Baby takes Switzerland: Zürich

We took advantage of our inability to get a direct flight to Bern by stopping for a few hours in Zürich. Its just the right size for an afternoon visit – not so big that we felt overwhelmed with choices, but not so small that we had nothing to do. We were still a little dazed by our early wake-up call (and the 7CHF cups of coffee), so spent some time just sitting by the river while we planned our day.

The view wasn’t so bad.


I only needed to see two things: the Chagall windows in the Fraumünster and Rodin’s “Gates of Hell” at the Kunsthaus.  You can see the Fraumünster and its famous windows  in the above photo (its in the middle), but unfortunately photos were not allowed inside.  I’ve been so spoiled by my Jahreskarte (a pass for all Berlin’s state museums) that I didn’t want to pay the 14CHF it takes to go into the museum. Luckily, this Rodin piece was right outside.

And, of course, there was also a visit to the original Sprüngli for the first of many, many confiserie consumed on our five day trip. Jon made the first selection, something called a Kirschtraum, a “cherry dream.”

We just called it “yum.”  There is also a branch of Sprüngli in Bern, which I happily visited two more times before going home.

And what was our little Mäuschen during while we wandered Zürich? She happily accepted our bribe  offer of a flower in exchange for getting to push her around in her stroller.

Well, sort of happily.

You can find my other posts about Switzerland here, here, and here.


Baby takes Switzerland: Neuchâtel

Jon’s conference was actually in neighboring Neuchâtel. We tagged along on the last day to see what we could find.



The answer? Some very pretty buildings and not much else.

Baby takes Switzerland: Bern

With only two weeks in Europe to go we hopped on a plane and went off to Switzerland.

Die Schweiz! La Suisse! La Svizzera!

The morning of the trip, we had to wake up at 4:30. I was dreading waking up S, dreading what I was sure would be shrieking and tossing and turning and general toddler unhappiness. Dreading that it would transfer to the plane and that I’d have to face the other passengers. So I walk into her room, sit on the edge of her bed and whisper, “it’s me. Let’s get up” and as I reach out to pat her hair she suddenly sat up, straight as a board and said,

“We go! On a big trip! It DARK outside! S go outside!”

And that was that.

It wasn’t all fun. Jon was presenting at a conference, and S and I just went along for the ride. The conference was in Neuchâtel, but Neuchâtel is très petit, so unlike the other brainiacs we stayed in the nearby Hauptstadt, Bern.

Bern was the perfect choice. It’s large enough to give one plenty to do, but small enough to do it all on foot. Our favorite part was the Bärenpark – I was prepared to be very upset by the pits, but a few years ago the city created a new and much larger habitat on the river.

This bear was taking a dip in one of the original pits while the riverside habitat was getting cleaned up.

and here’s S playing in one of the original pits.

Some highlights from Bern:

Café Fédéral, Bärenplatz 31 – This french restaurant couldn’t have been better. The food was everything you’d expect from a nice place AND they were kinderfreundlich. The restraint even happily promotes the bringing of children right on their website. What!? Are we still in Europe?

Confiserie Tschirren, Kramgasse 73 – Our favorite place to stop for chocolate.

Kleine Schanze – A little park near the train station. S and I would pick up a picnic lunch at Globus or Loeb and then go here to argue about whether or not those mountains were “The Sound of Music” mountains. There is no winning with a two year old.

Grüzi aus der Schweiz!

Please excuse the radio blog silence. Like everyone else, wir machen Urlaub. Unlike everyone else we were crazy enough to do it a week before moving back to the States.

The little one is being absolutely ausgezeichnet, but I’m afraid that she confused next week’s move with this week’s trip and now “S wiv in Swizzzerland, eat schoko, pway on da mountain sing da Sound of Music?” is a pretty regular refrain.

Forget trying to tell her “The Sound of Music” was set in Austria. She can see the mountains and she knows what’s what. Also, she’s two.

Pictures of very green Bern and very french Neuchâtel as soon as I’m reunited with the appropriate cords. And, of course, a post about language ’cause Schwyzerdeutsch is….shudder.

bis später!