Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Bernina Day!

The alarm did not go off today, but the church bells rang!  I assumed the bells were ringing at 7, but it was only 6 a.m.  The Swiss are known for being exact about time.  You can't possibly oversleep here.

On the way to the train station, we encountered a mom with 3 preschoolers all singing "Brother John" in German!  How very cute ...

Apple trees along the train route
Our train trip was on a local this time, so we made many stops along the way.  The countryside was exceptionally pretty with farms, fields, distant rolling hills, cows, a few horses, and lovely homes in each township.  And apple trees galore!  Full size trees and also rows and rows of younger trees planted similarly to vineyards.

Except for the stations that are large enough to have connecting trains, each stop is a maximum of two minutes.  Hesitate and you go to the next station.  Fortunately for us, a very nice woman must have realized we were getting off at Steckborn and pushed the button for the train to stop.  Apparently, Steckborn is not a regular stop!  Can you imagine us whipping through the Steckborn station and wondering why the train didn't stop????

A wonderful home in Steckborn.
We wandered through the quaint village of Steckborn enjoying the sunny day and the lovely homes.  Steckborn is on Lake Constance (the Bodensee), and you can see the German city of Konstanz quite clearly across the lake.  The day was so warm and sunny that we decided to buy a sandwich at Coop (a supermarket) and sit by the lake to enjoy the views.  Suddenly, we noticed a blimp.  It took me a second or two to realize what was strange about the blimp - no logo!  A totally white, unmarked blimp.  Hmmmm .... a Swiss mystery.

Me - in front the of Bernina factory!
We walked up the street towards the Bernina address, rounded a curve in the road, and there was the large red Bernina sign.  We spent the next several hours in Bernina heaven (for me), but I will not bore you with a lengthy report.  I'll do a separate post just on the tour.  I will say, however, that I now understand why the sewing machines and the accessories are so expensive; almost everything is done by hand.  I was amazed.

Back via train to St. Gallen, pick up a bottle of wine, pack for our trip to Bern tomorrow, then a hamburger & French fries at the American Bar & Grill around the corner from the hotel.

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