Bad City Planning Insults My Intelligence

You may already be familiar with Big Ben, but that’s not the most amazing clock around.  Among those I’ve seen, the best would have to be the 13th century Zytglogge in Bern, Switzerland:


That was the astronomical clock; a larger clock face towers above; however, tourist souvenirs only reproduce this colorful part, so it’s really the only one that counts to most people.  Since I’m (fortunately) not most people, you get to see the entire Glogge:

Although Prague also has a great astronomical clock on display, the Zytglogge stands as a unique artistic masterpiece.  Moreover, it is centrally located in Bern’s old town, the whole of which appears on UNESCO’s list of world heritage sites.  So I know exactly what you’re thinking…

“That’s the perfect place to put a youth hostel.”

That’s right, you’ll find a hostel right next to the Zytglogge.  What a masterpiece of bad city planning!  They took an important site and put a bunch of 20-somethings (who often don’t know how to cook well) and a kitchen in it.  20-somethings can also be somewhat less than observant of smoking prohibitions when the urge strikes.

I stayed in the hostel and found it convenient and comfortable as hostels go.  But I was afraid to cook anything because giant ants swarmed all over the duvet covers and made me lose my appetite.

Um… no.  The duvet ants were rather cute as ants go.  Instead, the problem rested in the hostel’s fully justified caution at the first sign of fire.  If the smoke alarm goes off, they immediately send a truck and you have to pay for it.  The cost ain’t cheap, so I ate a lot of boiled sausage while I was there.