Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Our trip to Switzerland: Part 1

Last weekend we drove to Switzerland to visit my old college room mate, Autumn and her family. Her husband, Josh, is in law school at OU and is doing a study abroad semester in Luzern, Switzerland. Autumn, her daughter Ava, and Cole, a family friend came along for the adventure! They arrived in September and head back to the States at the end of December. We had such a great time...we have been talking about it all week!

We decided to drive since it was cheaper than taking a train. Every time we do something new here in Italy it never goes as smoothly or as easily as we would like, but we learn. On this road trip we learned....
1. Gas stations in Italy close around 5:30 or 6 pm, unless they are on the Autostrada
2. Our gas coupons only work in Italy (which we knew), but we just did a poor job of finding the last available gas station before we crossed the border.
3. The 40 euro car sticker that we had to buy in Switzerland doesn't last a year, it only lasts until the end of the year
4. The GPS isn't always right and doesn't recognize that you can't drive through a fence.

We arrived last Friday night and woke up the next day and travelled to Bern which is the capital of Switzerland. It is beautiful!

First order of the day: eat lunch. We found a great picnic spot
with an amazing view. Josh and Taylor are chowing down on
the yummy sandwhiches.

This was our view while we were eating. The trees are changing colors.
They were b-e-a-utiful! I am so glad that we went this time of year.

I wasn't the only one this entire trip holding the Rick Steve's travel book.
I have to say that Josh did a good job as our tour guide!!

It was great having Autumn there because she caught some shots
that I didn't or couldn't. Like this one.

This video was taken at the Zytglogge-turm or Bern's famous clock tower
that was part of the original wall marking the first gate to the city (c. 1250).
We just missed the Jester that comes out which happens 4 minutes before the hour.

This Italian restaurant is called the Kornhauskeller, but it was
once the vast city wine cellar, built in 1718. I was able to snap a few
pictures before we were kicked out.

Even though we have the travel book, we sometimes get lost or find
ourselves in the wrong spot.................

Well, we found this fountain with the colorful
Ogre (which means child-eater) fountain. It was a figure intended to scare children
off the former city walls. Autumn, Ava, and I posed in front of the fountain
with our scared faces.

About 20 minutes later, we found the actual Ogre fountain which was in
fact eating children. In our defense, they did look
similar. So we actually posed in front of the wrong fountain...oh well.
(I do have to say that I was in charge of the book at this time and I am
no good at directions!!! :)

The streets of Bern and almost getting hit by a bus.

Ava playing in the leaves in front of a museum.

This was the original Lindt Chocolate Factory. They have the best
chocolate in Switzerland. I ate a lot!!

Do you see the tall Cathedral in the background of this picture?

That is Bern M√ľnster. We went inside and Taylor, Josh, and Ava climbed the
254 narrow spiral stairs up to the top of the bell tower. It is the tallest in
Switzerland. This is one of the pictures that Taylor took from the top.
Do you see the Alps in the background?

View from the bridge.

The symbol of Bern is the bear and they have some live
ones in a gated area in town. They were the best bears ever! Usually
you go to the zoo and they just lay around and sleep. Not these!! They
had bear fights and were rolling around. It was so fun to watch. We
captured it on video.

That night when we got home Autumn made the traditional Swiss
Fondue meal. It was yummy!! This is her mixing together the pot of
cheesy goodness.

We had bread, roasted potatoes, and apples for dipping.

And yes, we ate the entire bowl of fondue!!

They do not have access to an American grocery store like we do, so they do all of their shopping at local Swiss stores. We brought them a few items they had been missing: tortillas chips,peanut butter, and cheddar cheese. And of course, I had to bring some brownie mix
since I have been deprived of an oven for a month!!
This is Ava and I making brownies after dinner.

Evidence of some good chocolate bowl licking on Ava's forehead and chin.

We had a great day seeing Bern. I took so many pictures the entire weekend, that I am doing two blog posts. This is part one and I will post part two with the rest of our weekend in a day or so!!!

1 comment:

  1. We had so much fun with you two! Thanks for sharing your pictures and stories. Looking forward to Italy in a few weeks!