Berenstein Bears or Bernstein Bears?
Trip Start Aug 17, 2010
18Trip End Dec 30, 2010
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Where I stayed
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Special shout out to my baby brother who turned 18 on Saturday and is enjoying his new times at USC. Side note: While I am gone I will not only miss my birthday and Christmas in the US, but also every single one of my family members' birthdays. Sad I know, but they will get cool birthday presents to make up for the loss of seeing me-- tragic, I know
Anyways, Saturday was a mostly relaxing day around the Cozzio household. The morning was spent preparing for a dinner party Bea and Franco were hosting, but about mid morning Franco finished up early and took Alexandra and me for a ride in the convertible. Perfect is the only word that can describe how wonderful the weather was on Saturday, okay, maybe sunny and warm could describe the day as well. Franco drove us to the castle where he and Bea were married-- yes, that is right, I said castle. The castle was small but beautiful, set on a hill overlooking what is now a vineyard. Sadly, I could not get any pictures because there was a wedding occurring on this day as well and I did not want to be rude. Castles are not something you ever see in the US so getting to see my first ever castle was pretty cool, tomorrow I get to see one that is even bigger and better, so watch out for that post and those pictures later. On the way home, we also stopped by an old battleground where Switzerland fought Austria-- apparently, Switzerland has not always been neutral. A cute little chapel marked the spot near the battlefield and there was a mural inside that depicted the battle along with paintings of the coats of arms of most of the Swiss families that fought in the battle. Outside, in a locked small shrine, there were bones of soldiers who fought in the battle. It was strange, but neat at the same time; oh, and did I mention there was another wedding here as well?! That is right, a wedding right next to a hundreds of year old battlefield-- perhaps the wedding for me? (Really, I am just kidding)
Back at home I enjoyed the perfect weather outside by relaxing and reading a book until the guests came. Dinner for the party included a feast of raw veggies, chicken, beef, and lamb, freshly prepared salad, mozzarella with tomatoes soaked in balsamic vinaigrette dressing, potato salad, and fresh cut bread
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Sunday started off very early as we got ready for a returnee brunch for Mario in Zurich. I went with him since I am his host sister, but I could not understand much because even though everyone at the table spoke English (they had all been abroad for a year as well) only one girl felt the need to talk with me in English. I am getting very used to listening to Swiss German, and sometimes if there is a similar word in English I can even pick up on what the conversation. After brunch, Franco and Bea picked us up and then we went to the canton (state) of Schwyz, which was a short drive from Zurich, to see one of the largest churches in all of Switzerland, the Benedictine Abbey of Einsiedeln
Monday, August 23, 2010
Today was Mario and Ramona's first day of school for the new year! The rest of us had a late morning and breakfast before we left for Switzerland's capital city of Bern. Driving to Bern took about an hour, but it was completely worth it because the city is wonderful, like a mini Washington, DC. First in Bern, we visited the Parliament building of Switzerland and took a tour, which at that time was offered in English and French-- Switzerland has four official languages: German, French, Italian, and English. In fact, during debates of the State (Senate) each member can speak in their own tongue and there are no translators; therefore, each member must understand all four official languages. The building itself was gorgeous, sadly, once again no pictures because we could not take our cameras inside the building. Even though Switzerland is such a small country, I would have imagined them to have a larger Parliament building, but alas, it was tiny compared the the US capitol. Perhaps this was the only building in the US that is more finely decorated than its counterpart in Switzerland.
After a quick stop at a cafe for coffee and pie we made our way through the city of Bern, which has covered passageways above all of the sidewalks. Sidewalks in the city are lined with stores and restaurants featuring apartments overlooking the crowded streets. Public streetcars are also everywhere, making transportation very simple and efficient. We even passed by Einsteins apartment in Bern, which was neat because his window was marked with a picture of him staring out
Once again, I promise posts will not be so long and detailed once I get to Cairo, but thanks to you, the faithful reader, for sticking with me! I really do appreciate your following along (as well as your comments ;) ). Until next time.