Just For Fun

09
Sep

2014

Ropeway Simulator 2014

Ropeway Simulator 2014.

Perhaps as a testament to the growing popularity of cable cars and gondolas amongst our youth, Astragon Software recently released a video game called Ropeway Simulator 2014. The game takes you through the experience of building and managing your very own ropeway! Players are allowed to choose from up to 10 different types of lifts.

While I desperately would like to play this game, it unfortunately is not available for Mac users. So until I can find my old PC, I can only based my comments from online descriptions.

After quickly watching a Youtube review by Mr Black Plays, it seems like the game is a test of your mouse clicking abilities. Once a player chooses their area of interest, they’re required to meticulously pinpoint and select tower locations and adjust its height, curvature and base angle.

Screenshot from MrBlackPlays.

Tower adjustments. Screenshot from MrBlackPlays.

After the correct adjustments are made, you’re finally allowed to build your ropeway and start transporting your guests! Whoo-hoo!

Since the Youtube clip only shows a small segment of gameplay, I imagine that later stages would be even more difficult.

One limited feature I notice immediately is that you are only allowed to choose from two ropeway settings: summer and winter. Perhaps if this game is popular enough, I hope that the developers will introduce a third environment, urban/city, in their next release.

And if this game is anything remotely similar to game simulators from my days as a child (i.e. Sim City 3000, Roller Coaster Tycoon), then Ropeway Simulator could possibly be the breeding ground for the next generation of ropeway planners!

Now all I have to do is find that old Toshiba laptop of mine. Happy gaming.

 



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29
Jul

2014

Heineken’s Vision for Future Urban Transport

Gondola Project reader Tomek recently shared with us link of Heineken’s vision for future urban transport. The Dutch brewing company released the video as part of it’s campaign to encourage men to explore their cities.

The ad is an entertaining 2 minutes, but for those short on time, skip to the last 10 seconds! Enjoy.




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28
May

2014

Hochzeitsgondel aka The Wedding Gondola

At an elevation of 1455m, Großer Arber is the highest mountain in Germany’s Bavarian Forest and home to one of the country’s most famous ski resorts. The site is popular for its variety of summer and winter recreational activities which includes sightseeing, hiking and much more.

After riding a gondola to the peak, visitors can relax in the Eisenstein Hut and take in the beautiful panoramic views of the forest and glacial lakes below.

Image from Wikipedia.

And if that wasn’t enough, to further take advantage of the site’s natural beauty, resort owners have decided to create an experience for couples unlike any other on the planet.

Now we’ve seen many lovebirds get married on cable cars such as Roosevelt Island, and La Paz but the Hochzeitsgondel is probably the only system in the world with a fully decked out wedding gondola.

Wedding gondola complete with horse and carriage. Image from T Online.

Bride and groom preparing to enter their love gondola. Image from Zeit Online.

Does the cabin look a little cheesy? Perhaps to some but that hasn’t stopped the 50 or so couples that book the gondola every year. Putting our opinions on aesthetics aside, one thing is for certain though: if you’re looking for a way to tie the knot in the most unmistakable fashion possible, then the hochzeitsgondel is definitely the way to do it.

For more information on how you can wow you and your bride to be and float your way into holy matrimony, click here.



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12
May

2014

The World Bank Reports That No One Reads The World Bank’s Reports

One thing we try and do around here at The Gondola Project is be accessible. Sure we want to be comprehensive, literate and even maybe a little bit smart; but we’re equally committed to finding ways to make the incredibly complicated idea of using ski lifts as public transit easy and fun to understand for people.

It’s why we use a blog instead of peer-review.

It’s why we try to use plain-speak instead of planner talk.

It’s why we talk about fun (and admittedly sometimes stupid) things like Alpine Roller Coasters and the Chinese Tunnel Bus—sometimes you need a hook just to get people’s attention.

But we know that also sometimes strains our credibility in the eyes of some professionals. It’s like Wikipedia—we know the professionals use us as a resource, it’s just that some would rather not admit to getting their research from a blog that throws around fake terms like CableRailGyroCopter.

Which is why it was so refreshing to see the World Bank come out with a recent report showing that nearly a third of their reports have never been downloaded—not even once. As the Washington Post so eloquently put it “since most World Bank reports have a stated objective of informing public debate or government policy, this seems like a pretty lousy track record . . . This seems like an inefficient way for the policy community to do business, but what’s the alternative?”

Simple—never forget the classic Simpsons line “Every good scientist is half B.F Skinner and half P.T Barnum!”

 



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02
Apr

2014

Fairy Tale Gondola in Grächen, Switzerland

If you have kids, taking them skiing is probably some of the most fun you can have together as a family. But what happens when just hitting the slopes is no longer enough?

Well, the Märchen-Gondelbahn system in Grächen (Switzerland) decided to one-up their offerings by introducing specially designed “Fairy Tale Gondolas”.

Fairy Tale Gondola. Image from RRO.ch.

Since the 2011/2012 season, children onboard cabins can now listen to timeless favourites such as Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood and Sleeping Beauty.

This one-of-kind feature was part of a larger multi-million dollar investment to attract more families to the resort. The classic fairy tales are voiced by Swiss actress Silvia Jost and last for the entire 7 minute journey.

A big thanks goes to Barry for sending us the link!



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26
Feb

2014

No idea . . .

This comes from Gareth in London. It apparently appeared this past Valentine’s Day in a local Swiss newspaper.

Gareth has no idea what it means and asked me if I could shed some light on the subject as someone who a) knows a bit about gondolas and b) spends a large amount of time in Switzerland.

Cable Car Cartoon

Ha ha?

Your guess is as good as mine. Anyone else have any thoughts?



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11
Feb

2014

Hot Tub Gondola

Hot springs are highly popular in Japan and so are cable cars. So what happens when you put one and one together?

Well you get perhaps the best combo ever: a hot tub gondola!  Image from Die Welt.

This probably is the coolest cable car we’ve seen since the infamous sauna gondola!



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