SO being the really lucky travelers that we have been this trip (AND having family that takes care of us) Mike and Devon found us a free ride from Leysin to Bern! It was a beautiful scenic..but windy drive! only a couple hours though before we arrived at our next couchsurfers, Anika and Patric.

View of Bern from Botanical Gardens!

When we arrived Patric was playing his bag pipes AWESOME! It was dinnertime so we went to this massive grocery store together which reminded me of a Kroger back home…they were even giving out food samples!! (Which Brad and I took full advantage of). Patric thought we could make pancakes which sounded great to us..but they were not what we expected! We cooked up some ground beef and rolled it up in these really thin pancakes (Not Crepes for all you Talladega Nights fans)! It was really delicious! My contrbution was the salad BUT me being the American didnt make salad dressing..assuming they had a bottle of it..or some balsamic vinegar Felt like a complete dummy! BLAH! Anyway other than that..great meal!

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The River!

The next day Anita and Patric took us around the city and were GREAT tourguides! They took us to the bear pit which actually is not in the pit itself anymore..but rather a big clearing for the bears to wander around with grass and water (much better!) There were 2 cubs..super cute!


“White beer”

Then we went to a local brewery and tried some really yummy Swiss beer…Brad and I got the white beers which happened to be dark white beers that day! But still yummy and were enjoyed over informative conversation! This place overlooked the river AND you could see the Gurtenfest festival on top of the hill…where John Butler and Groove Armada were playing…that was SOLD OUT that day!! :( BOO … all i could think about was trying to get into that show!

And so we continued on our way to see the rest of the city…walk around on the pedestrian streets and visit the big giant clock! All around the city there are these little men as i snapped a pic of them everytime we passed a new one! They are all decorated differently…but recognizable as the same type of statue! Eventually we parted ways so Brad and I could attempt to scalp some tickets for this festival!

Giant Clock!

When we got to the grounds, there were a FEW scalpers…but selling ONE ticket for 160 Francs!!! It is supposed to only be 80 Francs!! Ridiculous! Chances weren’t looking good and we almost left but decided to walk up the massive hill to the top just to heck it out! It was a HIKE and was going to suck if it was for nothing…although the view up top was at least nice to admire! Unfortunately everyone up there seemed to already have their wrist bans so we kind of sat around sulking and starting talking to his guy who really liked the U.S. and blah blah!

Gurten festival!

WELL it came up that we didn’t have tickets and he had one extra one!! He said he would sell it to us for 80…but Brad and i didn’t want to be stuck with one ticket in case the other couldn’t find one. Then he mentioned how he MIGHT know this guy that MIGHT have an extra one … but he couldn’t get in touch with him! AHHH we are soo damn close…teetering on the edge here! He decides to head in and tells us to not wait long cus he really doesn’t know…but 5 minutes later he comes back … “Wow i couldn’t believe it..i ran into this guy at the entrance so here are the tickets…you can have them for 160 swiss francs total” ! !!!!!!! YAY!! I quickly throw out hmm…i know we have 120 swiss francs… and he just goes thats fine! WOO HOO!! EVEN BETTER!!! John Butler here we come!!

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The atmosphere was on point inside the festival grounds. The main stage was directly to our right, and we had only 30 mins before JBT was rocking it out so we grabbed a seat on the ground about 20 feet back. We happened to plop down right next to this group of Aussies who we made friends with. That also happened to work for bus-a-bout…which we were about to hop on! They gave me a lot like OH….MY….GOD….SHIZA! Hahah i guess because they were partying and drinking and didn’t want us to say anything! (Found out later that all the tour guides go out and party like crazy…so don’t think it was a big deal!)

Before we knew it…John Butler was on stage and we were close as ever…as he looked handsome as ever (Never as handsome as Brad though) :) His new band was great…played all sorts of instruments and the drummer was FULL of energy! His new songs were awesome too! He of course ended with Funky Tonight and every danced their asses off and we were sad to see him go!



After the JBT show we had a while to explore the area. For a major festival hosting 20,000+ people the area wasn’t that big. There were three stages and four party tents playing house or drum and bass. The food and merchandise vendors were confined mostly to one area but alcohol and coffee stands were spattered throughout the grounds. In our exploration we saw heaps of people scarfing down tasting treats. There was a decent variety of food but under the advice of Kelly we went with the rosti (typical Swiss dish, potatoes; cheese; bacon; friend egg) and our expectations were exceeded. Thanks Kel!

After the meal, we dropped in for the Kooks. An indie rock band from the UK, who’s personality fit their name. They had incredible energy and kept us dancing throughout the entire show. We cruised the merchandise tent for a bit after that show but wanted to get real close for the Groove Armada.

Front row and Center!

The last time we saw them it was a killer set so we set up shop front row center. (One of the perks of music festivals, you pay the same for front row as you do for the last) Neither of us had been front row at a concert before and it was absolutely INSANE. We were getting bashed around the entire show. A few songs into the show I went into protection mode, grabbed Chelsea and put her in front of me and grabbed on to the rail to shield her from the semi-mosh pit that had developed. But after a while we realized it was easier to just go with it and bounce around with the crowd. I’ve always wondered what clothes felt like after going through the washing machine and after this wild experience, I think I know. An awesome time, but next time maybe we’ll just settle for a few rows back. After that show we made a long walk back to our hosts flat.

Easy Peasy!

I just have to quickly mention this great new invention! The “Easy Peasy”…the new way to pee standing up for women wooo hoo! It was great…they set up all those urinal-style porta potties that are usually only for men…blocked it off..and as you walk in they hand you some cardboard that you pee into! I walked in and saw all these bare white bums and it was really weird…but i had to try it! I was wearing shorts do figured it out without exposing my white bum :) But i experienced a little stage fright when i looked over and saw a girl right next to me holding her cardboard like a penis! hahaha weirdest thing ever…but GREAT! So much faster! AND they provide toilet paper too!


The next day we hit the river. It weaves through the city moving rapidly down from the Alps. We dropped our stuff off then hiked upstream to a good entry point. The water was frigid at best, and for a few seconds it was hard to catch our breaths. It was crazy how fast it moved…Brad and I tried to swim the upstream and would barely stay in place…i think we still moved back a bit! When we swam forward..we were the fastest swimmers in the world! But he is being humble about the temperature of the water…it was FREEEZING! We could not even put our heads under for more than 5 seconds or we got brain freeze! It was a blast to float down the river and by the time we warmed up we had to get out. I forgot to mention that tourists die every year in this river because they fail to get out before they hit the massive turbines. So we weren’t that disappointing to get out.

The girls!

Next stop…Lauterbrunnen!

This entry was posted in Bern, Central Europe, Cities, CouchSurfing, Switzerland and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Bern!

  1. nicole says:

    i love reading your blog chels! i am soo proud of you for taking this time and traveling the world. xo

  2. oma says:

    Great report as ususal, love the Eaasy peesy ,we all need something like this sometimes!!!What is your next stop love you guys Oma XXXXXxx

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