Oh Bern. What a lovely, quirky little town you are!
Meghan and I rolled in mid-afternoon and made a bee line to our home for the next two days, Bellevue Palace. I honestly think we were both a little in love with the place - they did such a nice job of blending antiques, art nouveau, and modern features with a thoughtful, elegant, and warm (but not stuffy) design. And the staff was wonderful, from the adorable old man who welcomed us to breakfast each morning to the concierge we lovingly dubbed 'Google'. And the view was ridiculous. We woke up to hot air balloons rising with the sun over the river Aare one morning. It was all just really nice, okay?!
After settling in, we strolled around the old town of Bern to hit my few must-dos: climb to the top of the Bern Munster cathedral, visit the apartment where Einstein created the first draft of the Theory of Relativity, and see the Kindlifresserbrunnen (a fountain with a statue of an ogre eating children on it. Judge away). Check, check, and check! While there was more construction and active renovations around the city than I would have liked, it was really nice to walk around among the buildings that were all the same shade of muted green.
That evening we had a lovely dinner with our host at Bellevue, Oliver, and got the scoop on a few activities we needed to work into our time in the city. So the next morning we set off on a quick trip out of town to the Callier chocolate factory in Broc. They had a little audio-visual presentation on the history of chocolate with animatronics and moving backdrops that was so wonderfully kitschy. Like Disneyland, but you get to eat tons of chocolate at the end.
When we got back into Bern, we walked our way down, passing the Bern Orchestra rehearsing for a concert, to the river Aare for a dip in the river with the locals (Thanks again for the suggestion, Oliver!). The river is stunningly blue, moves very quickly, and is absolutely frigid. I made a few rounds of walking upriver a mile or so, jumping into the current (sometimes off a bridge), and making my way back to Meghan lounging in the sun on the riverbank in a minute or two with the swift current. Photographic evidence courtesy of Meghan:
Also please note that in true Morgan fashion, I managed to safely throw myself off a bridge a couple times, but when it comes to simply grabbing onto a stone staircase to pull yourself out of the current I get a little bruised up. Stupid.
Minor injuries aside, Bern was pretty darn neat.