Gotta learn the exchange rate FIRST next time..

Trip Start Aug 12, 2010
Trip End Sep 17, 2010

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Flag of Switzerland  , Bern,
Wednesday, September 1, 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 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

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...
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Dad on

Glad to FINALLY hear from you...Last message I got was a cryptic text that said, "I've landed at Normandy!" with all the "radio silence" I thought, perhaps, you were involved in some sort of covert invasion and for the good of your unit, you were either working off the grid or you had been captured. But since there were no embedded CNN reporter's all over the news, I surmised that you were just having way too much fun to communicate with "HQ." Guess we'll have to, (once again) recall the "SAR" units......Always good to hear your voices, (a good indicator that your blog responses are actually coming from you!) HaHaHa...Continued good health! Love Dad

Uncle Matt on

Really enjoy your commentary on the travel experience. Your pretty entertaining.
Ever thought about a carrier in "Travel Reviews" ?
Dang!! That is some pricey Micky Dees !!!!!!! Iv'e heard they are even more expensive in Russia and Japan. Not sure about that but thats what I here ??

Travel on there Mate !!!! Good stuff..... PS ..I was in Paris in 1981 WOW that was a long time ago......

Auntie Carol on

Hi Chris,

I was really missing your updates, sorry to hear the internet was very expensive. Couldn't believe how much McDonald's was. Hope it was a GREAT burger! I was wondering if England and France were what you expected? Can't believe you'll be back home in just 10 more days. Continue writing..... I look foward to reading about your journey. I keep Uncle Aram updated on your travels. Stay Safe.

Auntie Carol and the entire family

Auntie Carol on

Hi Chris,

Dad told me you were on line to get tickets to see Michelangelo's David. Is it still at the Galleria dell' Accademia? Hope that you get in. I thought it was absolutely amazing. Don't forget to visit the Uffizi. I loved Florence sooo much. Are you enjoying Italy? Looking forward to reading more of your travels. Stay safe.

Auntie Carol, Uncle Aram and the rest of the family.

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