Welcome back to Day 4 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. For some reason, the e-mail containing today's prompt, didn't arrive, so here's a free post about a recent adventure we enjoyed in Switzerland where we live.
Just like last fall, our annual family vacation didn't take us to North America. Swiss people won't be allowed into the U.S. until in November, by when Colin needed to be back at school. So we used our time to visit new and / or all-time popular destinations in Switzerland.
Some days we literally drove to where the weather app said it was a nice day. That's how we ended up in Murten, in the Swiss state of Fribourg. The town's name derives from the Celtic word moriduno = lakeside fortress and was first mentioned as "Muratum" around the year 515.
What followed was a series of Dukes, Emperors and Counts claiming possession. There was a fire burning everything down in 1416, and the town that was formerly built using wood, was rebuilt in stone.
1789 the French invaded the town, and Napoleon ultimately decided to give it to the French speaking state of Fribourg, rather than German speaking Berne.
Well, it's the end of this quick history recap. Frankly I don't care who ruled this place hundreds of years ago, even though it's obviously of importance looking at architecture and culture.
Here's a personal - and politically terribly incorrect - statement: I feel in Switzerland you can tell whether you're in the French or the German speaking part. Usually you can tell by how well maintained buildings and streets are, and by the level of service quality of hospitality staff.
Earlier on that trip we stopped in Neuchâtel, another famous medieval town located in the French speaking part of Switzerland. We found that the overall experience was disappointing.
This may be a small detail, but not untypical: Almost two years into the pandemic that forced many aspects of life to go no touch and digital, in Neuchâtel you are still required to use freaking coins and to manually enter your licence plate number into a machine to park your car.
We were looking for a charming local restaurant to get some lunch. You won't believe how many places a) smelled of old frying oil as we were approaching from - and quickly receding to - the street, b) obviously went out of business without so much as leaving a note at the door c) had a a welcome committee in the form of guests smoking cigarettes on the outdoor terrace.
So maybe we caught the city on a bad day, but we often feel like they don't pay as much attention to neatness for lack of a better term.
Back to Murten though. They may be somewhat French, but they're the exception to the rule.
Everything looks well maintained and cared for! Plus their parking lots can be paid using the usual Apps!We strolled on the walkable rampart walls and enjoyed a fantastic view, see for yourself:
Our accommodation was lovely, too. We stayed in a spacious family room at Hotel Murten at a reasonable price.
So whether you're looking for ancient history, a charming village, a stroll at the lake - you will find something you like in Murten.
Have you heard of the town? Have you been? Would you consider visiting?
Let me know in the comments below.