Switerland Part I: Geneva & Bern

Several months ago, every time a colleague was out on vacation Sean would tell me about it first thing through the door.  With a bit of a eye roll.  All of these people are on vacation!  We haven’t been on a vacation since our trip to the West Coast two years ago!  With a new job and a new baby and everyone but us on vacation, he was headed straight for an ulcer.  So I said we should go on vacation.  Whatever he wanted.  And so we went to Switzerland.  To climb mountains.  Because Sean doesn’t relax unless there’s an adventure.  We also saw some cities.

We started out in Geneva.  I’m sure you know this already, but I’m just going to remind you that Switzerland has four national languages: French, Italian, German, and Romansh.  Geneva is in the French part, and the only city on our visit in the French part.  We were in German speaking parts after Geneva.

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Are you wondering why Sean’s wearing a helmet?  Because we took a Segway tour!  The idea of Sean on a Segway was so funny to me.  I never thought I’d see the day.  But Sean planned this whole trip, Segway tour and all.  It’s easy to make fun of people on Segways, but they are so fun!  I’d take a Segway tour again in a heartbeat!  Plus, we were only in Geneva one day and it made it easier to see a large part of the city in a short time.

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We love Wes very much, of course, but that first day of being just us was pretty great.  I didn’t have to constantly start and stop timers in my head for naps, feedings, activities, etc.  I didn’t have to countdown the minutes until bedtime.  I barely knew what time it was ever on the trip, let alone the day.  In those first days, it was so nice not to have to worry about what was happening with Wes.  But more on that later.

After our quick tour of Geneva, we were headed off to Bern the next morning.  Initially Sean had us in Geneva for two nights, but I’m so glad he decided to take us to Bern the second night.  We loved Bern!

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We had brunch at this great little spot that hung over the river.  Afterwards we walked to the bears only to find the bears had been moved!  Bears are kept in a special bear park in Bern because bears are the symbol of the city.  The city’s founder said he’d name the city after the first animal he met in the woods that would become the city (at least that’s my best summary of this Wikipedia page).  Due to construction the bears needed to be moved.  We were disappointed.  But we were able to stick out feet into the River Aare, which runs throughout the city and along the bear park.

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Sean was really impressed with the river’s speed so he wanted me to take a video.  There were locals jumping into the river near the bear park, and you can barely see their two little heads at the back of the river.  As I say in the video, I probably should have zoomed.  Hopefully you can find them.

Fast, right?  We walked along the river and we notice that locals jumping in is a pretty big thing.  There’s a park where people sunbathe to warm themselves up, then they walk up the river maybe half a mile and float back down it back to the park.

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The wheels in Sean’s head were turning.  What started out as “the next time we come here we’ll have to do this” quickly turned into let’s leave our passports and all other important items in our hotel, change into clothes we don’t care about, leave them at the side of the river, jump in, and float down.  While I found it a little unbelievable that this was actually happening and freaked out a few times on the way (I mean, we were passport-less in a foreign country…somehow that seemed like a bad idea), jumping in the Aare was great.  A real highlight of the trip.  It looks easy and peaceful to float down the river, but it is not.  You really need to be a least someone who can tread water for an extended period of time.  Luckily we are those people so neither of us got into any trouble.  It was so fun and our clothes were untouched at the side of the river after it was all over.  Thanks goodness we have Sean to encourage spontaneous adventure.

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The view from our trip back up the hill after our swim.

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After a shower we took a walk around Bern’s old town for sightseeing and dinner.

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We are a bit selfie challenged, we learned.  You get spoiled with the reverse function on the iPhone that it’s really hard to do them with a camera.  Just wait, you’ll see our struggles.

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Right here, this was the beginning of the end of blissful feelings about a lack of schedule and lack of a 25 lb. baby to carry around.  These children having the best time on this splash pad started our feelings of missing Wes.

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Next stop, Murren.

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