My First Baby Step on a New Continent
02.06.2013 - 02.06.2013
Bern & Gruyere
What should i start with? Hmm....
I needed a way to capture my memories in words before I forget them, and already I am one year too late writing this post. Thanks to the opportunity my company gave me, I flew out of Asia for the first time and touched down on the land of Heidi and Roger Federer. 5 weeks of training means 5 weekends of exploring. So here it is, my very first weekend adventure.
Switzerland - an extremely efficient country, just like any of their famous watches. Therefore, it made sense to really plan out my itinerary as I can even decide what time i should hop onto their bus or train! And before I start off on my journey, let me just add that for all the travelling that I had done, it was by using something called the SBB Tageskarten (day pass). Basically, it is a good alternative if there is no discount to the awesome but expensive Swiss Flexi Pass. But beware, the Tageskarten is troublesome to purchase and comes with plenty of terms & conditions.
I was lucky that the daylight hours were extremely long in June. By 6 am, I took off from my apartment in Wettingen with my friend, D, and jump on one of their bus. My first destination was to Bern, the capital. However, true to form as new explorers here, we got down at the wrong stop. But no worries. Expensive as it is, Switzerland's public transport system is the most awesome I've ever experience. It seriously is. Within minutes of checking SBB online, we found our alternative route. So off we go again!
Hello Bern.....You look really gorgeous! Beautiful buildings....even more beautiful parks and views....and best of all? Free bikes!!
(you can obtain all information and map from the INFO Centre in Bern's main train station)
Anyway, did I mention water is free here too? As in the whole of Switzerland! How great is that? I just have to bring a small bottle around with me and refill it at any of their water spring. This country totally takes care of their travellers.
The entire place looks empty because we were way early. And also Swiss people takes their Sunday rest very seriously. Everything was closed around here except for McDonalds and the shops at the train station.
Also, I loved the weather here. Imagine living in hot hot hot Malaysia your whole life, and then coming to such a cool place (meant that literally and metaphorically). With the amount of cycling and walking I did, I would have melted into a puddle of goo if I were back home. But it was no sweat at all here.
We went to the famous clock. Unfortunately, it was the wrong timing and we did not manage to see the hourly "show". It really was too bad, but we had to rush off as there were so much of other things to see.
The buildings here have such interesting paintings. And you don't see them getting vandalized! These kind of paintings wouldn't last a day if in Malaysia. But of course, there are "other" parts of Bern which receives this kind of treatment (see flea market below)
Munsterplatz - the first of many, many, MANY churches which I will go to in the next few weeks.
I have no idea why, but I am totally attracted to flea markets. And it was amazing to see a different side of Bern after all the beautiful historical sights this morning. Some of my souvenirs were actually bought in the many flea markets around Switzerland! I think they're better than those boring magnets or keychains.
Pass noon, we moved on to Gruyeres as our next and final stop of the day. And OH MY GOD! The landscape was just beautiful on the way. It was literally out of a storybook and into real life view right in front of my eyes!
Gruyere is an extremely "touristic" little town famous for its cheese. But of course, there are more to it. Plenty of travelers flocked into this town for its beautiful scenery and it's famous Chateau Gruyeres (more photos of that below).
There is this famous museum with really weird artwork (based on the film, Alien). I wanted to visit it, but D wasn't interested. Not with the expensive ticket price, that is. Anyway, we had a little fun taking some photos at the entrance.
Ahh...my first ever Chateau. Words can't describe it, so hopefully my photos will do justice.
We saw sheeps on our way down!! And i touched one! Today really was a first of many things....
Oh, did I mentioned something about cheese? Yes - there is a factory here....and no, I did not manage to eat the famous cheese fondue. I cried a little in my heart, but...not much regrets, considering that I actually do not like cheese.
And no....I did not manage to capture any photos here as my battery ran out after the sheep hugging.
Next weekend - Baden & Zurich.