Switzerland Part 2
We left Como Saturday morning and had an almost 4 hour train ride, with a stop in Milan, back to Bern. We enjoyed the views, read, just relaxed. I was so happy that everything went well with transfers, finding our seats, what train car we were supposed to be in. It can get crazy and sometimes the language barrier is a struggle. You just have to keep your cool and not be afraid to ask questions even if it means asking several people. We purchased some snacks before we left to eat on the train.
One thing to keep in mind is that many of the public restrooms charge a fee to use them so be sure you carry coins. They are some of the cleanest restrooms around.
Once we arrived back in Bern, our friends met us at the station and took us back to where we would be staying. We had some time to relax, unpack and settle back in before we attended a home church meeting that evening. It was an enjoyable evening with some worship, our friend shared and then they had us do a Q & A. Most of them spoke english. The next morning we had a simple breakfast and then walked about 15 minutes to a local park where their "community" was meeting for "church and fellowship". It was such a fun time! So much delicious comfort foods (ie...bread and cheeses). They are such a diverse group of people. We loved it. We met new people, saw a few family's we already knew (some of them had been to our church in the states years ago) We arranged to have meals with a few of them before we left.
Monday morning my hubby and daughter took the tram to Bern to pick up the rental car that we would use the remainder of the trip. As a side note, the tram is VERY popular as a mode of transportation. Children will even ride the trams alone to school, etc. It's that safe and because these cities are so old, but have grown in population, it is often hard to find parking spots, so taking a tram is just easier.
One of the days, I don't remember which now, we explored more of Bern and climbed to the top of the Bern Munster Cathedral. The counted 341 stairs from the bottom to the top. It was so high, but the views were amazing.
The week was filled with visiting new places, taking in the beauty around us and enjoying the company of friends, old and new. Sharing meals around their tables, talking about cultures, spiritual things, whatever came to mind. Meeting new people was priceless and some of our favorite memories there.
The family our daughter stayed with...dear friends of ours.
Another family who visited the states and stayed with my inlaws. This is a traditional Swiss dish called Raclette. So good. Underneath that grill is cheese melting, on top you cook some toppings, and put it all over potatoes.
The family we stayed with, they had an apartment next to theirs that we stayed in. They also have visited the states and we knew them already.
The countryside is just stunning. We likened Switzerland to the PNW but on steroids. We spent a day in the Emmentals with a dear friend who had been to the states a few times and stayed with my in-laws. Such an amazing lady and we valued our time spent with her. She was so excited to show us the beautiful countryside surrounding her village. We visited a few shops, ate lunch and dessert and just took in the beauty around us stopping along the way to enjoy the view or to hear a story or two.
The beautiful countryside in the Emmentals.
Making cheese the way they used to, and some probably still do.
I LOVED this little garden. So pretty
Our friend Andrea. Amazing lunch complete with fondue!
We also spent a day visiting Basel, and let me tell you, that was an experience. We took our car and it was extremely difficult to navigate and find parking....we had a "police escort" because we happened to drive down a few place we weren't technically allowed to drive and apparently at one point they must have "seen us looking lost" and as we had pulled over they pulled along side us. We were clearly lost, so they just "helped" us find a parking garage. "Just follow us" they said. They were so nice and probably thought we we were crazy Americans. Once we parked we walked around the city, stopping at one of the grocery stores for some snacks to eat along the way. We visited the Basel Minster (also one of the places we drove through where we weren't supposed to...oops). It was in a Square of sorts but unfortunately most of the shops in that area were closed. One of our favorite spots was called the Dreilandereck Tripoint, where France, Germany and Switzerland meet. That was pretty cool. This was probably the most stressful day, but we survived to tell about it. On the day we visited Basel, I believe it was a Swiss holiday so a lot was closed unfortunately.
One of our other favorite sites we visited was the Chateu de Chillon. What a beautiful old Castle and grounds. We rented headphones so we could have an audio tour and it was so fascinating. You felt like you were thrown back in time and could almost imagine living in that era.
We took a beautiful walk along the lake to get to the castle.
The craftsmanship inside and out of these castles is incredible. We found ourselves constantly saying "wow, how did they do all this so long ago". Castles, churches, cathedrals, all incredibly built.
We also visited St. Beatus Caves which was a very cool trek through caves filled with waterfalls, bridges, amazing natural sites, grottos and chasms, stalactites, and stalagmites. We really enjoyed it. Afterward, we stopped and got a few snacks at their cafe that overlooked Lake Thun. Lake Thun is stunning!
Apparently these waterfalls were either used in the Lord of the Rings or inspired what they used. I can't remember.
It was hard to take pictures inside the caves, but believe me, they were amazing.
One of our other stops that was quick but worth it, was the small village of Ausserberg, one of, if not the oldest village in Switzerland. It was first mentioned in 1378.
Check out how these homes were built and are occupied. Wow!
Each village had their own church and cemetery. So amazing.
One of our final day trips in Switzerland was to the Schilthorn. The trip there was long but incredible views. So many times I wished we could stop the car and get out to take pictures, but the roads are narrow and you just can't. One of the most fun parts of the trip was driving our car onto a train and traveling from one point to the next. Basically a ferry on rails. So crazy. We decided at the last minute to do the Bond experience, which was a treat for us because it wasn't necessarily budget friendly. Did you know that the 1969 version of James Bond was filmed here and there is an entire level dedicated to scenes from the movie. It was worth the cost. It sits at 9,744' up. WOW. Taking the cable car up to the top was sure a rush, especially for someone who is afraid of heights. We did the Thrill Walk, which also was scary but I decided to be brave and do it! There is a revolving restaurant at the top where we ate lunch. A definite must see if you go. At each stop on the way up there are small villages that you can meander through, unfortunately we didn't have time to do this since we were on a time crunch. I wish we had.
The next day we left our good friends and drove to Geneva where we would be flying out of. Our hotel was actually over the border in France, so we could say we visited France. It was a small village, I don't remember the name. We got to our hotel, unloaded, and then headed off to explore Geneva and buy some souvenirs, when we returned we lounged by the pool for awhile and then headed out to find some food. There weren't many restaurants, and we actually ended up eating at pizza place, but can I tell you, it was amazing pizza and pasta...lol. Grabbed some snacks at a local bakery and called it a day.
The next morning we headed home. Such an amazing trip and one for the memory books for sure. If you want more pictures, please check out my IG page, the marked photo below is the first photo, there are also some photos in my Europe highlight.
Also an album on my personal Facebook page for the album Europe 2019. Check them out. You'll find videos, and a lot of photos. It's so many months past our trip I know I've left things out. I'm sorry...Life just happens and I don't make it a priority. At the top of this blog there is a trip page where you can read all other posts on our Europe Trip.
I'm so glad we were able to take this trip and spend time with our youngest exploring just a part of Europe. There are so many places I'd still love to see.
Thank you so much for coming by my blog! Glad to meet you and thankful you found me through Daenel at Living Outside the Stacks. I am getting ready to write a fall bucket list or activity list and would love to have you join me for that. Will send you an email, with more info. Your list can be as simple or complex as you like, but just some activities you would like to experience this season. My bucket lists have helped me through this difficult time. Hope you will give them a try. Sure enjoyed these gorgeous photos of your trip. Those mountains, the catwalk (yikes), the pastries, the grapes, the quaint buildings and heavens, the waterfalls and caves. So much beauty.ReplyDelete
Thank you. I will definitely try to join the bucket list. We enjoyed this trip immensley! So amazing.Delete