Today we hopped on the train early and spent the day exploring Berne. Berne was apparently named for the first animal killed by the city's founder, which was a bear. As a result the city maintains a large bear pit at the edge of the river called Barenpark, which we went to visit in the afternoon.
We spent the morning contemplating playing a game of chess with the giagantic chess board, locating fountains depicting various Swiss fary tales and at 12noon we watched Zytglogge, the 800 year old large medieval clock tower, as its mechanical figurine banged the clock tower bell. For lunch we shared a fabulous cheese fondue at the Harmonie restaurant, in the heart of old town. After lunch we explored Munster, the large Evangelical Church, climbing 110m to the top of the towers (650 stairs up and down), giving us a beautiful view of the city and the gorgeous blue-green river that separates the old town from the new town. After our quick trip to Barenpark and a lovely cup of coffee on a terrace, we finally located Kindlifresserbrunnen, the famous "Ogre Fountain" or "Child Eater Fountain", which shows a large Ogre devoring a sack of children (not reallly my cup of tea). Having crossed off all of our things to do list for Berne we headed back to Zurich for a quiet dinner in with Celia and Jay, and of course a bottle of red wine.
Some other interesting items we learned about Switzerland today are (1) the public washrooms are called McClean and cost 2 Francs to use, (2) it is impossible to use the public transit system without change (the largest coin is 5 Francs), which means your purse gets really heavy from carrying around all of the change.
Unfortunately we didn't have any noteworthy quotes from the day (we were still a little jet-lagged), but we should have more for you tomorrrow. Next stop Lucerne...