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Bern baby, Bern

Posted by Squiffy on October 3rd, 2007

Bern is the capital of Switzerland. It isn’t exactly a disco inferno but it does have a relaxed nightlife as Dave and I discovered. We arrived at our campsite in Bern late in the afternoon and, after a quick tea on our gas stove, walked along the river into the city centre. By then night was falling and the cobbled streets seemed pretty deserted. As we strolled along in the dark and the rain we began to notice jazz music and opera singing coming strangely from under our feet, whilst the prevailing ‘medieval’ smell reminded us both of the Yorvik Viking centre. This seemed like a cultural city with an interesting history. As we looked more closely, we realised the singing was coming from cellars below the street, many of which had been turned into trendy bars/music studios/unique shops/internet cafes. In need of a drink to keep us warm on a chilly evening we ventured into one of these underground bars, lit by candles and decorated with middle eastern furniture. It had a very cosy, intimate atmosphere and the barman was serving cocktails to the sound of smooth tunes on the radio. After a couple of beers, baileys and hot chocolates we ventured back out into the rain to continue exploring the pretty streets, and we saw many inviting and unusual cafes, bars and restaurants.

The next day we went back into Bern to see the city by daylight. For a capital city it isn’t very big but it has a really good feel to it which is hard to put into words. For a start, the architecture is interesting. The streets are lined on either side by archways, all of which contain independent shops or great looking eating places. Secondly, it just feels relaxed and trendy. The pictures don’t really capture it as many of the hip places are underground, but you’ll get the idea. Definitely one to visit again in the future.

It’s not all roses here though. It has rained pretty much solidly for the last 2 days and we are wet and cold. Last night we couldn’t find our tram home and stumbled around in the rain for ages, just wanting to be dry and in bed. However, Yoko develops a damp, cold atmosphere in the rain making it impossible for us to get warm. More worryingly, she is also now refusing to go anywhere. It seems her spark plugs/high tension leads don’t like the wet and so she is juddering along and stalling at junctions, which makes for fun driving. We went to a VW garage today to get new parts and they wanted £100 for what we know is £19 in the UK. As such, we are having them shipped over by express mail at a total cost of £35. (daveb: Although how on earth the postman is going to find us is anyone’s guess.) And we thought Britain was a rip-off!


Comment from Mark
Time: October 3, 2007, 5:29 pm

wd40 – fixes *everything* on old vehicles.

Comment from daveb
Time: October 4, 2007, 4:34 pm

Thanks for your comment… it didn’t work. :-( No fear though, we’ve fixed it now — coming to a post near you soon!

Comment from Andy
Time: October 4, 2007, 12:39 pm

If it’s supposed to move and doesn’t use WD40
If it’s not supposed to move and does use Duct Tape.

The complete tool Kit !

Comment from daveb
Time: October 4, 2007, 4:31 pm

Brilliant advice — on Phil’s advice, we hosed the entire engine bay with WD40, alas, to no avail on this occasion. No worries though, we’ve had it fixed now (details in a blog post coming soon!)

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