I’ve decided to do this all as one post, because we stayed with family and didn’t do much at all.
We stayed in Fribourg (Canton of Fribourg), which is in the French speaking part of Switzerland; about 30km from Bern and 100km from Geneva.
On our first day, we explored the town of Fribourg, where my partner’s family has lived for a very long time. It’s a nice town; quiet, away from the tourist hordes and with plenty of beautiful scenery. It reminded me a lot of New Zealand; farms, trees, greenery, except flatter land and more mountains.
The main attractions seem to be bridges, rivers, sheer cliffs right in the centre of town, and of course mountains in the distance. Plenty of amazing spots to take pictures.
We had goat cheese fondue for dinner, which was delicious.
The second day we visited Marly, which is either a suburb of Fribourg, or its own town, I’m not sure which. My partner, his parents and brother lived there for awhile about 20 years ago, so we went to see how much it had changed. Some things had changed completely, some not at all.
We visited the castle at Gruyeres on our third day. It’s up on a hill, overlooking the town of Gruyeres, where they make gruyere cheese! Imagine living in a town with a castle surrounded by mountains as your backdrop!
The castle is 800 years old and in remarkable condition. You can explore the rooms, still decorated as they were a few hundred years ago, and even walk along the ramparts, and even see spectacular views of the surrounding mountains from every angle. It costs 10 CHF to go in.
The small town offers hotels, restaurants, a Tibetan museum and H. R. Giger (creator of Alien) museum. We had a look in the Giger museum, it’s full of art, concept art and props from Alien and Species. It costs 12.50 CHF, so a bit more expensive than others.
We got up super early to get a train to Geneva on our last day, catching the one leaving Fribourg at 6am. You can store your bags at the Geneva train station for 10 CHF; we fit both suitcases into one locker. You can pay with coins or a credit card, as far as I could tell the machine didn’t accept notes.
We had a couple hours before our next train left, so we went down to the lake to see the Jet d’eau, but that doesn’t start until 10am, so we just walked around and bought coffee until 9.30.
I wanted to visit the archaeological site at St Pierre’s Cathedral, but that didn’t open until 10, and the cathedral itself at 9.30. For 5 CHF you can climb up to the north and south towers to geta panoramic view of Geneva and the lake. I had to give up on my visit of the archaeological site, because we had to be back at the train station by 11 and didn’t want to rush. Oh well, maybe next time.
We bought Swiss chocolate from a chocolatier, a small package with a few different kinds, more chocolate from the supermarket, and schnapps before leaving.
Next stop: Bonn, Germany for one night.