Fribourg, La Suisse
You may have seen on Instagram that I’ve been off galavanting abroad again. I’ve made it my informal mission to visit as much of Europe as I can, hopping from one friend to another for just a couple of days at a time. My French cousin Lorène has been spending 6 months in French speaking Switzerland in what sounded like a very fun houseshare. So I grabbed my case (and my bikini as instructed (?!) and went to join in before she left!
I headed to Geneva from Gatwick and jumped on a train that would wind me through the valleys and lakes for an hour of incessant amazement, eyes glued to the windows. When I arrived in Fribourg we gazed over the hillside down into the city sitting in the basin and with determination, set off on a half day long walk all around it, meeting many a Guide Cat along the way! Every turn of the traditional, almost hippyish town brought a new, delightful view for my camera to lap up. Here’s what I got up to that you should most certainly try if you ever travel near Fribourg in Switzerland!
Shiny Places to Visit in Fribourg
Café du Belvédère - Fribourg is a university town so there’s no shortage of subtlety hip places to hang out. The Belvedere, with it’s grand piano, upstairs gig space and big slouchy sofas sits at the top of the steepest road I’ve seen, right in the center of the old town. It is the welcome chocolat chaud Liégeois and brownie after your trek about the town.
Boulevard des Perolles - Head here for a local feeling bar where the hipsters mix with the old grumpy looking locals over a glass of spiced beer. The decks spin at midnight so you can have a little boogie too.
Café de l’Ancienne Gare - (The cafe of the old station) Hip music and Indie film festival venue, this bar at the top of the town is where all the twenty somethings head on a Friday night. Grab a Fri-mousse beer for a taste of local life and get chatting to the students outside by the huge illuminated movie listings sign.
Cafe du Gothard - It’s apparently the place to go for a real Swiss fondue where local artists’ sculptures hang perilously from the soffit boards and the amazing moitie-moitie (Gruyère and Vacherin) cheese pots are served with never ending bread and new potatoes. Order any wine to accompany it to help break up all that cheese and prevent that super heavy feeling afterwards. (Warning: you will definitely have to schedule a stiff walk around the town afterwards!)
And Further Afield!
Maison Cailler, Brock (Cailler Chocolate Factory) – Do I need to convince you that this is a must?! Winding down the valley towards the white building with the tall chimney, I without a doubt felt like the made-up nice girl in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Whilst the tour itself is more set up for kids with fun motorised props and dramatized commentary over loud speakers, it’s well worth a visit, if only for the ‘tasting room’!
Les Bains de la Gruyère, Charmey - In the next town from the Chocolate Factory lies a spa made up of Turkish Hammams, Jacuzzis and an incredible outside pool that looks over the mountains. I came with a cold and left feeling revitalized! 3 hours for around 25 Swiss francs ain’t bad. Be sure to try the hot sauna followed by jumping in the cold water pool! Invigorating.
La Cabriolle - On your way back home drive up to nearby Bulle, a pretty town with plenty of traditional restaurants. Head across the square to La Cabriolle where you’ll feel like you’re in a log cabin after a hard day harvesting wood. We went all in with the creamiest goats cheese salad I’ve ever had and the best macaroni cheese. Heaven!
Next up on my whistle stop tour, the Swiss capital of Bern! Have you been to Switzerland? What were your highlights? I can’t wait to go again!