Berne is a charming city in Switzerland. There's not much to do except walk around town, eat, and go to a couple art museums, which was fine by me since the weather was cold and wet.. Most of the walking areas of Berne are covered so it worked out alright.
The first day I spent just walking through town looking at all the shops. It's very different than Zurich though – more boutiques than Bulgari. I found a rare item as well. It was an out-of-print addition to a German-created board game I learned in Africa. I look forward to translating the German into hours of rare, out-of-print, board game fun.
The other thing I did that day was to visit the origin of the name for the city of Berne: the bears. It's the biggest enclosure I've ever seen for bears. The 3 large bears have a wonderful view of the river that bear hugs the city that hugs them back.
I also went to the Paul Klee Museum. It's housed in a very unique building that looks like the top layer of pasta on lasagna. I am now a fan of Paul Klee's work. I also really like that much of his art is very good for kids. The museum even has a few rooms dedicated to kids where thy can just show up and participate in making art. I plan to use Paul Klee to somehow get my 6-year-old niece interested in art.
There were 2 culinary highlights in this city. The first was a wonderful, underground restaurant called Kornhauskeller. The ground level entrance doesn't look like much – like the lobby to a motel. At the center is the stairwell down into the restaurant. The horizon of the ceiling revealed the main dining area and I was amazed. Underground, the huge, tall room was like a classic train station converted into a restaurant. The food was excellent. Cockerel (technically rooster, basically chicken) with bacon, and a side of rich lemon risoto.
The second highlight was the surprise in my host's fridge. She left a shelf empty for my groceries. After learning about my lack of Dr. Pepper on my Europe trip, the next day I found a can of Dr. Pepper on my shelf.