So I ended up going to Bern because my buddy John had an ultimate frisbee tournament that he got connected to through some local players. He is big into that and it's a good way to meet some Swiss people. The girls spent a ton of money to go to Budapest, so Bill and I decided to join John on his travels across Switzerland. Guys weekend out!!!
The travel started with the train ride through the Swiss Alps. Pictures out the window are hardly worth it but a few captured some of the immense beauty that accompanied up on this train ride (the one above being an example). It was a cold day on the other side of the mountain and we didn't have the clothes, but that's ok. We arrived in Bern and looked at a few maps, ultimately choosing the direction of our hostel based on the direction the sun was setting. It worked quite well actually. After a chat with some other travelers also looking for a meal (a canadian and american), we stopped in at a pizzeria. It was expensive but everything is in Switzerland. It was the best pizza I've had yet here. Then we made our way to all of our first hostel which was surprisingly nice.
Well that's us eating at the pizza place, and the hostel on the right. After dropping our stuff off we ventured out to find a place to have some fun. The guide book mentioned this place called the "Reitschule," which later we found out means "writing school." An old writing school turned into a bar, the outside is covered in graffiti and it is located under the train tracks. After asking 8--we counted--people where this place was and receiving funny looks and laughs in addition to misguided directions, two Russian women walked us there because it was on there way home. It was a pretty sketchy place. There was a parking lot in front of it filled with very interesting people. We saw people rolling right outside there and after a brief walk around and a couple of offers to smoke or buy something, we decided to call it a night. We had already walked about 4 miles in searching for the place.
The next day we got up and saw the city sites. The bears in a pit--Bern is famous for Bears; it's on the flag and all. That was actually a little sad, them just there in their pits. Then onto the Cathedral. It was a nice one. We climbed to the top and saw the city from above. Some cool pictures there. Then we walked through this market with all sorts of cool samples of swiss cheese (seen pictured above) and meats and such. It was pretty cool. Then we saw the parliament building, which was unfortunately covered almost 3/4 of the way around. The picture above was all we could see from below--this building is the equivalent of our White House. Did you know Bern is the capitol of Switzerland? Two points if you did. But could you imagine covering the White House for over a year? It would never do. Then we saw Einstein's apartment in Bern--where he came up with the theory of relativity. That was pretty cool too.
After the tourist stuff we went to John's ultimate frisbee tournament and watched them play. Then we watched a little rugby that was going on nearby. After that we went downtown and found an English Pub for dinner, where we watched Man. U beat Tottenham. And afterwards we went and saw a movie. I felt very English then American then Mexican--because the movie we saw was called "Banditas." Selma Hayek, Penelope Cruz--who if you know is one of my favorites. I don't think it came out in the states, if it did shame on you for seeing it because it was horrible. Actually it got progessively better, but still was pretty bad. Bern is actually also known as a Cinema town--lots of movies shown in English. This one just happened to be a bad choice. Who knew going in? I mean, maybe we did, but hey, whadda ya do?
At that we made our way to our sleeping arrangements. Oh wait, we didn't have any. We abandoned the hostel in hopes that we would stay with one of the frisbee guys, but they all brought sleeping bags and tents. Failure-us. We had no such things. We heard there were people staying in the basement of the facility of the tournament for 18 francs, but we had failed to secure this beforehand. We walked down--quite sketchy, see pictures below, and jumped on some beds. It was free, though we didn't have sheets or pillows. And it was warm. Living the dream! (see pictures below)
Today was spent on the train and in Bellinzona. We tried to catch the end of a wine festival that was there this weekend. Unfortunately we just missed that, but we did see some amazing castles. You definitely need to go look at those, but I've put up enough for this post.
If you made it through I must say I'm impressed. I think I bored myself writing it at times. It's late and I'm tired. It was a good enough excuse for Gary Larson once, so I'll go with it. Forgive the boy in the beehive. Enough obscure references. Enough tired description. Enough words that begin with B. Enough for now. A great weekend, but tiring. I think we walked about 8 miles in all this weekend, with our backpacks. Whew. Alright. Ciao.