Monday, 13 December 2010

Swiss Diaries - II

Zürich - 30 November 12.00

My first glimpse of Switzerland. Beautiful, but still in the city. Waiting for train to Bern right now. Tried to call, but no answer/didn't work. Need to work on my German. It's all very European here, and the people are wonderful. But till Bern I won't have a good idea of what to expect the rest of the time.

Zürich: activated train pass; got times table; got to HB (main station), got on platform to Bern. Said goodbye to Nelly, and started to get cold. Tonight will be chilly at best. It will determine rest of trip, I think. Hopefully I can get to a grocery store in Bern. I want to eat, but don't want to pay. Have 2 Fr50 notes, which I'd like to make change of soon too. My hands are cold. More in Bern.

Bern. Berne. It's dark, so this will be messy. The Old Town is quite lovely. I enjoy the night and day aspect, each way. It does get dark very early though. Too early for me. If I remember I'll try to write when it is light out. So far I've wandered, got bread and cheese and water at Coop, and ate some of it near the Bear Pits. I would love a warm bed but for now I must do without. Tomorrow I must find Parliament, the Hotel, and do some reading and more walking. We'll see how it goes. One day gone already.

Still Night, Bern, Starbucks, with cheapest item on menu

My nerve for sleeping outside comes and goes. Directly with my body temperature, I think. It is warm here; I have done much walking and am sore. Perhaps I will sleep at hotel later in the week.

Saw Bellevue Palace, Parliament Building, lots of lighted streets. There's music and voices here in Starbucks where the cheapest drink is tea at Fr4,40 and the cheapest overall is walnut bread for Fr2,20.

Perhaps I will head back toward the church to sleep. They cannot turn me away surely. If only I can find it, or another one. It's the sleeping that worries me. The wondering what will happen, how long the night will be, how cold. And the uncertainty, with no schedule, no one to travel with. I am frightened inside. It will pass, tonight or tomorrow; for now, it grows.

There are many Christmas lights in Bern. It is beautiful. But they do not comfort me. I tried to call home again, but could not. I am alone. Completely alone.

J. William English

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