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Published: November 11th 2008
We were sorry to say goodbye to Andy and Austria, but chocolate and fondue were beckoning. We wanted to visit Switzerland a bit before flying from Milan to Brussels. We had a hard time deciding where to go but Andy said the capital city, Bern, was beautiful so we went with his suggestion.
We got off the train starving but because it was a Sunday all the grocery stores were closed. We poked our heads into McDees and quickly bolted when we spotted a Big Mac meal for 13 Swiss Francs ($13 CAD). I broke down and ate a Kebap (Alex's favourite, a turkish scary meat thing on a giant spit). Switzerland is a very pricey country for everything except Swiss Army knives (no joke).
We spent 3 nights in Bern. The first night was in the YHA but when they charged us for wifi, we decided to go somewhere else for the remaining 2 nights.
Old town Bern is set on a meandering river that almost surrounds the downtown section. It almost feels like you're on an island there are so many bridges. We went for a long walk along the river bank (one of the only quasi-natural riverbanks we've seen in a European city!). All along the river there are signs and apparati for exercising, called outdoor gyms. We've seen a few in Europe, there are things to jump, climb, balance and run along, really spicing up the daily jog. When we got back into town we went on an accidental fountain tour. There are so many fountains in Bern, this is almost unavoidable. The fountains mostly depicted Swiss Army guys standing guard or controlling bear cubs. There must be a story behind this, I just don't know what it is.
Sufficiently walked out, we wanted to go for fondue. Considering our diet mostly consists of bread and cheese anyways we weren't sure what to think but when the 50 Francs bowl of wine/cheese came out with only bread to dip it in, we were less than impressed. Good thing garbage guts Alex was there to eat every last morsel on principle, otherwise the restauranteur would have known I didn't really like his fondue. We went to a brew pub for lunch the next day to have a decidedly more german meal.
Bern is a pretty small town and we walked it almost twice the day before, so we spent the next afternoon watching the BC Lions game on our laptop. If I could have seen into the future I would have spent the day writing blogs and uploading pictures from central Europe. Unfortunately my inheritance of gypsy crystal ball reading is a bit weak so we watched football instead.
We picked up two things very Swiss that afternoon, chocolate and absynthe. We tasted the chocolate, but before we could taste the absynthe, Alex spilled it into the computer we just bought. Now the only keys that type are M, V, F and L so please forgive the tardiness in getting these last few blogs up.
Damaged computer in hand, we packed our stuff and took the train through the Alps to Milan, Italy to fly via RyanAir to Brussels the next morning. Riding the train through the mountains and around huge lakes was one of the transportation highlights of the trip so far. Definately a trip I would recommend. Milan, however, left us with a bit of an empty feeling ... but that is for another blog.
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