Switzerland Family Trip (Part IV: Old City, Albert Einstein Museum + Christmas Markets in Bern)

Going from Lucerne to Bern was suppose to be an easy 1 hour train ride, but it turned out to be not-so-easy for us at all. The morning that we left Lucerne was rainy and windy, and we had to first take a bus from our Airbnb to the train station in old town Lucerne.

Halfway into the bus ride, I realized I left my laptop charger at the Airbnb! So, we had to get off the bus with our luggages and go across the street to wait for another bus to get back to our Airbnb. I must thank my daughter for showing so much grace when I told her we needed to go back….I realized with a lot of guilt that if the tables were turned and she was the one that left something behind, I would’ve been extremely frustrated and upset to have to go back. I really am learning so much through my daughter each and every day!

After getting my charger back, we went on our way once again, and took the one hour train ride to Bern. In Bern, we also rented a small bedroom in the outskirts of town, which required another short train ride from Old City Bern. By the time we got off that train, it was raining pretty hard. I took out the “lightest umbrella in the world” that I bought in Tokyo last year, but it was so light it immediately flipped over from the wind. 😅

We frantically tried to run with our luggages, in the pouring rain, but had a difficult time finding our building. I finally thought we located it and bursted through the front door of the building with Bridgette right at my footsteps, only to be chased back out by an old man yelling at us in German. I realized then that we had unknowingly intruded a total stranger’s home!

When we finally located our building a few minutes later, I was soaked, exhausted, and defeated. Bridgette, my angelic girl, stepped up to check us in and took the reins from me so I could decompress. I was so grateful for her sensitivity to my feelings and the many ways that she ends up taking care of me on our travels.

The bedroom we rented in Bern included our own private bathroom, which felt very luxurious. We even had a small balcony where we could sit outside together! We really have learned to appreciate so many things that we once took for granted when we started this traveling life.

After unpacking and resting for the afternoon, we decided that we would try to find a place within walking distance for dinner, since we were too exhausted to take the train back to Old City. We found a Chinese restaurant nearby, and while it seemed strange to have Chinese food in Switzerland, it was also raining pretty hard so we didn’t want to explore any further. Lucky for me, the Chinese restaurant had HOTPOT on the menu, which is my very favorite comfort food!


We both slept so well that night, cozied up under warm blankets while it continued to rain through the night. The next morning, we woke up to clear skies (yay!) and had renewed energy to explore in Old City. Ofcourse, our first stop was the Christmas Market there for some raclette and mulled wine + hot chocolate!

Bern is the capital of Switzerland, and Old City of Bern is the medieval city center. Because of its well preserved townscape which dates back to the 12th-15th century, Old City of Bern was listed a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in 1983. There are 6 kilometers of shops to stroll through, including restaurants, museums, and famous landmarks such as the Clock Tower (Zytglogge), the Prison Tower (Käfigturm), the sculptural fountains from the Renaissance, the Cathedral (Münster), and the well-kept sandstone facades. Bridgette and I ended up spending all 3 days exploring Old City!

There were a lot of cute little shops that we enjoyed perusing through, and in between, we tried plenty of yummy pastries as well. We also explored by foot outside of Old City and found ourselves blessed with some spectacular views of beautiful Bern!

Since Bern is the birthplace of chocolate, we found a cute restaurant name Toi et Moi near the train station and indulged in some chocolate fondue!

We also visited the Albert Einstein Museum, which is actually an old residence where Einstein lived, and got to learn a lot about this brilliant man.

Bridgette was way more interested in reading about his personal life than his theories on relativity, but it was nonetheless very cool to step inside the actual home that he resided in.

On our last day in Bern, we stumbled upon an Italian restaurant in Old City where the pasta looked and smelled absolutely divine, so we decided we would indulge ourselves before heading back to the States. When we were presented the menu, our server informed us that it was truffle season, and that they were doing a bunch of specialty truffle dishes. No wonder the place smelled sooooooo amazing!

Bridgette loves truffle, but up until then, she has had no experience with real, fresh truffle. We have truffle salt and truffle oil at home which she uses regularly for scrambled eggs, popcorn, etc… but she has no idea what real truffle tastes like. Given her genuine interest in cooking and in food, I decided it would be worth it to let her try real truffle that very day.

After looking through the menu up and down, Bridgette finally chose a simple pasta with truffle, as it was the least expensive truffle item on the menu. I thanked her for being so considerate, but still couldn’t help gawking at the $45 price tag for a PASTA. 🤪

I should’ve prepped her for what’s to come when you order fresh truffle, but I didn’t, so when the nice server set her pasta down and began shaving the precious truffle onto the pasta, Bridgette actually held her hand up for him to stop after a few shaves. He looked confused for a minute, and then left with that decadent piece of truffle.

“Why did you ask him to stop?” I asked in disbelief.

“What? I thought it’s like parmesan cheese where you are suppose to tell them to stop and not put too much in the pasta,” Bridgette answered matter of factly.

“Noooooo, truffle is not parmesan cheese!” I exclaimed. “Those shaved pieces of truffle is what you’re paying $45 for, and I can’t believe you asked him to stop!”

“Oops,” Bridgette laughed sheepishly. “Well, I will know next time.”

Me: 😳

That concludes our 2 weeks in Switzerland!! It was one of our best trips, and Switzerland is going to be one of those places that we will definitely want to go back to. We loved the peaceful vibe there, the scenic places all around, and the delicious fondues! The skiing in Zermatt was our favorite, and we hope to go back for more in the coming years.

P.S. When in Switzerland, you have to eat at McDonald’s at least once, because they have the BEST flavors in their McFlurry (Toblerone and Ovaltine), and they have the best rosti!

Our other Switzerland posts include our time in:






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