The Berner Münster Weihnachtsmarkt

On Sunday we walked into the city as far as the Münster (Cathedral) to the beautiful Christmas Craft Market. I had my first taste of Glühwein and admired all the beautiful handiwork and stalls.



From the market we wandered down Junkerngasse popping into shops which would never normally be open on Sunday but are allowed to do so just before Christmas. We took the Nydeggtreppe down to the river bank and walked along that route back home. Our other friend Barbara joined us for tea in the afternoon and we ended the evening with a raclette supper.


The Week Before Christmas In Switzerland

Yes, here I am again. Just arrived at Geneva Airport at 11.30 and whizzed through on the train to Bern to be met by Barbara at the Main Station. After a welcome cup of tea we walked by the River Aare until it was dark then made our way over to the Länggasse area where Simon, Paul and Barbara’s son, and his wife and baby just moved into their lovely new flat earlier in the day. We cooked dinner and shared a glass of champagne to welcome the baby and them into their new home.


Home again, again

Yesterday my visit to Switzerland came to an end and it was time to return home. I had such a busy social time I didn’t take many pictures – especially on the iPad which was the only way to upload each day. So yesterday’s photo is very boring.

Zurich Main Station

Zurich Main Station from the Upper Level of the Train

My journey began in the early afternoon. I left Tillierstrasse and took the bus to the station in Bern. You MUST buy a ticket before you board the train in Switzerland these days but there are plenty of ticket machines at the station. With my heavy case I chose a train direct from Bern to Zurich Airport. Paul had given me a voucher for use in the Dining Car so I was happy to travel in style and eat a Riz Casimir and Sweet Chai tea. It would have cost an English arm-and-a-leg but hey, with the voucher my contribution, plus unnecessary tip (a few euro cent coins), was minimal.

From the Airport Railway Station to Checkin and Bag Drop is just a few steps. Soon unencumbered by a suitcase I was able to move around the beautiful shopping and eating area airside. It was time for my dessert when I saw the ice cream in the Lindt shop – I chose delicious hazelnut flavour with an extra spoonful of the chopped nuts.

The flight to London is just one hour twenty minutes but on arrival at Terminal 5 I discovered my flight to Leeds was delayed by half an hour. Just time for a cup of tea at EAT. And I didn’t even raise an eyebrow at the price of teabag in hot water in a cardboard cup … after all I had just spent a few days in eye-wateringly expensive Switzerland.

I still haven’t been put off though – I’m sure I will go back!

Herr Mauchli

Barbara’s cat Herr Mauchli

Barry and the Rock Laboratory

This morning I visited the Bernese Natural History Museum to see the special exhibition about Barry : the legendary St Bernard dog. And there was lots more besides. I’ll write more in Miladysboudoir in a day or two when I get home.


Then we took the bus to town and after a few bits of shopping we headed off to St Ursanne in the Western Jura region of Switzerland very close to the French border. There we met up with Paul at his place of work – Mont Terri Rock Laboratory.



Barbara and Paul are doing up an old house in the village, right by the River Doubs. So we went to see how the renovations are coming along.
Then they took me to a very very old farmhouse restaurant for wine and cheese before we returned to Bern.

Free Day in Bern

Everyone’s at work today so I have had a free day. Took a walk to the city centre crossing the Kirchenfeld Bridge.


View from the Bridge

This evening I’m making curry. Most of the ingredients I brought from home but I bought the fresh meat today from Migros.

After delays … Luino!

Not strictly Switzerland, but I’ll be back there on Monday, this afternoon after a delayed journey I arrived in Italy.
All started fine with a train to Chur and bus waiting for the 2+ hour journey to Bellinzona.


Ready to leave Schiers


Bus 171 Chur to Bellinzona


We arrive at Sufers


It’s a popular area for hiking


I followed the journey on the map and via the Postbus audio guide


The village of San Bernardino after the long San Bernardino Tunnel


Not long after this we joined a long tailback of traffic – this was the view


We were given water and a Route Description

We finally arrived over an hour late at Bellinzona. But this was no problem as Barbara’s train was due at that time anyway. In the end her train was delayed but our Luino train was held up for us so we got there exactly on time. Barbara (yes, we are three Barbaras) and Monique met us and we have relaxed with this view of Lake Maggiore all evening.


I’ll be back in Switzerland on Monday!

Sunny Swimming Day


Today the weather was already looking much more hopeful when opened my wooden shutters and looked up the valley.


It still looked rather misty in the other direction.
Nonetheless we had decided to repeat the visit we made on my last Friday last year and take a dip at the Thermal Baths at nearby Bad Ragaz.


First we took a walk through the golf course and through a wooded park. On one of the lakes was a sculpture of yellow figures sitting in a circle. With his back to them, ignoring their chat or contemplation, sat a heron.


We then spent about 3 hours in the pools. I especially liked the outdoor pool with a natural water temperature of 36.5 -perfect. Now and then the water would bubble up to massage our backs.

Lunch at the Cafe Therme on the poolside was cheese and onion flan with a cup of tea. We could actually lie on the sun loungers and contemplate the fir tree covered slopes.


There was a major rail accident yesterday in Canton Graubunden caused by a land slip derailing some carriages and causing some injuries but fortunately no deaths. Today the Glacier Express has been diverted to our Praetigau Valley taking the beautiful line up and over Davos. From the Swiss Railways website :

Disruption: Thusis – Tiefencastel (RhB)
13.08.2014 23:24:02

13.08.14 until 15.08.14
00:00 23:59ChurSamedan RE/D , S/SN/R , ARZ/EXT

Between Thusis and Tiefencastel on the Chur – St.Moritz line, no train services are operating.

Trains RE Chur – Thusis – St. Moritz are cancelled.

Replacement bus services are operating Thusis – Tiefencastel – Filisur – Bergün/Bravuogn.
The stations Preda + Spinas are not served. Between Bergün/Bravuogn and Bever (- Samedan) there is no replacement service possible.

Passengers travelling from Zürich HB / St. Gallen / Chur
– to Thusis should take the S-Bahn S 2 xx:48 (+10′) to Thusis.
– to Tiefencastel, Filisur + Bergün/Bravuogn should take the S-Bahn S 2 to Thusis and change in Thusis onto the replacement bus service to Bergün/Bravuogn.
– to Samedan, St. Moritz + Poschiavo, Tirano or vice versa travel via Landquart – Klosters – Sagliains.

The trains GLACIER-EXPRESS Zermatt – St. Moritz are being rerouted via Vereina. The trains do not stop in Thusis, Tiefencastel, Filisur + Bergün/Bravuogn.
The trains BERNINA EXPRESS Chur – Tirano are being rerouted via Vereina. The trains do not stop in Tiefencastel, Filisur + Bergün/Bravuogn.
The trains BERNINA EXPRESS Davos Platz – Tirano are being rerouted via Vereina. The trains BEX Davos Platz – Tirano make an unscheduled stop in Klosters.

Please allow for a longer travelling time.

Reason: Landslide

Duration of interruption indefinite.

Wet, wet, wet

It started to rain in Schiers last evening and I’m not sure whether it stopped all day.
After breakfast the Canadians left to catch their trains and flights.
Agnes and I changed the beds in their rooms and I did the ironing indoors whilst Agnes prepared our evening meal.
Then we drove to Chur. As we left our valley the rain stopped and the sky cleared. Agnes needed to visit the bank and then we headed for Marron the cafe opposite the station.
For lunch I chose the “Churer Fleischtorte” (a slice of pie made from local meats) and Agnes chose the Club Sandwich.
Then we needed a walk and visited the old part of town calling in at interesting-looking shops.
When we returned to Schiers the rain began again. But maybe it had rained all day here. Certainly everywhere looked very wet.
We’re hoping for better weather tomorrow.

The new Switzerland BnB sign

Churer Fleischtorte Maroner Art

Schiers and rain from my window this morning

Arrival at Schiers

Excellent but long journey – taxi to Leeds, train to London, tube to Bank, Docklands Light Railway to London City, flight to Zurich and then three trains. I finally arrived here in Schiers. Seems strange to be back here again, especially as I don’t have to work this time.

There’s a lovely family of Canadians from Vancouver staying as Workawayers so we all had dinner together. Unfortunately, they are leaving tomorrow. They are travelling to Glasgow to visit family.