Sunday, September 17, 2017

Bern, Interlaken, Spiez and Fribourg

This is my second cross-country Europe tour after the second one visited Skocjan Cave in Slovenia. Although I have already visited Europe several times to ICTP Trieste, but the previous tour only sightseeing in local Trieste: the piazza, canal grande, the Grotta Gigante cave and the similar. Once I have chance for more long time, I planned this Europe tour to Switzerland, a rich country in central Europe.


The reason for choosing Switzerland is that I want to visit my friends there, combined to have an excursion to some interesting places. I depart from Trieste by train via this route: Triste - Venice - Verona - Milan, it cost Eur 31. The train available for every hour and I departed at 17.15. It takes six hours from Trieste to the Milan plus some delay caused by the rain. The next is to get bus to Chiasso from the Milan, but it is not so easy. The problem is that I have arrived at Milan on 0 O'clock midnight, the only bus will go on 00.45 and the bus stop still unclear at the time. Once failed, I will have long delay because the next train to Chiasso is only available in the morning, 7 a.m. After several times searching (it took almost 30 minutes to the bus stop), we find it and the bus is coming on 00.41, leaving Milano Centrale about 00.43, 2 minutes earlier. The following is location and map of Bus stop 236A to Chiasso from Milan.

Location of Bus stop, Milan - Chiasso, top: street view, bottom: location on the google map

Chiasso - Zurich - Bern

Riding the bus about two hours, we arrived in Chiasso, a small city of Switzerland border to Italy. We have two waits until 5 am when the first train SBB CFF FFS to Zurich leave it. Some people take sleep (I met some tracker there), I wait to fajr to pray. Once finished, I prepared to enter the train which is already on the platform 7. The train is very good compared to the Italian train, but the price is also expensive. It is Eur 88 from Chiasso to Zurich.

The best thing of riding the train is it views. And I got the perfect scenery at this journey. Some lakes in right and left side the train and the best one I pictured is lake Zug. Its is about three hours from the Chiasso to Zurich. I arrived at Zurich HB station at 7.58 and actually there is train to Bern at 8.02 but I missed it due to the wrong platform shown on SBB android apps. I leave the Zurich to Bern at 8.32 by train to Geneva airport, and about 1 hours it arrived it the Bern which is the first station. I used the some ticket because it also covers the journery.

Bern City

Bern is small city although it is the capital of Switzerland. The best thing from this city is the easiness to access all its area on foot. From the Bern station, I met friend at the meeting point which is on the west side, we walk through the city for sightseeing. The Bern zentrum is the center of the city. There is Einstein house there. We also drink a coffee close to the house. Some cafes usually provide the toiler for the customer. However, most toilets are private, you should ask the shop staff to provide the key to enter the toilet.

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Aare river is the landscape of the Bern. It is very clear hence, we can see the rudiment of the river in the certain area. Beside the river is a house of bears, they are four to five when I was there. Be careful, the bears are carnivora, they eat meat including the human. Don't fall down into bear's area. The rest, Bern is beautiful, wonderful.

Once there, we have coffee time at Kramgasse, Bern Zentrum. This was, according to me, is one of the best place for 'cangkrukan', a Suroboyo language which means to sit together while discuss and enjoying the coffee. You should try it, we have coffee at Bistro Blue Cat GmbH, as long as I remember.  You could also tried the coffee at Einsteinhauss as I explained previously.

Interlaken (plus SpieZ)

The next visit is Interlaken,  statistic town and municipality in the Interlaken-Oberhasli administrative district in the Swiss canton of Bern. It is an important and well-known as tourism resort and take about an hour from Bern. You can choose both Interlaken west and Interlaken east for the arrival, but I suggest you to use Interlaken east for arrival and interlaken was for back to Bern. This mountainous area with rivers are so beautiful then Bond was filmed there. Three mountains peaks of Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau were located in Interlaken that makes this mountainous is such a great nature. For adventure, there is cable car that can brings you to the top, or you can play with a parachute to brave your adrenaline. Interlaken is so beautiful.

There was also halal food available there. Even, some tourism information and promotion are written in Arabic an Chinese to attract the people. Some souvenirs also available such as t-shirt, swiss army, flag, key holder, magnetic sticker and many more. About three hours we spent time there, and continued to Thun or Spiez.

Actually, Thun was the first plan, not Interlaken. Because a friend recommends us to Interlaken rather than Thun, we change it. But, on the way to back to Bern we stop at Spiez to visit the lake. Spiez is beautiful, look at the picture below. You could stop at Spiez if the train staff didn't check your ticket, otherwise you must buy separate ticket: Interlaken - Spiez, and Spiez - Bern.

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Fribourg is a small city, home of Fribourg university which the Adolphe Merkle Institute be part of it. This small city has good local coffee, and we drink coffee there. The city also offers old building that can be explored as other Europe city. I ended this Europe travel on the second day. Fribourg was a small and beautiful city, a perfect place for work. I back to Trieste via Bern and Milan. If you want to save the travel fund, you could use local train separately to Milan and Trieste.

Back To Trieste

The train back to Trieste from Bern (from Fribourg) is rather expensive compared to Bern if we use the direct train, only transfer in Milan. It cost about EUR 180. If you want the cheaper one, take a separate train from Bern to Chiasso, to Milan, to Verona and finally to Trieste. It will cost about EUR 100.
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