make the ash out of last years palm crosses and mark the worshippers forehead with an ash cross.
The full gear is no longer mandatory!

Like all ceremonial stuff, ash does nothing in itself. If genuinely applied it strives to encourage the wearer to be "extra repentant" and to seek God's forgiveness as part of the on-going preparation for Easter.

Under God's Grace, forgiveness is not dependant on outward ceremony but on an inner "change of heart".

But there is great merit in using the forty days of Lent to spend more time in Prayer and Study with or without ash.
 Next Sion bus blog : Thursday 2nd March 

1 comment:

  1. FBB could also have consulted the excellent Swiss national timetable online which includes town services like Sion's. However the equivalent book won't be published after 2017- even this alst bastion of proper timetables is meeting its doom, with sales appaprently having fallen to 5% of their one-time peak. Mind you, one latterly almost needed a wheelbarrow to carry it around in....