Switzerland Part III

Back to my lunch fiasco. Buffet, what a mistake. It consisted of a variety of micro-shrimp in weird sauce, miniature raw fish, some limp vegetable that I could not identify, and mozzarella balls marinated in more weird sauce. I felt like a anorexic supermodel (only not as pretty) sitting at the table sipping water and munching on a thin bread stick. Damn my fluency in only one language (exclamation; youd think id have found the punctuation on this keyboard by now). It should be noted that every other meal Ive had has been excellent.

On to Bern, which is the capital of Switzerland. Bern means `bear`and they do have a bear pit in the middle of the city to display their namesake. It was actually kind of depressing and the bears didnt show, which I was glad for. I suppose it is the bears way of thumbing their nose at the stupid humans who keep them in a pit. Fortunately (for us, not the bears), the pit is next to a brewery, where I had the chance to finally sample a Swiss beer. Very good.

Bern is like the other cities in that it is very old; a city made to walk around in. We passed by the Swiss presidents house, which is not even guarded. In fact, the president has to pay rent on the house that is provided him. What a interesting concept. We also went by the American embassy. You cant drive within two blocks of it. Many gates, machine guns and barbed wire. Actually, none of the Swiss federal buildings have that kind of protection. Anyone is free to walk around them without any problems.

The highlight of Bern is their cathedral. Built over a two hundred year period, starting in the 1500s, its a little over 300 feet high. We climbed 344 steps up a narrow, spiral stone staircase to the top of the steeple. Amazing view. Inside the cathedral are more stained glass, worn wooden pews, soaring buttresses, and some impressive sculpture. Whether zou are religious or not, you can feel the weight of history. Switzerland is prettz secular now, but you can tell they are rightfully proud of their churches.

Tomorrow (actually, yesterday, since I am falling behind), we go to Luzern for sightseeing and a little shopping. Plus, I have another embarassing admission to make. Until then......

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