Happy Friday, everyone!
A year ago this weekend, I had the incredible opportunity to travel to Switzerland! It had always been a place I was interested in, and luckily enough, we have some very good family friends that live there that I got to visit and stay with. I hadn’t seen Barbara and her two sons (her husband was unfortunately out of town) in ten years (!) so it was very good to see them again and catch up.
I flew out of Heathrow and into Geneva very early on Saturday (12/3) morning.
After landing in Geneva, I took a train to Neuchâtel. I can’t begin to tell you how nervous I was doing that all by myself. I don’t speak a word of French or German, and have the world’s worst sense of direction. I thought for sure I would get lost or get off at the wrong train station, but after a little while of traveling through the beautiful country….
…I made it! Barbara picked me up at the station, and we headed back to their house for some lunch.
After lunch was a trip to Berne, the federal city of Switzerland. The city was decorated for Christmas, and boy was it busy!
Berne is also home to more than 100 fountains, eleven of which are still decorated with the original features.
After walking around for a bit, we decided to go to the Cathedral of Berne, which was built starting in 1421.
For a tiny fee, we were able to walk up 344 steps all the way to the top of the cathedral. The stairs were in a spiral pattern which kept getting more and more narrow the higher we got. There were large holes and slits in the sides of the spire through which you could see clear to the ground. I’m not afraid of heights, but I have to admit, even I was a little shaky up there!
My legs were burning like crazy with the cold and the climb, but the views were well worth it.
After arriving back down on earth, we stopped for some treats at a little restaurant. I experienced my first Swiss hot chocolate.
It was very good, and very different from what I was used to. Throughout the trip, I kept noticing that the milk (and milk products) in Switzerland tasted so unlike any that I’ve ever had…it was much sweeter, which leads me to believe it was much more natural.
After our pitstop, we said goodbye to Berne…
The rest of the night was spent sitting at the table with Barbara and catching up – we had ten whole years to cover!
Stay tuned for part two tomorrow – we visited the Chateau de Gruyères!
Happy weekend, everyone! 🙂