Swiss National Day – Punks, Fireworks and Fondue

So what would you think if you stepped out of Bern train station in the pouring rain, and found your self surrounded by hordes of Punks, all drinking in the streets, throwing fireworks on the road and pavement around you, and 90% wearing slogan t-shirts, the only word which you can understand is ‘Nazi’?

Well my first thoughts were ‘Fuck This’ but thanks to me not reserving any trains, and the French national holiday taking all the seats on the train to Italy I had intended to catch, Bern was my only option. I had a friend staying a 20 minute bus ride from the station and a bed with my name on it!

So I put my head down, held on tightly to my backpack straps and weaved my way through the crowd. Praying to a god that I don’t believe in, that I wouldn’t be the next victim of a near miss with a firework, resulting in my smalls becoming slightly dirtier than they already were!

The info I had was bus number 19, bus stop M8 towards Blinzern, get off at the last stop and turn right, follow the path until you reach some houses, you will find us. Now you could give me a map with a drawn on route and I will start walking south instead of north! (that has actually happened to me a few times, but I feel like I explore more of a city that way! 😛 ) 20 minutes out of the city centre and you find your self pretty much in the country, starting to worry whether I’m on the right bus now!

As I am walking down what seemed to be a footpath, 100% sure I was going the wrong way, I stumbled upon some kind of witchcraft. Bern was getting weird now. Out in the torrential rain, in the middle of this footpath was a group of Swiss stood around what I can only describe as a cauldron with flames roaring below. The only way to my destination was through this party of wizards and witches, but before I got to the awkward situation of saying ‘Excuse me’ in a foreign language to a load of strangers, I heard my name being shouted…

Turns out I had walked into a Fondue party, and a bit (AKA a lot) of rain doesn’t stop the Swiss from having their Fondue! Now fondue to me is some melted chocolate and some marshmallows, maybe a strawberry or two if they were on offer in Tescos. Fondue is Switzerland is a cauldron full of cheese and wine which you dip everything you can imagine into, AMAZING! So far I’m a big fan of this National Day thing! I even got given a apron to put my bread and wine glass in, these guys have made these fondue parties like well oiled machines! Sadly as the rain was so bad the fireworks

But I was still a little concerned about walking into the set of ‘Doomsday 2 – Swiss Wasteland’. But all is well, the Swiss government had recently had a vote on immigration laws, which they want to make stricter rules on immigration. According to my friend Mary, the T-shirts said ‘Say no to nazi’s – Say yes to immigrants’, as there was a pro immigration rally earlier that day. That made the fireworks in the street a lot less intimidating, and the punks seem almost on my side. Now I feel stupid for not daring get my out camera and shooting the carnage!

Morale of the story, when plans change you find something wonderful and exciting that you hadn’t imagined, punks are friendly, and even the most uncoordinated can find their way when they need to.


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