SUNDAY 14TH FEBRUARY 1999
Happy Valentine's Day to you all!! This is the second year we've celebrated this holiday in Switzerland and if you think flowers were expensive in your home country you wouldn't believe the ones here. The four of us ate a late breakfast consisting of jam on fresh bread from the bakers and expresso that knocked the socks off. It was all very delicious. Bettina and Frank left us to our own devices today as they were travelling to Lausanne for a family lunch with Bettina's mum.
By mid-morning we trudged out through the snow and into the cold towards the van. Today we were going to find a way to unfreeze the engine for tomorrow we'd planned to hit the slopes back in the Jungfrau as it has been dumping so much snow that a lot of Swiss roads have been closed!! In desperation we took to the roads in order to melt the engines frozen water. An undercover car-park just south of the station was just the ticket and an hour or so later we left from its depths with at least 1/2 of the water tank filled with antifreeze. We were now ready for mother nature to throw just about anything at us.
Next we drove for under an hour southwards along country roads, picturesque little churches, rolling hills covered in a blanket of snow and into Gruyere, crowned on a hillside by a beckoning Tyrolian castle. This is the famous cheese centre and although touristy its main street, filled with quaint little cottages, seemed so very sleepy. Light flakes of snow fell down around us whilst we spent a good half an hour circling the castles base. In the fading gray light we returned to Bern (where I caught 40 winks) and sat down with Frank and Bettina to a feast of Swiss cheese fondue.