I've mentioned before the advantages of visiting a European city on a Sunday. Stores are closed (even supermarkets!) and normally vibrant city centers are absolutely dead--giving me the opportunity to soak up the old town areas in peace--though a big downside being most pastry shops also being closed. That was the plan when arriving in Fribourg, Switzerland (population 36,000) early on a Sunday morning. Well, you can imagine my disappointment in finding a big food and crafts festival going on over the weekend. Though I see quite a few beer garden tents set-up on the shopping streets it's early in the morning and they haven't opened.
Fribourg lies on the border line separating the French-speaking part of Switzerland from the German-speaking. That explains why the University of Fribourg (10,000 students) is home to Switzerland's only bilingual university. But, what makes Fribourg so special is this tidbit: it is home to one of the largest preserved medieval city centers in Europe.
Fribourg is familiar to me as I cycled through years ago to visit several companies having their headquarters here. Heard of Scott Sports? They are a big maker of bicycles, motorsports gear, sportswear and winter equipment. They've been here since 1978 and I visited them in 2004. Villars chocolate has been manufacturing chocolate in Fribourg since 1901 and though my visit was quite a few years ago (2003) I remember the disappointing reception.
See how quiet this street looks, in a few hours it will be packed with people.