Stewart Goes Walkies is very pleased to have the latest installment of Allen Lai’s amazing adventures in Europe.
It was supposed to be another rainy day. But the weather held and we were able to enjoy Bern on a sunny morning. This capital of Switzerland has retained its historic features successfully.
Bern means, bear in English. According to the local legend, based on folk etymology, Berchtold V, Duke of Zähringen, the founder of the city of Bern, vowed to name the city after the first animal he met on the hunt, and this turned out to be a bear. The city does have a tiny zoo that houses three bears.
Other than the many fountains, sandstone facades, narrow streets, and historic towers in this medieval city, the really unique feature is the six kilometres of arcades. The locals refer to them as ‘Lauben’ and boast of the longest weather-sheltered shopping promenades in Europe.
I couldn’t help but be amazed at the Zytglogge (Clock Tower), a 15th-century astronomical clock, Once a city gate, it served the city as a guard tower, prison, clock tower, centre of urban life, and civic memorial. This 800 year old clock, at the hour, still performs for spectators. The mechanical figures include a parade of bears, a jester, a golden rooster, and Chronos, the god of time.
If you are interested, more information on the Kindlifresser may be found here.
We had lunch at Mille Sens, a Michelin-starred restaurant that ranked number four in “The best gourmet restaurants – Switzerland”. The lunch took 2 hours. And chef Domingo refines his careful selection of classic Filipino dishes with Swiss products and the culinary delight is perfect. The Philippines meet Switzerland – right in front of my eyes, my nose, my mouth.. and it opens up all my taste buds. What an experience.
After the lunch of a lifetime, we crossed the border and entered France. The first city we visited was Eguisheim. It’s vines everywhere. Exploited since Roman times, it became a flourishing activity in the Middle Ages as evidenced by the beautiful merchants’ residences on the main street. Over the centuries, the wines of Eguisheim have earned their letters of nobility and made the reputation of the village. With around thirty active winegrowers, Eguisheim is currently the village with the most winegrowers among the Most Beautiful Villages in France!
We strolled through the narrow medieval village with its cobbled streets and hidden alleys, which is listed as one of the most beautiful villages in France. Charming little typical Alsatian old houses with pointed roofs, bright colors, and half-timbered facades. Each house is of modest size and has unique architecture. Admiring the colorful palette of each house, and the profusion of flowers, made me feel like I traveled back in time.
That night we checked into Hilton Honors, Strasbourg.
Allen’s photography and the research he does into the areas he visits make for fantastic reading. We are very grateful to receive his travelogues and look forward to his future travels.
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