Switzerland

Visiting Locarno, Switzerland

Lake Locarno, Switzerland

Lake Maggiore, Locarno, Switzerland

While still living in the Netherlands we took a weekend trip to visit a friend in Locarno, Switzerland. It was my first time in that part of Switzerland and it was nice. The picture above was taken at Lake Maggiore in Locarno and is located just down the road from where we were visiting.

Heading up the road...and I mean 'UP'.

Heading up the road…and I mean ‘UP’.

Unfortunately most of my pictures didn’t come out too well as I was still learning how to use my new camera. The picture above is of the road up the mountain. It doesn’t look like much of an incline but I can tell you that it is quite a hike. Trust me!

Birdies enjoying a nice treat someone left them.

Birdies enjoying a nice treat someone left them.

We took a stroll along Lake Maggiore despite the temperatures being quite chilly….okay it was downright cold actually but it was a nice sunny day. I took the above picture of birds enjoying a treat that someone kindly left them somewhere along the stroll.

Up close and personal with the birds of Locarno

Up close and personal with the birds of Locarno

View of some of the mountains from in town.

View of some of the mountains from in town.

We were only in Locarno for a night or two and then headed to Campione so these are the best pictures that I took at that time. This was a view of the mountains from in town.

Nice misty mountain picture, Locarno, Switzerland

Nice misty mountain picture, Locarno, Switzerland

I thought the above picture was pretty cool. It was a foggy morning with the sun trying to peak through the mist. Very mysterious and peaceful at the same time.

Cool fountain at the top of the hill.

Cool fountain at the top of the hill.

One morning we walked up the hill to find this very cool fountain.

Up close and personal with the fountain.

Up close and personal with the fountain.

Up that same hilly road we found such nice paintings and statues. The picture below is of one of them.

Pretty painting on the side of the road...

Pretty painting on the side of the road…

Like I said, it was a quick visit and so I didn’t really get to see too much of the town. It was nice being able to see our friends there though and that’s what counts. Next time I visit Locarno I’ll take more pictures and explore more.

Categories: Locarno, Switzerland | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Falling In Love In Switzerland – Day 04: Jurg and Zurich

Interesting Photo of Hot Air Balloon and Jet Passing Each Other From Our Hotel Window In Bern

Interesting Photo of Hot Air Balloon and Jet Passing Each Other From Our Hotel Window In Bern

On Sunday morning Matt and I packed up our stuff, said ‘goodbye’ to our hotel room with the view of the Alps and headed to the train station for an hour ride to Zurich to meet with our friend, Jurg, for a few hours.

We arrived at Zurich Haupbahnhof (German for train station) about an hour and a half before Jurg was to arrive. We stepped outside of the train station to get a look at Zurich and take some pictures. We had our luggage in tow so didn’t really want to go too far from the train station so we stayed around a block or two radius.

Zurich Haupbahnhof (aka The Rail Station)

Zurich Haupbahnhof (aka The Rail Station)

Me In Zurich Across From Rail Station

Me In Zurich Across From Rail Station

Zurich City Street

Zurich City Street

Then after awhile Matt and I decided that we would go back to the train station and have lunch at a placed called Nord Sea which has all kinds of seafood at really reasonable prices and wait eagerly for Jurg’s train to arrive.

Waiting For Jurg At Zurich Haupbahnhof

Waiting For Jurg At Zurich Haupbahnhof

At about 12:30 Matt spotted Jurg’s towering frame in the crowd and ran to find him. We all hugged and kissed and decided to go to the café near by and chat over a cappuccino for a bit.

Jurg and Matt In The Orient?

Jurg and Matt In The Orient?

Together Again

Together Again

Over our drinks Jurg stated that he had found out the names of all the chiropractors in Switzerland and had written up a letter in German with a resume/CV for Matt to send out in order to find out if there were any openings in Switzerland. Jurg had 202 letters and resumes/CV’s that we needed to put together, put in envelopes and mail in the few short hours we all had together. So we finished our drinks and headed to purchase the 200 envelopes that we needed and then set out for the post office which is open on Sundays in Zurich. Pretty cool, ehh.

Jurg and I In The Orient??

Jurg and I In The Orient??

Jurg & I (Who's That Chick Over My Shoulder?)

Jurg & I (Who Is That Chick Over My Shoulder?)

At the post office Jurg showed us his impressive handy work and we set out to put all the packets together. Matt signed the letters, I put the letter together with the resume/CV and folded it neatly in half and Jurg stuffed it all into the envelopes and Matt and Jurg took turns putting stamps on them all. (I wished I would have thought to take pictures of us doing this because it was pretty impressive and let’s face it, it would have been a great picture for a blog!!)

Matt & I In Zurich

Matt & I In Zurich

Several people approached Jurg thinking he worked for the Post Office because we had set up a nice little operation in the back corner of the building. J Near our little letter mailing campaign center there was what I assume was a homeless man who didn’t seem to be all there. He kept muttering things in German and then chuckling to himself and at first it made me a bit nervous mostly because I didn’t know what he was saying but when I looked up Jurg smiled at me and motioned with his head to the guy and said ‘this guy’s funny’ and then I knew it was fine.

Before starting Jurg estimated that it would take us about an hour to do it all and we managed to get it all done in about 45 minutes! What team work!!

Great Picture of Matt & Jurg

Great Picture of Matt & Jurg

The Boys in Zurich

The Boys in Zurich

After our work was successfully completed we headed back towards the train station to look for some photo opportunities and to catch our respective trains. It was a short visit with each other especially since it had been at least two years if not more since we last all met but Matt and I were thrilled to get to spend some time with Jurg and we were really touched that he would do so much work for us without us even asking him to do it. Hopefully one of those letters will net a successful opportunity for Matt in Switzerland and we’ll be able to visit more frequently with Jurg, Simona & Bruno. We love them all dearly and really miss when we are not able to see them regularly.

Little Boat Enjoying The Sunshine

Little Boat Enjoying The Sunshine

A View of Zurich

A View of Zurich

So at 4:02 p.m. Matt and I boarded our five hour train ride to Koeln, Germany enjoying the warm fuzzies that our visit had given us and reflecting on the great times and great friends we have in Switzerland. We look forward to spending time with them all again really soon.

Stay tuned for our report from Glasgow, Scotland next. Until then Matt and I send our love to you all!

Categories: Bern, Zurich | Leave a comment

Falling in Love in Switzerland: Day Three

Falling in Love in Switzerland, Day 03

On Day Three of our visit to Switzerland we were blessed with bright sunshine and most of the day to explore the city of Bern by foot. Simona and Bruno invited us to a BBQ at their house around 4 p.m. so that left the whole day practically to walk, take photos, and enjoy the beautiful summer day.

First of all I need to tell you that Matt and I love Switzerland and in particular Bern. It is the best city by far that we’ve ever been to. I’ve been there four times now and Matt five and every time we find ourselves in awe of how beautiful Switzerland is and how happy the people seem to be.

Beautiful View From Bridge

Beautiful View From Bridge

The first thing you might notice about Bern is that at every corner and statue there is usual reference to bears. The Bern flag has a bear on it and there are statues everywhere of bears. So you might be asking ‘What’s with the bears?’ well, to quote the guide book that I had it says ‘The city’s current emblem, a bear, first appeared in 1224. According to legend it was named after the first animal that the Duke (Duke Berchtold V. von Zahringen, who commissioned the city to be built on a peninsula which would offer natural protection on three sides) caught while hunting as the city was being built’ and since then the bear has been the symbol of Bern. There is also a Bear Pit in Bern with several real bears in residence and you can check them out and watching them playing, eating, etcetera. It’s pretty cool.

Da Bears...

Da Bears...

More Bears...

More Bears...

Me Loving Da Bears

Me Loving Da Bears

Another interesting thing is for those of you who have been to New Bern, North Carolina (I have, I have…) you will notice the same bear is the symbol of that town as well. This is because New Bern, North Carolina is the sister city of Bern, Switzerland! Pretty cool, ehh? Now you have learned something from this blog of mine and I feel my duty is done.

Ogre Eating Children Fountain

Ogre Eating Children Fountain

Now the picture above is one of the hundreds of fountains you will find in Bern alone. Switzerland has fountains galore but this particular fountain I found intriguing. I heard about this fountain through a book I read a few months back and although I have been to Bern at least four times I had never taken notice of this one but after reading that book I had to find it for myself. It turns out it was not hard to find at all. We took the number nine tram from our hotel to the Zyteglogge stop and there it was right in front of us. I find this fountain to be the most intriguing so far because it’s an Ogre who is eating little children. The author of the book I read suggested that it might have been a story that was told to children years ago like ‘if you don’t eat your broccoli or go to bed on time the Ogre will get you’. How brutal! But I have to admit it’s my favorite so far.

Another Swiss Fountain

Another Swiss Fountain

Beautiful Fountain with a Beautiful View in the Background

Beautiful Fountain with a Beautiful View in the Background

Another really interesting thing about these fountains is that you can drink from every one of them. All over Switzerland you will find fountains of all shapes and sizes, some are ornate and others are just spigots flowing with water but all of them provide the cleanest, purest water that you can get. It’s the same water that runs through all the household taps in Switzerland and the source is the same…the Alps. The Swiss pride themselves on having the cleanest drinking water. As you walk through any city it is not uncommon to see people filling their water bottles up in the fountains or splashing their faces to cool off right there in front of you. The mere fact that you can do that absolutely makes my heart flutter with joy! Every city should boost such clean water!

Dam Under Restaurant

Dam Under Restaurant

Matt In Front Of Dam

Matt In Front Of Dam

Every where you go in Bern (or Switzerland for that matter) there is water flowing. All of this water plays an essential role in Switzerland because 50% or more of the energy in Switzerland is gotten from Hydropower. There are dams that are controlled to keep the towns from flooding with water from the melting snow from the Alps and this power is harnessed to power the country with electricity. How green is that??? I love it!!

Watching Over The City

Watching Over The City

Someone's Watching Me

Someone's Watching Me

Another really amazing thing is that in Bern just about anywhere you are if you look up there’s someone, something, somewhere looking down at you. The details on the old buildings are great and they are everywhere.

Roof Top Garden

Roof Top Garden

Now if you want to go from the top of Bern and look down you’ll find the river flowing quite powerfully through the town but another thing you will probably notice is that many of the rooftops have grass and greenery covering the top of the buildings. I don’t know for sure why this is done but my guess would be that it not only offers a nice view for people looking down but it also probably provides insulation to the building as well. I know a lot of buildings lose a lot of energy through the roof tops as heat leaks out in the winter and cool air leaks out in the summer. So I would assume (and you know what they say about assuming??) that it has some sort of energy conservation reason behind it. Another thing about this that I could see being a reason is that the more greenery in a city the more you balance any pollution that is being put out by cars, etcetera. Knowing that the Swiss are incredibly into being ‘green’ and really care about their health I would think that this could possibly be a reason as well.

Playing In The Fountain

Playing In The Fountain

As Matt and I walked around Bern on this nice, warm, sunny summer day we came across the plaza in front of the Bank of Switzerland where there are fountains built in to the ground. Now a few hours earlier there were no signs of these fountains that shoot off randomly in the air and instead there was a farmers market on that very spot but now children and adults alike were in their swimsuits (and some were fully dressed but wet and enjoying the fountains anyway) frolicking around in the fountain trying to guess the randomness of where the next shot of water was coming from. What great fun!!

So Swiss...

So Swiss...

Love Those Flowerboxes...

Love Those Flower Boxes...

Matt and I continued to walk around mumbling ‘Beautiful’ at every turn while taking pictures of everything that caught our eye including the above ‘typical Swiss scenes’.

After roaming around for about four hours we headed back to the hotel room to await Simona who was going to pick us up for the BBQ at her and Bruno’s house.

Playing Chess In The Park

Playing Chess In The Park

Beautiful Church

Beautiful Church

The BBQ….Swiss Style

At the BBQ Matt and I had the best time. I don’t think either of us has laughed so much in a long time. First of all there were people there from the United States (a.k.a. Matt and I), The Czech Republic (Simona’s family and friends), Germany, and Switzerland (Bruno) so there were challenges in communications because the American’s (a.k.a. Matt and I) didn’t know German or Czech or Swiss German (a totally different form of German that is unwritten. It is learned through speaking it even though in school the Swiss learn ‘High’ German which is what they speak in Germany). The Swiss (a.k.a. Bruno) knew German and English but no Czech and among the Czech people half knew English as well and half only spoke Czech!

Sunflowers and Bee

Sunflowers and Bee

Simona had to constantly translate between the German and the Czech and the Czech and the English and the English and the Swiss German and back again. Fortunately for her she had the help of her friend, Pavel, from Czech Republic who helped her translate between English and Czech and back again.

But despite the language differences (and in some instances, because of them) we all laughed and joked and told stories galore and Matt and I couldn’t believe just how much fun we had at that BBQ which just goes to show you that there really is no language barrier. We all laugh at the same types of things and enjoy the company of friendly, intelligent, happy people no matter what the nationality.

Me By The River in Bern

Me By The River in Bern

Pavel and His Bad Karma

One of the things that had us rolling in tears and left our faces hurting was Simona’s friend, Pavel, explaining why he feels his Karma is bad. Pavel explained that the property that he owns in Czech Republic used to be his grandfather’s property and his grandfather used to get upset by the fact that moles used to destroy his property and garden. So his grandfather used to sit there with a garden tool (now known among us all as the ‘Mole Whacking Tool’) and wait for hours for one of those nasty, garden destroying moles to pop up his ugly head and then he would…well, whack the mole.

Now years after his grandfather (now known as the ‘Mole Whacker’) has passed on Pavel said that he feels like the moles are angry at him and that his karma is damaged because of the deeds of his grandfather. Simona suggested that he sit in the field and apologize to the ‘Whacked Mole’s Souls’ and maybe he would get some reprieve and his karma might be cleansed. Pavel said he would give it a go because there’s nothing worse then being haunted by the souls of murdered moles.

Now the story in itself was hysterical but what made it even better were the expressions and the intensity with which Pavel told his sad story and then after he had us all laughing so hard we were crying he would immediately turn around to the Czech speaking people and re-tell the entire story in Czech with the same passion and intensity and expressions that you couldn’t help but laugh so hard your face and sides hurt. It was a really great time and Pavel was really entertaining and fun to listen to.

Simona and I Trying To Avoid The Paparazzi

Simona and I Trying To Avoid The Paparazzi

So Swiss...

So Swiss...

The food at the BBQ was excellent as well. Bruno used his culinary expertise to stir up a chicken and seafood Spanish rice meal made on the grill. How he was able to balance all those little pieces of rice on the wires on the grill is beyond me….oh, okay, actually he had this great frying pan thing that balanced on top of the coals and created the perfect cooking surface. The meal was great and accompanied by home made Sangria made by Bruno himself. Then we followed it up with left over desserts from the wedding the day before. Yummy!!

Farms in Back Of Simona and Bruno's House

Farms in Back Of Simona and Bruno's House

Around ten p.m. Bruno set off some fireworks in the backyard with the Swiss farms in the background and we all headed back to our respective abodes for a good nights’ rest.

Me In Simona and Bruno's Backyard

Me In Simona and Bruno's Backyard

** I don’t have many pictures of the BBQ because although I brought my camera I didn’t take one picture because I was having so much fun I didn’t think about using it. I guess if I am going to do this blogging thing right I am going to have to learn to document the events in pictures a little better. J

Stay tuned for Day 04 of our Swiss adventures which will take us to see our other great friend, Jurg, in Zurich.

Categories: Bern, Switzerland | Leave a comment

Falling In Love In Switzerland – Day Two: The Wedding Day

The Guest Eagerly Awaiting The Ceremony

The Guest Eagerly Awaiting The Ceremony

After being picked up at our hotel by two friends of Bruno’s, the groom, we headed to the location of the wedding ceremony and festivities on Bieler Lake, Switzerland. At approximately two o’clock the ceremony began outside on the back lawn of the Hotel J.J. Rousseau overlooking Bieler Lake underneath a huge weeping willow tree under the watchful eye of Buddha.

**One thing I have to mention here is that although this wedding ceremony was done primarily in German it had to be translated by Simona into English and Czech for all the guests to understand because Bruno and most of the guest were either Swiss or German; several guest such as Matt and I are English speaking; and Simona and her family are from the Czech Republic. Simona did a tremendous job at preparing a handout of the entire ceremony in English and Czech for those of us who didn’t speak German and the rest of the night she translated everything from German into English and then into Czech. She was absolutely incredible! **

The ceremony was overseen by a woman named Elizabeth and in her opening comments she stated that ‘Simona and Bruno have both been married and blessed with loving relationships. They are very grateful to now receive a second chance. They have learned a lot and they have realized how important it is to shoulder the responsibility for one’s own happiness’. I loved how this statement honored their past relationships while laying the ground for the new relationship with each other by stating that happiness was in their own hands. What an empowering and loving statement.

Elizabeth then read the Philosophy of Love by Brandon Bays which Simona and Bruno feel very connected to and asked her to share with everyone.

Philosophy of Love

Love freely! With an open heart and an open hand

You must treat love as if it is a delicate bird,

That comes to delight you by sitting in the palm of your hand.

You cannot close your fist,

For you will smother and kill it with too tight a grasp.

Love demands trust.

You must set your bird free to soar,

And if it doesn’t come back it was never yours.

But if the bird returns to you,

Than you are blessed by it for yet one more day –

For nothing belongs to us, nothing is owned by us.

Love is free to soar on the wings of freedom with no strings attached.

You can’t own love.

You can only bask in it, rest in it, be graced and blessed in it.

We’re in this love and this love is so huge it contains all of life.

Love with an open heart and an open hand without holding and neediness.

No ownership can abide in true love, for love cannot be won, earned, owned or required.

To love is to surrender completely to this moment.

Love simply is.

Simona Telling Bruno What She Admires About Him

Simona Telling Bruno What She Admires About Him

After that Simona and Bruno expressed to each other what they treasured and loved in each other. They expressed things like that fact that they loved and accepted each other unconditionally they way they were; that they respected and listened with an open heart; that they are always there when they need each other; that they have so much fun and make each other laugh; that they are so happy and positive most of the time; that they can be free when they are with each other; that they share dreams and goals for their future; and the one that got laughs was when Bruno stated that he was so grateful that Simona forgives him when he comes home in the evening having used up his 2000 daily words. J and many more things that were just so beautiful.

Bruno Returning The Sentiment

Bruno Returning The Sentiment

We then listened to the song by Deva Premal called ‘Until I was loved by you’ and asked to think of our loved ones and let them know how much we love and appreciate them.

The Loving Couple

The Loving Couple

When it came to the part that couples usually exchange vows to each other Simona and Bruno stated that they didn’t want to promise each other anything but instead they wished to express their deepest prayers and wishes for their journey together. Their wishes went like this:

I Wish To…

  • Walk hand in hand with you without losing my own way.
  • Accept you with all my heart without giving myself up.
  • Bask with you in the ocean of love, without sinking into it.
  • Radiate love and warmth without burning you.
  • Be passionate fire without choking you.
  • Be close to you without holding you too tight.
  • Respect you and your needs without forgetting mine.
  • Take self responsibility and learn to love my weaknesses without projecting them on you.
  • Accept and love you as you are without wanting to change you.
  • Appreciate and be grateful for your love without obligations.
  • Listen and talk openly with you without judging you.
  • Be honest and live in confidence with you without having to think about what I can say.
  • Take time to spend unforgettable moments with you without giving up my family and friends.
  • Give you a lot without expecting anything back.
  • Hold you and wipe your tears without you feeling exposed.
  • Cuddle tenderly and desire your body without making it a habit.
  • Live magical moments with you without taking them for granted.
  • Surprise you and make you laugh without you expecting it.

I really loved this exchange for many reasons the main one being that in life there really are no promises. Life is unpredictable and situations change and promising someone, anyone, something to remain the same for eternity is unrealistic because life is constantly changing. What you can to is promise to give someone respect, love, compassion, and freedom to be who they really are with you and in this way you are setting yourself up for a life with that person full of all those things and more. I thought this exchange was beautiful and definitely one to model should Matt and I take the next step in the future.

In The Center Of The Circle For The Ring Blessing

In The Center Of The Circle For The Ring Blessing

After expressing their deepest prayers and wishes the guests were instructed to make a circle around the Bride and Groom. The women circled the Bride and the men circled the Groom and in that circle we all went around and expressed what they meant to each of us. It was a really emotional circle (at least it was for the women though we all suspect the men just gave each other high fives and moved on J) and it was a really great gift to the Bride and Groom to feel all that love on their special day coming from everyone there.

Bruno Places The Ring On Simona's Finger

Bruno Places The Ring On Simona

Misa Places The Ring On Bruno's Finger

Misa Places The Ring On Bruno

I Do, I Do, Let's Kiss!

I Do, I Do, Let's Kiss

Admiring Their New Spouse

Admiring Their New Spouse

Then the rings were passed around to all the guest to bless by expressing their wishes for the Bride and Groom and then Simona and Bruno exchanged rings and said ‘I Do!’ and the little flower girl showered the couple with flower petals.

The Flower Girl Does An Outstanding Job

The Flower Girl Does An Outstanding Job

Shower of Flowers

Shower of Flowers

Job Well Done

Job Well Done

And the Bride and Groom were wrapped with a flower garland to signify their union.

Wrapped In Flowers and Love

Wrapped In Flowers and Love

The guest were then invited to partake in Champagne and some Aperitifs while listening to some lovely music. After a bit Bruno gave us instructions to grab a helium filled heart shaped balloon in the hall and a piece of paper and write our deepest wishes for ourselves on the paper.

Me and Petra Waiting To Release Our Wishes

Me and Petra Waiting To Release Our Wishes

After a bit everyone had finished and was waiting for further instructions. The Groom then stated that we were going to all release the balloons together so that our intentions were given to the Universe. After a countdown from ten to one (in English too) we all released our intentions in to the breezy, Swiss air.

Get Ready...Get Set...

Get Ready...Get Set...

Go!!

Go!!

Up, Up, And Away

Up, Up, And Away

After more drinks, aperitifs and music we were led to a boat and had a lovely ride on Bieler Lake for about an hour. The rains decided to make an appearance by that time but we didn’t care because they had left the ceremony dry and we were all happy.

Simona Chatting With Her Mom and Dad (Her Sister Is In The Background)

Simona Chatting With Her Mom and Dad (Her Sister Is In The Background)

Petra Enjoying The Boat Ride

Petra Enjoying The Boat Ride

Petra and Matt Catching Up And Enjoying The Ride

Petra and Matt Catching Up And Enjoying The Ride

The rain only lasted a little while and then created a beautiful rainbow to top the whole ceremony off.

Ahhh....Switzerland!!

Ahhh....Switzerland!!

And Matt was a stud as usual…

Studly Against A Blue Swiss Sky

Studly Against A Blue Swiss Sky

Matt and I loved catching up with friends from Florida while enjoying the view from the boat…

Petra Taking Time To Smell The Roses

Petra Taking Time To Smell The Roses

After we returned to shore we were given presents from Bruno and Simona as we were getting off the boat. They were heart shaped Gratitude stones to remind us of all the gifts, love and friendship in our lives and to remind us of how grateful the Bride and Groom were for the loving support and magical moments they spend with us on their special day.

On the shore the Bride threw the bouquet and congratulated the lucky woman who caught it.

Simona Eyes The Crowd

Simona Eyes The Crowd

Simona Congratulates The Next Bride

Simona Congratulates The Next Bride

While the Groom tried desperately to figure out what just happened….

What Just Happened?

What Just Happened?

Nah…just kidding. It was a great photo and I had to use it. J Then the music, food, and dancing began…

And They Danced...

And They Danced...

And Simona’s friend, Pavel, from Czech Republic attempted to levitate a wine glass using only a string, a wine glass, and a lovely merlot…

White Shirt...Red Wine...Piece of String???

White Shirt...Red Wine...Piece of String???

And there were more photos with friends from Florida….

Me and Petra

Me and Petra

And photos of Matt and I….

Matt and I

Matt and I

And more dancing by the happy couple….

And then a few hours later another rainbow appeared outside over the lake as dusk approached. All the guests wanted to know who Simona and Bruno knew that they were able to have not one but two rainbows in one day on their Wedding Day on the lucky date of 08/08/08.

At The End Of The Rainbow There Is Love...

At The End Of The Rainbow There Is Love...

And then it was back to the dining hall for more food and deserts (and oh my God! Are Swiss deserts good!) and, of course, more dancing…

Me and Jackie Getting Down...sort of..

Me and Jackie Getting Down...sort of..

Dancing and Posing For The Paparazzi

Dancing and Posing For The Paparazzi

And then in the wee hours of the morning we all slowly headed back to our hotels and homes to dream about the perfect day we had just witnessed and the two beautiful people that we have the privilege of knowing.

It was a wonderful day full of fun, new friends, old friends, food, music, magic moments, love, gratitude, and laughter. What more could anyone want in a day?

Stay tuned for Day Three…

Categories: Bern, Switzerland | Leave a comment

Falling In Love In Switzerland (Day One)

Falling In Love In Switzerland (Day One)

Thursday Matt and I boarded an ICE train (German high speed train) in Koeln to head towards Bern, Switzerland to attend the wedding of our close friends, Simona and Bruno. We were very excited to finally be on our way there for many, many reasons. One reason being, well, hell it’s a wedding!! Who doesn’t get excited by a wedding?? Especially when it’s a close friend’s wedding AND you get to be with those close friends AND you get to see other close friends in Switzerland AND…well hell….IT’S SWITZERLAND PEOPLE!!

So we cozied into our comfy seats on the ICE train and sat back and enjoyed the smooth, quiet, fast, five hour ride while napping, taking in the beautiful country side views and listening to our I-Pods.

Beautiful Switzerland

Beautiful Switzerland

More Beautiful Switzerland

More Beautiful Switzerland

Upon arrival at the train station my chic flick, frequent coffee shop companion, very close friend AND bride, Simona, was standing at the platform waiting to greet us. After lots of big hugs and kisses that were long overdue for all of us (although we did see each other three weeks ago in Koeln when she surprised me by accompanying Matt to the airport to pick me up when I arrived in Germany but in my opinion you can never get enough hugs and kisses from the people you love) we made a quick stop to pick up some last minute things for the wedding the next day and then headed to the hotel where Matt and I were staying.

Our Hotel in Bern The Ibis Expo

Our Hotel in Bern The Ibis Expo

The Ibis Expo hotel in Bern is really conveniently located at the end of the number 9 tram line that takes you right into the center of Bern in only about five stops (5 minutes maximum). It is a budget hotel but is really clean and has everything you need to enjoy your stay. The quality of the hotel was exceptional in my opinion and the view from our room was of the Alps looking over the National Equestrian Center right behind the hotel.

The View of the Alps From Our Hotel Room

The View of the Alps From Our Hotel Room

Another Great View of the Mountains and the Equestrian Center

Another Great View of the Mountains and the Equestrian Center

After our check in we went to the restaurant next door to have a meal and Simona filled us in on everything we needed to know about how to get around Bern in her absence as she was going to be a bit busy the next few day what with getting married, entertaining friends and family and shuttling people back and forth to and from the airports, train stations, etcetera. After instruction us on by whom and where we were going to be picked up the following afternoon for the big event Simona headed out to await her family’s arrival.

Road Weary But Happy To Be In Bern Again!

Road Weary But Happy To Be In Bern Again!

Matt and I lounged in the restaurant for awhile afterwards finishing our meal and trying to decide what we would like to do next. It was raining out and we were really tired but we decided that we would take a little nap upstairs and then head to the city center for a little bit to see what was happening there.

View From Hotel Restaurant

View From Hotel Restaurant

Matt Relaxing After a Big Meal

Matt Relaxing After a Big Meal

Bern center was bustling due to a Busker Festival that was happening for the next few days so there were musicians of all types on the streets singing and playing their hearts out for the eager crowds. People were having dinner in the outside cafes under umbrellas and enjoying themselves despite the rain that was coming down quite steadily. Matt and I kept putting the intention out in the universe for a dry day the following day so it would not challenge the outdoor ceremony and festivities to come on Simona and Bruno’s big day.

Because of the rain neither Matt nor I wanted to take out our cameras to take pictures so we just scouted out things that we would come back to on Saturday for photos. After about an hour we decided to return to our room in order to get a good night’s rest for the long day ahead of us.

Beautiful Sunset Over The Alps

Beautiful Sunset Over The Alps

When we returned to our room we took a few more pictures from our hotel window of the view including a great photo of the sunset reflecting on the snow peaked Alps. What a beautiful country!!

Another Great View From Our Hotel Window

Another Great View From Our Hotel Window

Stay tuned for Day Two of ‘Falling In Love In Switzerland’

Another View

Another View

Bern, Switzerland

Bern, Switzerland

Bern, Switzerland From Our Room

Bern, Switzerland From Our Room

Categories: Bern, Germany, Koeln/Cologne, Switzerland | Leave a comment

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