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Thursday, June 30, 2011

No map, no travel book, no problem (most of the time)

This trip has been about relaxing and giving up control (well for me at least... Holly is better at this than myself). I have not so much as cracked open my Rick Steve's travel guide. We tried using a map, but ended up traveling in circles and frustrated. We threw it away and followed our gut. Most of the time we were wrong. Holly has a video of us from the vespa. She asks me which way to go. I say one direction, she says the other. Turns our we were both wrong. So we circle back to the starting point and she says "Should we try that way again" (yes... the location we just came from... no.. we dont learn from our mistakes). But we laughed until our stomach hurt and eventually found what we were looking for and even more than we had imagined that we would see.

Yesterday we awoke early and packed up the tent. We headed to the piers to catch the boat to Thun, Switzerland and planned to take the train to Bern, Switzerland.

So... Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale,
A tale of a fateful trip
That started from this tropic port
Aboard this tiny ship.

Okay... so it wasn't a tropic port... it was mountainous... and the boat didn't capsize.... but it was a blustery, stormy journey. We sat outside, under the overhang and enjoyed lunch as we traveled. Well... I enjoyed lunch. In the words of Holly... ordering food here is like throwing a dart...sometimes you score... sometimes you miss. I scored big. Hers ended up being a dried up sandwich in plastic wrap. We arrived in Thun, then caught the first train to Bern. We had planned to end the trip in a plush hotel... with a pool... hot showers... tv. When we got in the taxi, the guy freaked. He said our hotel was 20 km away.... which to him was worlds away. $100 francs later and after a lot of complaining from our driver... we arrived in our village. And yes.... it was a village. Complete with goats, cows, and sheep. No town... no tv... a leaky shower.. no pool. But it was beautiful.. and the hosts were very friendly. We walked around the local farms. We ate fresh cherries off a cherry tree, strolled the winding stone roads.

Then we went back to the hotel to eat at the restaurant there. It was such a small village.. Im convinced they spoke their own dialect. It was a mix between French and German, but not really either. The waitress was a sweetheart, but we were lost in translation. Our ice cream came out before dinner... we told her we would eat in the room because we thought she had said the restaurant was closing at 5:30pm. In the end we ate what she brought us on the sun deck and it was delicious. We used a lot of gestures and each spoke to one another in our native languages. We nodded , but had no clue what we were agreeing to and laughed and all had a great time. When the storms came through we took wine to our room and played gin rummy on the balcony and watched the rain. We went to bed with the doors open, feeling the fresh breeze, listening to the rain and the cow bells in the field across the way. Its not the 5 star hotels... the technology.. the pool... the comfort that makes a trip worthwhile all the time... sometimes its simplicity and the journey that you took to get there. In the end "life is not a destination... its a journey".

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