8 Wunderbar Days in Switzerland

Nov 1st, 2013, 07:18 AM
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Had I known what a let-down the Klee would be, I definitely would have visited the (much closer) Qin exhibit (which I never DID get to!).
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Nov 1st, 2013, 08:11 AM
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hi mokka,
that's too bad, i know what you mean! Greetings from Bern, I am sitting in the Blue Cat cafe under the arcades, having a glass of Epesses rouge...(excuse my iphone typos)
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Nov 1st, 2013, 09:12 AM
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Aaaahhh, I am full of longing for my hometown.
Already scheming to stay in Murten either next May or September.
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Nov 1st, 2013, 05:18 PM
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Back in Fribourg--
Found the wooden Bern-Bruecke (bridge 1580)and crossed it. Decided to break for lunch in this quiet neighborhood @ Cafe de l'Ange (but no crepes). A healthy large salad plate and 3dL beer (21Chf) in this cozy wooden bar with locals provided a nice break from the drizzle.

Afterwards, I walked the short
stretch to the Berntor for views up toward the city. Sheep grazing in people's yards! Found the stone Middle Bridge, Planche Inferieure & Superieure for views back DOWN
over the hilly city, and re-crossed the river Sarine by yet another bridge (St. John's). This led to the funicular back up to the upper city(ticket 2Chf).
Seeing that it was still early, and the weather was clearing, I decided to retrace my steps to St. Niklaus to climb the tower.
Along the way, Villars chocolate made its way into my backpack, and a cappuccino into my stomach.
Un-very-fortunately, the cafe was not serving crepes at this hour (3 pm) .

Now the day turned sunny!
Back at St. Niklaus' Cathedral, a special religious ceremony was now taking place, and the tower was closed for the remainder of the day--it was not meant to be! No intense cardio session.
Overall, I liked Fribourg less than Solothurn, but this may have been due more to the unexpected external circumstances.
Lenk cow descent from the alpine pastures is tomorrow...and wet snow is forecast overnight!
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Nov 3rd, 2013, 03:05 PM
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Back in Bern, bought tomorrow's tkt to Lenk im Simmental (40 CHF). Then headed back to buy a Swiss watch that I had been considering for days- NOT an expensive one! Black face painted with green and yellow flowers.
Wanted to explore another area around the Nydeggkirche, so I walked down the covered Burgtreppe to Mattenenge for still more new angles of the city from the Untertorbruecke.

Back in apt, dinner of bratwurst on croissant with dark Appenzeller Bier and a small piece of Fribourg chocolate cake...mmmm.
Watched The Big Bang Theory (reruns every night, go figure) in German of course.
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Nov 3rd, 2013, 05:04 PM
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First day that I was able to arise without problem-figures-get over jetlag just when its time to go back home!
Caught the 9:39 to Lenk via Zweisimmen w/ arrival 11:21.

Impressions of the Alpabfahrt:

Cows with elaborate floral headdresses in an explosion of colors were paraded to great excitement through town square every hour or so. Great big cowbells around their necks provided a cacophony of klanging!(Where were the cows sequestered in between marches?)

The main square was lined with wooden booths selling handcrafted items, including jewelry, local honey and jams,CHEESE, intricate "Schnitt" art-scenes and to afar lesser extent foods (there was a separate covered tent-Festzelt- for eats).

Did I mention? It had snowed a couple of inches overnight, so it was postcard-perfect!
The main square was surrounded by huge, old, weathered chalets with a backdrop of snowy mountains!
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Nov 4th, 2013, 03:46 AM
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Fifteen or so cows were tethered in decorated (pine swags, gigantic engraved cow bells) stalls right in the square awaiting judging for 'Miss Lenk 2013' later in the day.
A lot of hay-munching and bellowing going on!
Chantal, the reigning Miss Lenk waited (not so patiently) with the other bovine contestants....

After a bit, I walked further into the village to find inviting chalet Cafe Kuhnen
for lunch.
Had the Tagesmenue: smoky cream/bacon soup, salad, veal (paniertes Schnitzel) and Pommes Frites + hot cocoa, all for 21CHF!
Beautifully decorated autumn theme indoors and met a lovely older Swiss couple.
When they spoke in Hochdeutsch, we conversed manageably.
Now the sun is out and snow melt is dripping from the trees!
Walked back to the square to catch the cow-judging. For a small contribution, spectators could cast a vote.
Met a woman from Michigan whose daughter had married a Swiss man and moved here 11 years ago. (One of my dreams!)

Ran into my lunchtime buddies back on the train...Turns out, they were both widowed and "kept company". He was a retired architect who had been born in Wimmis (a stop on the train route home).
Her daughter lived in San Francisco...small world indeed! We made a vow to meet again in Lenk next year!!
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Nov 5th, 2013, 01:13 PM
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What a special occasion to witness!

Back in Berne, I found my beloved Swiss Almanac calendar for only 23.90 CHF!
I love this desk calendar with a wonderful color photo for each week...have been ordering it thru Sormani Calendars for more than a decade at a price of $39.95!!!

Wanted to treat myself to a local dinner this evening. Feeling like Roesti, and zur Anker comes highly recommended with multiple Roesti options.
At 6 PM, I ordered alone in the cozy wooden back room, but
by 6:30, customers were being turned away!
Had yummy breakfast-for-dinner Winzer-Roesti with ham, gruyere cheese and a sunny-side-up egg on top of the crispy potato shreds, with a regular, then dark, beer (31CHF).
Amazingly good comfort food!
Tomorrow is my last day ��.
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Nov 6th, 2013, 04:39 AM
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Rained much of the night-pleasant, soothing sound.
No rain this a.m. though!

My last breakfast in Switzerland...

Caught 10:08 direct to Murten, via tiny Kerzers. SUNNY but still cool this morning. Looked over my printed materials about this medieval town with walkable ramparts. I had been here once before, remembered getting lost in a wooded park outside town on the way back to the RR!
No such disorientation today!

Easily started with the castle at the entrance to Altstadt, gorgeous views over Lake Murten.
Continued onto Rathausgasse, not many people around at 11 a.m.
Visited the French church, German church, Berntor and clock, before climbing the rampart walls.
Fell in love w/ Murten all over again!
The jumble of ancient red-tiled roofs, the tidy and varied gardens in the depression just outside the town walls, filling the site of the previous moat...
I love the narrow, beautifully maintained old houses lining the main streets and connecting alleyways.

After my wall walk, I settled in Confiserie Zueger for a treat. Now town had become more crowded...
Had Kirschtorte (cherry) with Kaffee (9CHF).
Dallied a bit before wandering down to the ships'
landing. I walked along the shore, more lovely photos.

Short roundtrip cruises on the lake are offered at this time of the year, on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays (11 Chf). Its always nice to have a chance to be on the water.
I sat inside as it was quite chilly outside with the wind!
Lovely vineyards on the hillsides accented with red-hued autumn trees and the incredible townscape of medieval towers...
A nice, relaxing final day in a wonderful little town.
So many quaint little corners!
Back on Hauptgasse, a crush of tourists, and most restaurants' outside seating were full.

Easy trip home. Back in Bern, I bought my final meal at the Migros Take-Away again with a huge Gruyere-Pretzel from the Brezel Koenig stand, and a choco-croissant for my early breakfast.
Checked in with my airlines and now, time to get serious about packing/stuffing my suitcase!
Early arising and departure planned through the empty arches of Bern in the morning.

What a great trip! LOVED BERN AS MY BASE!
Hope to post some photos by Thanksgiving to add some interest!
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Dec 30th, 2013, 03:26 AM
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As hoped for, purchased a Nespresso espresso machine for myself this Christmas...mmmmmm!

Still intending to post 'the best of' photos in the very near future. Already made my 2014 photo claendar--just love the beautiful monthly trip reminders!
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Jan 29th, 2014, 01:45 PM
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Hi mokka4

Loved the report, would you mind posting the url for the apartment? I am still "up in the air" where we will stay.

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Feb 12th, 2014, 09:25 AM
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Sorry, just now saw your inquiry!

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