In which Charlotte and I are invited to Thanksgiving Dinner

On Saturday, we took an early train to Bern for a cheese festival. We ate some cheese (read: a lot of cheese); we also ate some local caramels (read: a lot of caramels); we also, also ate some macarons (read: some, not a lot, of macarons). I hope I used the semicolon correctly. Aside from ingestion and digestion, we went to Bärengraben to see the bears. (Bärengraben is a park–more like a miniature zoo–next to the river Aar that houses bears. It is casually nestled into the middle of the city!) Unfortunately, the bears were nowhere to be found. Overall, it was a run-of-the-mill tourist visit to another European city. In my books, that means,

int visitEuropeanCity (int iceCream, int cobblestonedStreets, int vibrantOutdoorMrkts, int statelyChurches, int cozyCafes) {
int result;
result = 3*IceCream + cobblestonedStreets + vibrantOutdoorMrkts +     statelyChurches + cozyCafes;
return result;

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We’ve been talking about going canyoning for the past month and we finally went this past weekend, through Outdoor Interlaken. It absolutely exceeded expectations.

Initially getting into the water felt like slipping on a robe of freezing water. The sensation of cold persisted through the entire experience and didn’t subside until the gloriously hot, post-canyoning shower. But it was easy to forget the cold as we slid down and jumped off rocks into deep pools of crisp water. We also climbed rocks and swam a bit. The scenery was phenomenal–the sunlit trees gave an ethereal glow, offsetting the shade within the canyon. When you’re canyoning, you realize that all of mother nature is just a giant playground. Funfortunately, we weren’t able to bring cameras thus I don’t have any pictures to share. That just means YOU need to go canyoning.

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Cows, chocolate, et colocataires

I’m back from my hiatus! Two weekends ago, Charlotte and Roger joined Elvira (flatmate aka colocataire) and I on a trip to the region of Gruyère. Our first stop: Charmey, for the Désalpe. Each year, Swiss cows enjoy a summer of grazing in the Swiss Alps. In September/early October, the towns celebrate the return of their cows with a festival! And festive it was! There were plenty of vendors selling cow bells, wooden cow figurines, local honey, fondue, and all sorts of other goodies. Elvira pointed out an almond-flavored pastry she likes to eat, so we bought one to split!

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