These posts take fooooorrreeeeevvvveeeeeeerrrr to write. I kinda dread it. But. They're fun to look back on. So here we go.
Random bit of trivia: We've seen the oval country stickers on cars and always wondered what the heck country "CH" is. It's Switzerland! How do you get CH from Switzerland? Well, the official name is the Confoederatio Helvetica. The country is named for the Celtic Helvetii tribe that lived here back in Roman times.
So jaggedy and awesome!
Despite the country's small size Switzerland is unusually diverse. Its wild geography has kept people apart historically, helping its many regions maintain their distinct cultural differences. Switzerland has FOUR official languages: German (65%), French (18%), Italian (10%), and Romansh (an obscure Latin dialect - 1%). There are 7.6 million people and it's a similar latitude to Quebec, Canada. It's 16,000 square miles, about twice the size of New Jersey or half the size of South Carolina. Switzerland's white cross on a distinctively square red background may have been the inspiration for the red-on-white symbol of the International Red Cross. It's one of the only two recognized flags that are perfect squares (the other being the Vatican City). The average Swiss eats 22 POUNDS of chocolate a year holy moly! There's high taxation, ample social services, and liberal drug policies. You can literally buy syringes from vending machines on street corners. There are 26 cantons, similar to the states, as each canton is semi-independent and the Swiss wrangle with just how much autonomy to allow cantons. With the exception of the Protestant Reformation Swiss history has been pretty quiet - and that's just how the Swiss like it! They love their neutrality and stayed out of both world wars. And that's Switzerland at a glance!
It was about $125 a night, which was a reasonable price after doing some research. We saved HUNDREDS of dollars this trip by bringing our own food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I know part of really getting to know a country is to try their local cuisine, but Fox and Jane are so picky anyway and we simply can't afford to eat out 3 meals a day, so bringing our own food is our best option and we actually still had money leftover this trip! Winning!
We walked through the arches of the Parliament to the back and onto the terraces.
We walked onto the Kornhausbrüke to see what we could see.
Wrought iron eve.
Bears bears bears everywhere! How cute are these little guys hanging off the Best Western Hotel windowsills? HA!
View of Kramgasse from the other direction.
Right next to that church is the Rathaus - city hall. Same green stone as all the other buildings!
From here it was an easy 10 minute bus ride back to the train station where we found our car and drove back to our apartment. What a fun filled day!
Next stop: the cutest town in the ENTIRE WORLD - Murten, Switzerland!