EARLY START. No, really, stupidly early start. Alarm is set for 3.45am and I am awake ahead of it.DSC_4734

Cup of tea later and I am on the road to Birmingham Airport to catch a Swiss Air flight to Zurich, where I catch a train to Fribourg. So glad I did not fly into Geneva and then take the train like one of the colleagues whom I met later in the city.

DSC_4743Katie has only just boarded the train when she is approached by an allegedly deaf mute prompting her to sign some petition or other. Katie tells him to go away. It is only when she sees him disappearing down the platform stairs that she realises her Blackberry has gone walkabout with him.

DSC_4738Speaking with the train guard, Katie hears she is one of three passengers who have their phones lifted by the same thief. Not quite what you expect when you are sitting in first class. And another thing. It would be good if WiFi were made available on the railways in Switzerland. When you have an hour-and-a-half of travelling time to kill, there is little more frustrating than switching on your laptop and seeing ‘No Service’ in the top left-hand corner. Never mind, I resort to my new issue of Monocle magazine.

DSC_4731I am in Fribourg as part of a three-day trip to the Romandie region. This city is a considerable treasure trove of Gothic architecture, found in the old town which sits on the other side of the railway tracks from the more modern aspects of this buzzing metropolis, known as the city of students for its predominance of universities.

DSC_4733I enjoy an afternoon stroll around the alleyways before heading back to the hotel, and later dinner at Le Beausite, where I enjoy a starter of Le dos de cabillaud dans une nage de soupe de poisons avec la rouille et les croutons, followed by succulent filet de boeuf avec les frites fraiches et le legume. Did you get that? Fish soup and filet of beef. Superb.

DSC_4732Tomorrow I travel to the medieval city of Murten. In the meantime, I have included a selection of photos from Fribourg, and will be carrying a full report with images of my trip in the not-too-distant future.

Michael Cowton

All images ©Essential Journeys/Michael Cowton