There are many things to see and do in Berne which makes it a good destination for an afternoon trip. Yesterday Emily and I took the boys to Berne. When we arrived in town we stopped at a locally owned grocery store and picked up some yogurt, bananas and granola bars for a picnic and then asked for directions to the town park. We stopped at Lehman park, a pleasant tree shaded space with plenty of picnic tables and lots of fun stuff for children to play on. There is a nice mix of old and new playground equipment, the boys enjoyed the old style stuff the best, the very tall slide, the witches hat spinning thing, the teeter-totter, after a bit we left and headed to the Berne Chamber of Commerce/Visitors Center. The lady at the Visitor Center was very helpful and thought we would enjoy the Swiss Heritage Village, she also mentioned that there is a splash pad by the clock tower and good ice cream available at The White Cottage ice cream shop. We headed off to the Swiss Heritage Village, the boys were free, adult entry was $6/person. We joined in the tour and had a pleasant stroll around the grounds. All of the buildings were moved to the site, a school house, doctors office, church, farm house, cheese house, cider mill, barn, and log cabin. Many of the buildings were moved in one piece even the huge barn!. The cider press was impressive, hand built at least 150 years ago, it is said to be the oldest, largest, working cider press in the world and the Smithsonian was going to take it for exhibit. The main part of the press is the press, a 4000 lb chunk of oak that is raised and lowered by a hand carved wooden screw that is at least 8 feet long and probably a foot in diameter. On September 8 they will be making apple cider with the press.
As it was a very warm day we were ready for some refreshment after our tour so we headed back to town sample the ice cream at The White Cottage, we each enjoyed a cone.. The shops claim to fame is that they have twenty-four flavors of soft serve ice cream! I stuck with plain vanilla, Emily tried the german chocolate cake flavor and said it was good.
On the way out of town we stopped at the Cheese Shop, it is the retail outlet for a local cheese maker, unfortunately due to board of health regulations there are no longer tours of the cheese factory. I picked out a few cheeses, Gouda, and then a couple of cheeses with extras added, one had cranberries and slivered almonds added, and the other sun-dried tomatoes and pine nuts. I have to mention here that my most favorite cheese ever found on an outing is Fruit Cake cheese, my sister and I discovered this amazing cheese in a grocers shop in Lavenham, England. Oh how we enjoyed that cheese with some good bread and a glass of wine on the train ride back to London, but that is another story for another day.
Here are some pictures of our outing to Berne, IN.
|The brick school house, moved in one piece to this location, still with the original bell.|
|The windmill to pump the water.|
|Fels Naptha Soap box, I like this because I use Fels Naptha soap to make our laundry detergent.|
|The very pretty fenced "four square" garden in front of the farm house.|
|What a glorious beast of a cook stove, I would love to have an opportunity to cook on one of these things.|
|A nice example of an English pieced quilt.|
|Emily and the boys took advantage of the golf cart on the tour.|
|The massive wooden screw to lower the 4000 lb press.|
|The press log, made of white oak taken from a tree that was at least 350 years old when it was cut down.|
|The cutesy cabin in the woods.|
|Emily enjoying her german chocolate cake ice cream cone.|
|The post office in the "chalet" style.|
|Bixler Insurance Agency getting into the "swiss" style.|
|The White Cottage ice cream shop proudly announcing it has 24 flavors of soft serve.|
|The clock tower.|
|And last but not least, the Cheese Co.|