On the water in Bern!

DSCN4780Good evening… it is nice and late, so this might be short. Quick wrap-up on Saturday, Sam and I went for a climb up a nearby mountain sort of thing which I do not remember the name of right now, will have to get that later. It was a HIKE!!!! 20 min bike ride to get to the base, where there is actually a tram – but we’re not quite that sissy. And yeah, it was a HIKE. I made the mistake of not taking any sort of break between biking and hiking, so I managed to cramp up a bit on the way up, and cramp Sam’s style as he powered on ahead of me. Whoops. Anyway, we made it.

Self serve restaurant at the top, decent food, amazing view. Everything here is expensive if you didn’t know :p but I won’t get into that. Climbed up a little lookout tower sort of thing which, again, got us a fantastic view. Overall everything here is a pretty fantastic view.

DSCN4801We took a little stroll around and found this awesome kids park – they have mini go karts, a brilliant play gym, a tiny train AND AND AND, this really cool thing which I would describe as a Rube Goldberg machine. We had to give it a go, got the ball and made it all the way around, though we were pushed around by little kids the entire time (they kept stealing our ball! kids are mean). It was highly entertaining.

Went back down the mountain – stopped at a little hole in the wall Gelato place that always has a lineup – crazy good. Met up with Patrick at the apartment. Went for a drink in the Old Town, this was now around 11:30pm. Stayed there until close at 12:30am. Went for a walk to find another place to hopefully watch the rest of the FIFA match. No such luck – the one place they wanted to go to was at capacity, so we wound up at a Crepe place that’s open all hours.

They had a crepe, I got a coke, we were there until about 2am, Jana joined us after a while, she was at a wedding reception that went pretty late. We hung out there a bit longer, went to another party sort of place but didn’t actually get in – they wanted to show us what it was like. It’s in this building that’s apparently kind of like a police free thing, which I won’t get into right now (TIRED) but I will describe it again. Anyway we hung around for a bit before heading back to the apartment!

Got there, Sam came up with the idea of a card game that he bought a while ago in Germany, we played a round (about 4am now), actually did well (but not really as we found out tonight), had fun, and went to bed.

That was Saturday.

DSCN4822Got up Sunday morning, breakfast at the apartment, met Jana’s other sister (who she shared the apartment with) Miri, then we packed up and went for a boat ride! We got three raft sort of blowup boats, grabbed the train and took off to a small city a few stops away, unloaded everything and made our way to the river just a short walk from the station. Luckily – thankfully – there was a electric air pump that someone had installed outside their house that you could use for 2 franks, so we used that – it would have taken forever to pump up these boats otherwise!

We got them quickly pumped up and hopped in – Miri and Patrick in one, Nina and Paul in another, Jana, Sam and me in the third. There’s a very nice current in the river, and it leads all the way down to Bern. The weather was nice, the water was cold – Sam and Patrick decided they just had to take a swim so jumped in near the beginning – they only did that once. We had lots of food and snacks, we kept all three boats tied together for DSCN4865the most part, had to paddle a bit from time to time to push off of the sides but really… it was super relaxing! The sun came out to visit a few times but it wasn’t too hot for us, it was just a really nice approx 2.5 – 3 hrs of being on the water, chatting, eating, etc. The most difficult part was at the end of it all taking the boats out, wiping them off and deflating them, but overall it was fantastic.

Sunday night is typically family meal night for them, but sadly Jana had to work. We went back to our respective apartments, had a bit of a rest – surprisingly tired after a day of relaxing! Miri, Sam and I hopped in the car and made our way to their parents, we met Sara and her husband and Nina and Paul there. Their neighbour also came over for dinner.

When we arrived the Swiss FIFA game was on so we all watched that, dinner was served so we moved to the table and kept the game on in the background. Switzerland won – you could hear lots of celebration around the area 😉 They have a lovely home, all wood, they designed it themselves, truly beautiful and interesting! Great dinner, fun conversation, and very good ice cream that their neighbour brought over (the best in Switzerland). Great evening. Nice to see the whole family (mostly) together, fun to see some old pictures from their childhood on the walls during our tour of the house. They also have a nice dog, and their neighbour brought his over as well.

DSCN4899Returned to the apartment after that, played Hanabi, the card game Sam brought, with Jana, Sam and Miri. We learned that we missed a rule the first night we played it, which explained why we won on our first attempt at 4am. Corrected that and discovered it was a bit harder than we thought :p but we had fun with it. Actually made me want to buy a copy of the game and take it home.

So that was Sunday. Sadly Sam had to leave on Monday morning, and we actually all wound up sleeping in a bit, so we were up around 9am I think. Breakfast, bye to Sam, Jana and I went to pickup Nina, then we all went out to Thun. Beautiful little town a quick drive away, we drove up the mountains there for some amazing views – it was a pretty clear day. We went to a Turkish grocery store and found some stuff, then we got some Kebab’s at a little stand for lunch. We went to a great little park sort of area and sat there for lunch, again beautiful views – something pretty common here.

DSCN4913I think it was on this bench, while eating, that I had one of those “wow I’m really here” moments. Looking around at the beautiful scenery, thinking about the trip – I’m very lucky to have had the opportunity to travel like this, and I’m very humbled by the amazing things I get to see and do while I’m traveling around. And the fantastic people I get to hang out with 🙂

After that we returned to base – Jana worked at 4 today, I was going to hang out with Miri a bit. Got a bit of relax time before meeting Miri in town, we went and bought the Hanabi card game I mentioned, then we went to a bar to see the Germany / Portugal match. Germany won 3-0, it was a pretty good game actually – lots of action. Kind of amusing red card. Good to watch.

I actually find myself enjoying watching this. Weird.

Match ended, we went in search of somewhere else to hang out, we were going to go to a little place at the end of that street with some of her friends but they wound up going somewhere else much busier, neither of us were interested. We went back to the place we couldn’t get into the other night – the old gym turned into a bar – very relaxed place, super nice to hang out. We played a couple games of Hanabi as a two player version and it turned out pretty well. Met up with one of her friends and headed back to the apartment.

Made some pasta for dinner, Jana got home pretty soon after, we ate then all played Hanabi for the rest of the night! Jana is off to a work conference tomorrow, I’m climbing one of the iconic Swiss mountains with Nina tomorrow (this is someone who can REALLY climb, so hopefully I can keep up!), and yeah… that’s where we’re at.

Wednesday at noon I’m leaving Zurich for Lisbon, there for a day – still need to book a hostel, before flying to Marrakech for a few days, then Amsterdam, then home. And that’s what’s up.

This got long and got dragged out over two or three days so it got a bit painful to write, my apologies for anything that got a bit weird, but I just need to post this and move on :p BED TIME FOR ME. Ciao all.