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Anna: San Lorenzo Market & Switzerland!

February 7, 2011

Last week I cracked and went shopping at San Lorenzo Market. I ended up buying a dark green super warm infinity scarf (it wraps around and doesn’t have an end to it). I thought this was a reasonable purchase since I will be able to put it to good use in cold Minnesota. I also bought a pair of leather gloves which were never on my “to buy in Florence list” but theses are more young looking and very cute. I got a pretty good deal on them too if I do say so myself…13 euros down! They also have a huge indoor market where they sell fresh fish, wines, meat, and pastries, but my personal favorite find was the dried fruit section! I spent a whopping 5 euro on a ton of dried fruit but it was delicious and I might make that my weekly treat instead of gelato.

Last weekend I went to Switzerland with a student tourist program. We went to Interlaken and then took a day trip to Bern. We initially were signed up for night sledding, but due to all of our budgets we decided we would rather do a day trip instead. In Switzerland the Franc is almost equivalent to the US Dollar however their minimum wage is 15 Francs. Therefore all meals were 20 Francs, so we resorted to having very few meals, mainly eating bread, cheese fondue, and chocolate. Not too shabby of food choices when we did come around to eating. Euros look not too horrible anymore compared to Switzerland!

We found out the hard way that chocolate fondue is definitely a touristy, American stereotype of what is popular in Switzerland. We were sent to a restaurant and walked in and found the whole restaurant full of Asians singing and dancing to their national anthem led by a white local who owned the place. My friends ordered chocolate fondue, but we realized it wasn’t very good or common in Switzerland. Lesson learned. The night was very entertaining though! We had a good laugh and couldn’t believe how many Asians were in Switzerland. However the cheese fondue the night before was delicious.

We hiked on Friday, which took about 2 hours full of pit stops to take pictures. That was the most fitness I did all weekend, but I enjoyed relaxing and sight seeing. It was beautiful although I was surprised how little of snow their was! It was also a lot warmer than I thought it would be originally, very sunny and beautiful.

In Bern, Switzerland’s capital we stopped in a chocolate shop and I ordered a Chocolate Mousse Truffle, Champagne Dark Chocolate, and Cappuccino, which were all so delicious. I was also so proud of myself for finding a Toblerone bar for half off costing me only 1.30 Francs. We walked around the city of Bern, which was very beautiful. There were so many clock towers. We were so often confused and kept telling people grazie instead of Danka or Merci.  Then we realized everywhere we go we will have to change our form of “thank you” when we are just getting used to grazie.
I never got the chance to go to Lucerne which was my mother’s suggestion but it seemed like everywhere in Switzerland is a little bit different but still really unique and beautiful. It was interesting to see how casual the people were. Their attitudes and how they dressed was very different than Italy. Everyone was all very earthy and seemed very environmentally conscious. We didn’t find one bit of trash on the ground, but also it was interesting to see that everyone smoked.

Just booked a day trip to Venice for Carnivale and then the Amalfi Coast over my birthday. This upcoming weekend I will be doing a day trip to Bologna home of prosciutto and parmeggiano reggiano (I believe…) and the next day a Chianti hike, wine tasting and 4 course meal. I can’t wait!

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