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I(Chris) had a 2-day business meeting in the Emmental – a region in west central Switzerland, forming part of the canton of Bern. It was supposed to be a drive that is less than 2 hours from our office, according to an estimate made by Google map. But due to road works near Burgdorf (the main city of the region), SK (who kindly drove me and another colleague) had to detour several times and we got lost in the countryside.

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The GPS (Ms. Garmin) was “stubborn” and “narrow-minded” by insisting on guiding us to the narrowest country road. The end result was that we were late but were treated to some beautiful views of the rural area.

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Our hotel, Romantik Hotel Bären is in the village of Dürrenroth. The hotel has a street-side seating area for drinks but there is hardly any traffic – so it was a nice place to gather around and relax.

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The hotel’s guest rooms are in a separate building across the street from the restaurant and office.

Durrenroth-5My room faces the local church which rang its bell at 6am and continued every 15 minutes – so I made it to breakfast both mornings at 7am.

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The region is mostly devoted to farming, particularly dairy farming. So it is no surprise that the region’s main produce is cheese. Emmental cheese or Emmentaler has big holes in them which is known generally outside Switzerland as Swiss cheese. The holes are called eyes.

EmmentalerNot sure why the cows, some visible in barns, are not out and about as the grass is so lusciously green. The area looked like a giant golf course.

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The landscape is dominated by meadows and pastureland, with forest interspersed.

Durrenroth-2What peaceful countryside.

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