Initially, we were planning to spend the whole weekend in Luzern, however, by Saturday evening, we realized we'd explored all of the city that struck our fancy, so we decided a little stopover in Bern on the drive back home would be the perfect way to fill our Sunday. It was about an hour out of our way, but we still had plenty of time for a leisurely breakfast at our hotel before we hit the road to spend a few hours in the capital city of Switzerland.
I am so glad that we made that decision, because Bern was perfectly adorable. We again relied on Rick Steves to get us around since I hadn't done any prior research, and he gave us a wonderful overview of the medieval city. We stopped off at the Zytglogge (time clock--these Europeans just love a dancing, singing clock), the towering Gothic Cathedral, and the town hall which had a delightful fountain park in the square in front. The town was also sprinkled with these great, colorful fountains celebrating various aspects of their culture and history. We got a particular kick out of this ogre shoving a couple of babies into his mouth--parents in Bern would frighten their kids into behaving using stories of the ogre coming after them. I do love a good horror story, traumatizing the little ones!
We then headed over a couple of bridges to make our way to the Bärengraben (Bear Pit), a wonderful bear habitat along the Aare River. The bear is the symbol of the city, and it's had a bear pit since the 16th century, but it was upgraded from a sad, concrete pit in 2010 to the grassy terraces that now house four bears.
Jack and Ellie also had a great time exploring the city, and we've been amazed by what good little tourists they are. We'd never done much travelling with them, aside from moving from city to city, so we were a little nervous about our first outing with them, but they're amazing. They just truck right along with us, stay pretty close, don't bark at other dogs or people, and we can just tie them to a post or our table when we're eating and they're perfectly content to lay down and people watch. They're such awesome little buddies and always get lots of attention from passersby.
After about 3 hours of wandering, we made our way back to the train station where we'd parked so we could head back home, but not before making the all important stop at a Swiss chocolate shop! So, very sadly, that wraps up all of the big expeditions we've taken on over the past month. The next few weekends were all spent at that devil store, Ikea or with Colby on a trip. However, we've got a couple of plans up our sleeves for July and August to make the most of the last days of Angela's mobility, so hopefully soon I'll be taking you on another big adventure courtesy of our Nikon!