Some of you might know that I was in Switzerland the other weekend. It was a whirlwind trip from start to end. This trip was initiated, discussed, and tickets were bought within 14 hours. I didn't realize that the trip was two weeks from the day that I bought the tickets till a couple hours after booking the plane tickets. The short waiting time turned out to be a great thing as I was more excited than a puppy running around its own tail for the trip. 

I was up at an ungodly hour to catch the 7:30 plane to Basel - I arrived too late to the airport to grab coffee so it was pure mentality for me to stay up the whole time, navigate my way to Continental Europe, and access the Swiss railway system to get to Bern. I must say I did pretty well, as the only bloop was I accidentally sat in the first class carriage on the train. Oops. 
I spent the afternoon exploring Bern as my Swiss friend was stuck in a meeting till late. I must say, Bern has officially topped the list of the most beautiful city I've ever visited. Sorry, Edinburgh. I mean, just look at that river! I cannot comprehend how a river in the middle of a capital can be so clear and clean! 

I was most excited to visit Bärengraben - aka the bear pit. Bears are the city animal so BERN HAS A PLACE WHERE THEY KEEP BEARS. Can you tell I'm excited? My friend was all "I know this is going to be your favourite place" when he gave me the list of places that I must see. I just never made the link that bears hibernate in the winter - I mean, these are bears that are fed and bred - WHY ARE YOU HIBERNATING. But yeah, so I didn't see the bears. 

But a walk along the river and a stroll through the city sort of compensated for that. 
The main attraction of this whirlwind trip was to go up to my friend's place up in the Alps - well, technically, his parents' place. I toyed with the idea of learning how to snowboard, but knowing that it was near impossible for me to learn in a day, I opted for a long hike with one of his friends. There was a lot of slipping and sliding and falling knee deep in the snow, but it was ridiculously fun. Plus, the scene was amazing - you literally didn't know where it started and where things ended. 

There was a lot of cheese fondue, beer, and of course, chocolate involved. I think I must've eaten my body weight in chocolate - definitely no regrets. When in Switzerland, right? 
We ended up leaving the alps earlier than initially planned on Sunday as the fog was too heavy for us to do anything up there. There were several trains involved before we got to my friend's home in Rheinfelden. 
I have a weak spot for animals, and after being let down by the bears in Bern, and missing out on the horses grazing in the field outside the beer factory, my friend promised a visit to his godmother's where there were donkeys. We spent the rest of the evening visiting the city and popped over to Germany for a couple minutes before heading back to my friend's place where his parents cooked the most amazing dinner ever. 
Some tea and a lot of chocolate after, we headed to bed early as we had planned to get up at 2:30 to attend the Morgestraich at the Carnival of Basel (Basler Fasnacht). But not before I had serious snuggle time with his cats - I was up in the clouds when I heard that the cat that kept shoving her head into my hand when I stopped petting her usually hated strangers. I mean, not only did she have a major purring session, she kept looking back at me when she was going to leave the room to see if I would follow her out. Only to come back and headbutt me when she realized that I was refusing to move from my comfy spot. If that isn't the best approval ever, then I don't know what is. 

My friend handed me a hot cup of tea after unceremoniously dragging me out of bed when I refused to get up straight away. Uh, hello, it's 2:30??? I'm sleep deprived? I'm not a morning person, so there was a lot of 'mothering' by my friend as he told me to put on layers, remember my gloves, and Daphne, where is your hoodie. Put it on right now. I genuinely don't know how he was so alert despite it being in the middle of the night. 
But the inhumane morning call was worth seeing the whole street turn off its lights at 4 am as the party parade begun. The lanterns were amazing, the masks that the paraders wore were slightly terrifying, the music was chirpy, and the atmosphere was simply wonderful. 
I was more than sad to leave the small country. This trip to Switzerland was definitely one of the most impromptu trips I've ever had in my life and for that, it will always hold a special place in my heart. Also, what other crazy city has a festival that starts before the sun is even remotely up? 
But at least I have a chocolate reserve that's able to feed a small country to sustain me till the next time I make a trip back! 
With Love, 
Daphne x