What an amazing night! But I seem to be approaching the story from the end. Let’s go back to the beginning.
The jangling of the telephone woke me up at 6:15am and I went through the normal routine again. At 8:10am, we were once again on our way. Today we stopped at the capital city of Bern. According to legend, the town’s founder named it after the first animal he saw which was a bear. Hence, Bern. And the town does have a prevalent bear motif as you see statues and real bears within the town.
We met our guide, Hector, who took us on a bit of a tour of the city. We began in Bern’s famous Rose Garden which was actually a little threadbare of roses being close to winter, but still had some pretty things to see as well as a stunning view of the only mile long city.
From the garden, we went to the town’s city center where we walked along the streets and Hector pointed out important and interesting sights. Some of the highlights of the walk was a detailed relief on a church that showed the Last Judgment; fountains of Moses, Samson, and the founder of Bern; the home where Albert Einstein lived and wrote his papers on special relativity and the equation E=MC2; and the Bern Clock Tower.
We actually saw the clock tower strike the hour and that was an interesting little show. First a rooster crows, then the jester plays a joke on the Lord of Time by ringing the bells too soon, then the rooster crows again, and the Lord of Time turns over his hourglass which sends a signal to the Golden Knight to strike the hour before the rooster crows a final time. If you haven’t guessed, the three crows of the rooster are inspired by the Gospel story of Jesus telling Peter he would deny him 3 times before the cock crowed.
When the tour was done we were driven into the countryside where we had a lovely little lunch at Zugel Farms. Nine different farms are present on the property and each farms in a different way. For lunch we were served salad, a beef roast (not unlike turkey roast) in gravy, and homemade scalloped potatoes. For dessert there was a variety of items such as mousse, cream, fruit, and cake. Then we wandered around the time a bit before heading for Lucerne.
Upon our arrival at Lucerne, we bumped up one of the next day’s activities as the lighting was better and that was a visit to the Lion Monument. This monument was dedicated to the sole survivor of two intense weeks of fighting. The monument is a reminder that they “fought like lions”.
After admiring the monument, we checked into our final hotel, Hotel Wilden Mann.
The building housing this hotel has existed for over 500 years and it has been a hotel since the 19th century. My room was comfy, if tiny, but the extra large bathtub was a major plus. We had a few hours to ourselves so I spent my remaining coins on a Coke and a shot glass, took a long, hot bath, and uploaded some pics before beginning the night’s main event.
Tonight we attended a Swiss folklore party at Stadtkeller. This restaurant served a fantastic meal of salad, cheese fondue, veal strips in mushroom sauce, grated & fried potatoes, and a dessert of Swiss chalet (a melange of meringue, applesauce, and strawberry ice cream).
Along with the incredible meal was a show where the performers dressed in traditional Swiss costume and sang, yodeled, danced, and played theremin, hammer dulcimer, and alphorns. There was even audience participation with a yodeling contest, a traditional Swiss dance, and a conga line to close the night.
What an amazing night!
But now it’s too bed. One final day of adventure awaits.