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World on a Shoestring A beginnger's guide to traveling around the world...as written by beginners...

Swiss Triste

SWITZERLAND | Saturday, 23 June 2007 | Views [1452] | Comments [2]

Say that five times fast, we dare you. Ok, cut it out.

With a bit of extra time on our hands, Gen and I decided to swing down to Switzerland for a little romantic alps action. Our destination: Bern, Switzerland, home of glockenshpiels (sp?) and the man who redifined physics...and follicular couture. This one's for you, Zac...

For lodging, we chose a nice little campsite a short tram ride outside the city right along one of the frantically flowing rivers than run off the alpine glaciers. This river was a shade of blue the likes of which we've never seen. So different was this color that for the duration of our stay it was a constant debate over the color's name, with Gen lobbying for "teal" or even the paltry "aqua-marine". I on the other hand stood steadfastly beside "jade". But if the worst thing we squabble about is which beautiful color the water is, then things aren't that bad, are they?

With the time we had we set out to see what kind of neutral fun we could have in the country that's home to clocks, chocolate, knives, international neutrality and hefty bank accounts. And we were on a mission. We wanted Einstein, chocolate, mountains...and even a few chocolate mountains, if we could find them...which we couldn't, I'm sorry to say.

Einstein's home is set in the middle of a commercial block just past the huge clock and glockenspiel (sp?) that sits in the center of Bern. With absolutely no pomp or fanfare marking its location, you can easily walk right past the house without realizing it. And, in true Jake and Genny fashion, we did that very thing, hypnotized by the smells wafting from the local public houses and cafes. But we finally found our way in, paid the 4 € at the door and settled in for the twenty minute film that precedes the exhibition.

The whole of the museum is not much more than a few of his personal belongings and some captioned pictures. The short film that we viewed touched barely on Einstein's time in Bern, only mentioning that here is where he hatched his clever little E=MC^2 theory; maybe you've heard of it. But, the one really cool thing the museum offers is the opportunity to sit at the desk he sat at when he crunched out his revolutionary theory...that and the little known fact that he canned his second wife in favor of marrying his cousin. But, incestual tendencies aside, the man was a genius and you can sit where genius once sat and did things geniuses do. And I sat at the desk. Unfortunately the only revolutionary thought that occurred to me was to wear my underwear inside out to prolong their wear.

I'm not sure if this comforts me or worries me, but having watched that short film, I see and incredible amount of the genius that occupied Einstein in my brother; similar idiosyncrasies, habits, and thought processes. This, I'm sure, will remain a comforting thought as long as Zac refrains from any romantic inclinations towards any of my cousins.

From the peak of geniuses to the peak of mountains, we took a scenic train ride (conveniently covered by our Eurail pass, the seemingly endless virtues of which we shall extol in a later post). The train takes you to a small town called Interlaken where you have the option of walking around town, or paying the 145 Swiss Francs to continue on the train to the highest train station in Europe. We chose the former, and wandered the beautiful town all day admiring the glorious mountains and the paragliders that seemed to be jumping from every available precipice. Quite amazing.

So we leave Switzerland once again pleasantly surprised to find that an unexpected stop yielded a wonderful experience.

Tags: Mountains



I vote aqua-marine! We miss you guys around here!

  Bryn Jul 25, 2007 5:25 AM


it's "glockenspiel" not "glockenshpiel"


  Phil Feb 12, 2009 12:19 AM

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