29 Nov 2014
The sound of the rushing river kept me company through my dreams, reminding me that we’re in Thun. We arrived in my Father’s hometown late last night. The Hotel Freienhof is perched on the tip of the river island in the centre of the town. Overlooking the fast moving Aare river and the Ober Schleuse, a Medieval covered bridge, we are surrounded by the sounds of running water.
After settling into the room, we walked into the town centre looking for a place for dinner. We chose an Italian restaurant located in a medieval building that was once the old orphanage. It had a cosy atmosphere but the food was average. After dinner we strolled hand in hand along the Aare getting into the Christmas vibe. A pair of brilliant white swans followed us curiously. I wished I had something to feed them.
Thun is surrounded by magnificent alps, but we awoke to heavy cloud cover keeping them cloaked from our view. It’s rare for us to wish for a clear blue sky instead of dramatic clouds.
Today we relaxed in the hotel, slipping out to wander the old streets of the familiar town. As we strolled through the Ballitz, the Main Street on the island, we felt a little like we were home. I could see my Dad as a boy and getting up to mischief in this town.
Thun is so familiar from family holidays to visit my grandparents, and the frequent visits since, I feel connected to my Dad in Thun and in this country. It made me long to be here with my family again.
I tried to remember which building my father grew up in, I had a feeling it was somewhere in the middle. Later that night I sent some photos to Dad, see if we were close.
The Christmas Markets lined the narrow cobblestone streets and we spent the afternoon mooching about the stalls. I popped into the bookstore to buy the Switzerland Lonely Planet even though we know it well, the LP still full of great suggestions.
My throat started to burn so it was time to head back to the warm room for the evening. I hope I’m not getting sick.