goodbye switzerland!

Our last official full day in Switzerland was spent in Berne.  About an hour from Interlaken we arrived in the mid-morning after sleeping in a bit.  We got to explore the old town, stand officially in front of the infamous Swiss Banks (anyone else a fan of Suits?  Pretty funny how the main storyline last night was about laundering money through the Swiss Banks and the next morning we got to visit it!).  We stopped at the Bellevue Hotel, visited the cathedral; saw the family of bears that are the official Bears of Berne.

DSC_2533{two older gentlemen playing a mid-morning game of chess in the park with plenty of spectators}  DSC_2535 DSC_2537 DSC_2538 DSC_2540 DSC_2542 DSC_2553 DSC_2557 DSC_2559 DSC_2563 DSC_2571{look carefully at the middle of the blockade – there is a bear}DSC_2572{look at the gardens on the urban hillside – there are even three large beehives in the middle}DSC_2577 DSC_2581 DSC_2584 DSC_2587

We went by Einstein’s Café and Museum – Berne was his home for two years and it was here that he discovered his Theory of Relativity before he moved to Germany.  The shopping was expensive but entertaining – there is a whole layer of shops below ground that are entered by a trapdoor of sorts that is on the street.  We stopped to have lunch as a restaurant called the Spaghetti Factory (not THE Old Spaghetti Factory though).  It was delicious authentic Italian with great flavors – I loved the fresh Parmesan and Cameron was thrilled to get some Buffalo wings.  We walked around Berne a bit more before venturing to our hotel where we caught up on blogging, emails, podcasts, etc. on our last night in Switzerland!

DSC_2576DSC_2575{the entrance to underground stores looked like these are were all along the street}DSC_2591DSC_2598DSC_2599DSC_2602DSC_2604{check out that clever olive oil dipper spoon – nice work mamma}DSC_2606

The next morning we got breakfast and Starbucks in Berne before driving to Geneva.  The traffic getting into the city was tough and coupled with the fact it was more touristy than we expected, we didn’t spend a great deal of time in Geneva.  We went to the beautiful flower clock and walked amongst the bustling street fair that was set up, stopping to get some Swiss Ice Cream (simultaneously very rich and very tart) and a couple of bottles of Evian from a GIANT, PINK fridge.  Cameron said I could get a pink fridge but it had to be in the garage 🙂

DSC_2609 DSC_2611 DSC_2618 DSC_2623 DSC_2624 DSC_2628{there were SO MANY bees all over the candy they were selling at the street fair}

DSC_2630{car-free zone that was incredibly quiet}
DSC_2631 DSC_2634 DSC_2636{the tops of the buildings have very cool advertisements all over}

Soon we were back out of town and quickly emerged into the countryside in Southern France.  It was just as I imaged it to be – warm, fields of sunflowers stretched out farther than I could see, and we passed more than one aqua painted garage door and pink house.  The influence of the Italian and Spanish architecture here is very clear in contrast with the German architecture we have become accustomed too.

DSC_2638

After checking into the hotel we ventured into town for some dinner but found that nothing opened for dinner until 7:00.  So strange.  We opted instead for a grocery store stop of sandwiches and now must get to bed as we leave for Paris at 6:00 in the morning tomorrow!!