The seven members of the Swiss government had a busy time on Thursday, the first day of their traditional summer excursion.This content was published on July 3, 2008 - 20:11
They started with a train trip from just outside Bern to Olten, where they visited an exhibition about the earliest civilisations in Romania before continuing to Zurich, to see an exhibition in the National Museum devoted to the history of the family.
From Zurich they flew by helicopter to the small village of Saint-Prex on Lake Geneva, where they paid a visit to the artist Pietro Sarto in his studio, followed by drinks with the local people.
They then went on to Lausanne, where Patrick Aebischer, head of the Federal Institute of Technology, showed them round.
The day ended with a dinner in the vineyard of Faverges, shared with the members of the cantonal governments of Fribourg and Vaud.
On Friday they are due to take a boat trip on Lake Geneva, and visit a village in the southern canton of Valais.
The members of the government take a trip together at the beginning of the summer holidays every year, organised by the minister holding the annually rotating presidency. This year's president is Pascal Couchepin, a French-speaker from Valais.
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