One of the days while staying in Zurich, we took a train to Bern which was about an hour ride.
We were told the train system in Switzerland was superb and easy and it was. We sat in the upper car, second floor, in red velvet(ish) recliners.
Bern was beautiful and very different from Zurich.
Medieval, with its many watch towers and stone walls.
The most famous landmark in Bern is the medieval clock tower (Zytglogge). We did a tour of the inside of it. It was really interesting to see the original designs and mechanisms.
We were up inside when the clock struck on the hour and it was fun to peep out and watch the crowd looking up at us as the rooster crowed, the bears dance and the jester juggled.
Bern has one long main street lined with some really neat shops and places to eat. I literally could've stayed in the ribbon shop for hours. I didn't buy anything because I wanted it ALL and couldn't narrow down what I wanted most. We caught the train back to Zurich after wandering Bern for a bit and having our usual snack - a charcuterie board, but with humus this time.
(Can you imagine an entire shop of ribbon!)
The next morning we packed up our bags and headed towards Lauterbrunnen, a small town in the Swiss Alps. We had a driver that new the area like the back of her hand and she detoured and made stops to show us things that we would have never found on our own.
Our first stop was in Lucerne. It was cold and rainy so we did not stay the entire two hours that was planned. I would have loved to wander around and explore more of Lucerne, because it was my kind of place....it was full of lots and lots of beautiful flowers! The Chapel Bridge is Lucerne's claim to fame along with the Lion Monument.
After Lucerne, we drove through so many little towns and villages and I couldn't name them or tell you where we were if my life depended on it. Melanie, our driver put up with me asking all kinds of cultural questions as we twisted and turned up into the alps. I would rather know about the every day culture of the places I travel than to hear about all of the history. I have all of the scoop on Swiss holidays, Christmas family traditions, every night dinners, the school system, school lunches, weddings and even their funerals.
Melanie, stopped at a little spot so we could get lunch to eat on the road. Behind the little snack shop was this view.....
and on the other side of the road was this view...
like I said before, Switzerland is beautiful.
This was my Swiss fast food lunch, a hot ham and Swiss cheese panini,
paprika potato chips and a filled gingerbread cookie. Melanie told me you would find these cookies in a lot of childrens' lunch boxes. Pretty much it is a Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pie, but gingerbread.
Our last stop before getting to Lauterbrunnen was the Gelmer Funicular.
It is the steepest funicular in Europe - and we were nervous about that.
We had to walk in the rain and WIND through the woods, on the most beautiful paths....
turning the corner above was a terrifying sight... the swing bridge that we had to cross (in the wind and rain) to get to the funicular.
At the top, we had to walk in heavy fog along a path and we literally had no idea what there was to see until the fog lifted. It was crazy how one second we could not see anything at all but fog and the next second was a crazy blue lake, cliffs and even a few buildings we walked by and didn't even see them.
This is the fog rolling in, up from the valley.
We headed to Lauterbrunnen after getting back down off the mountain and crossing that long hanging bridge again. We were ready for some dry clothes and dinner!
Coming up next time is our three days in the Alps, waterfalls and snow in August!
And just so you know...