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March 2013

Need a Starbucks fix in Switzerland? Take the train.

SBB Starbucks on Rails car

ABOVE: A "Starbucks on Rails" car in Zürich's Hauptbahnhof. INSET BELOW: A Starbucks barista strikes a pose during a press preview.

Starbucks barista in Switzerland

The next time you feel a craving for caffeine as you're traveling across Switzerland, you may be able to get a Starbucks fix without leaping off the train. 

According to the Swiss Travel System, the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB CFF FSS), will launch a "Starbucks on Rails" car as a pilot project on the Geneva-St. Gallen-Geneva route in fall, 2013. A Second Starbucks on Rails will be added to the same route in spring, 2014.

The test phase will last for nine months, with the Starbucks cars operating twice a day in each direction. Passengers will be able to eat and drink in the rolling restaurant or take coffee and food back to their seats.

Trivia notes: Switzerland was the site of the first Starbucks in Continental Europe 12 years ago, and all of the high-grade coffee machines used by Starbucks worldwide are manufactured by a Swiss company.

For more information about travel on train, boats, and buses in Switzerland, visit For railway timetables, go to

Photos: Swiss Travel System.

'Teddy Bear Story' at Portsmouth Museum

Teddy Bear from Victoria and Albert Museum

ABOVE: A mohair plush teddy bear made by Chad Valley Company Ltd. around 1955. © Victoria and Albert Museum.

Do stuffed animals make you feel warm and fuzzy? Head for the Portsmouth City Museum in Portsmouth, England to see an exhibition of nearly 150 teddy bears from the V&A Museum of Childhood in London. The show will run from March 16 through September 15, 2013.

The exhibition showcases teddy bears of all shapes and sizes, along with teddies from picture books, movies, and TV shows. It traces the history of the teddy bear from the first designs (which were based on real animals) to modern "character and designer bears."

You'll learn about the materials and processes involved in the manufacture of teddy bears, and how social and economic change and safety concerns have influenced the evolution of teddy bears since their introduction in 1902. If this sounds too heavy for the kids, you needn't worry: The exhibit also features a Three Bears playhouse and an activity area for children.

The Portsmouth City Museum is on Museum Road in Portmouth, and it's open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Closed Mondays except for bank holidays.) Admission is free.

For more information, visit