Gotta learn the exchange rate FIRST next time..
Trip Start Aug 12, 2010
11Trip End Sep 17, 2010
Arrived to Bern a day earlier than planned. We had wanted to take an overnight train from Paris yesterday to arrive early in the morning on the 2nd, but when we went to the train station in Paris to reserve our seats they said there ARENT any overnight trains Paris-Bern.. So the last train leaving for Bern was in an hour and a half, and we had to race back across town to our hostel to get our bags, then BACK to the station to make our train to Switzerland! But we made it, so I called the hostel in Bern and asked for an extra night, they said theyd leave the key in the mailbox outside for us, since we wouldnt arrive until midnight at the hostel. Well we got to Bern, starving, and the only thing open was a McDonalds in the train terminal. I got some cash out of an ATM, (having NO idea the exchange rate, once again..) and ordered a couple of big macs for us. It came out to almost 26 Swiss Francs...so we figured alright, maybe a US dollar is like 2 francs, that sounds about right.... (hang on to that, this will come back to play later on in the story). So we catch a bus to the hostel, and theres NO KEY in the box! Luckily, a girl who works in the restaurant attached to the hostel was just getting on her bike across the street after closing up to go home, and she came to our rescue. She used to work the hotel reception, so she knew how to help us check in and found us an empty room.
First day in Bern!
We went down to reception to officially check in and pay the balance. They gave us the option to run our cards in Swiss Francs or US Dollars....68 Francs .. or 69 dollars! Hey remember that part about the cheeseburgers...yeeah...those were some pricey Big Macs. lol oh well. Never a dull moment with us.
Bern is such a beautiful city! And not all touristy either. Right across from our hostel, 2 minute walk, is the famous Bear Park! (Think like a zoo, but just one big enclosure with only bears). Very cool. You can just walk by and look down and see the bears. We spent a little while here, then walked across the river to the city center to see the clock tower, did some window shopping at some very pricey looking boutiques, got yelled at by a shop owner for touching the merchandise...lol
Walked across another bridge to find the Swiss Rifle Museum. Sounded cooler than it actually was. Had a modest collection of antique rifles, but most of the exhibit was shooting competition medals and trophies dating back to the 1800s. Still kinda cool.
Walked along the river for a bit. Wanted to go swimming but Desi chickened out. The water is so clear and beautiful people just wade in (there are steps right down into the water every ten or twenty yards, like a giant pool) and they just float down with the current and then climb out downstream.
Went back to the hostel, grabbed some groceries down the street, and made dinner. (Pasta with fresh bell peppers and wine). Fresh fruit and vegetables taste SOO good.
Checking out of Bern today, destination unknown!! We have an extra day, still deciding how to use it. Maybe Lake Como, maybe Geneva...