Getting Active in Bern, Switzerland

Bern’s outdated city is UNESCO protected and the structure of its broad streets goes again to medieval occasions. It was based in the twelfth century on excessive floor, circled by a good U-bend of the River Aare, making it simple to defend.

The story goes that Berthold V, Duke of Zähringen declared that he would title his new settlement after the primary animal he discovered searching in the forest. It was a bear, (Bären in German), and so they’re now housed in humane circumstances in a particular park.

Bern Clock Tower
Bern Clock Tower

The metropolis is tiny and it’s simple to wander round on foot. The Zytglogge, or clock tower, was constructed early in the thirteenth century as Bern’s Western gate and subsequently enlarged. It homes the bells and an astronomical clock with a mechanism manufactured on website, between 1527 and 1530, by Casper Brunner. It’s nonetheless going robust and you may climb up inside and watch the complicated whirring of cogs and gears because it strikes the hour.

Time was additionally vital for Albert Einstein who lived simply down the road for 2 years when he labored on the Patent Office. The residence, the place he developed his Special Theory of Relativity, has been restored and furnished in interval fashion and is open to guests.

Floating down the River Aare

Swimming Bern
Keeping cool in the Reiver Aare

In summer season, Bern residents preserve cool by plunging into the River Aare, usually carrying their garments and footwear in a particular waterproof bag. The present carries them downriver to the Marzili. This complicated of open-air swimming pools and lawns, just under the Swiss Parliament Building, is ideal for an lively lunch break.

I go away my garments in a locker right here and stroll upriver for round a kilometre earlier than holding my breath and leaping in. Temperature is round 20C so it’s not too chilly, however after quarter-hour I’m able to get out. As nicely as steps and handrails there’s a particular channel main from the river to the protection of the outside pool. This sounds harder than it truly is, however you do must be a assured swimmer.

There are additionally strict security guidelines – no alcohol or medication, go away your airbeds behind and don’t dive into the cloudy water. There are additionally occasions when there’s heavy rain in the mountains and the river turns into a murky torrent, concealing floating items of wooden. Mercifully at this time the water is crystal clear and the solar is shining. It’s a implausible expertise, one I can heartily suggest.

Gurten, Bern’s Mountain

It’s price taking the funicular as much as Gurten, often called Bern’s mountain, though it’s solely a small hill rising to 858m. A community of working, biking and strolling trails caters for Bern health fanatics. On a transparent day, the town is laid out in entrance of you, with the glowing Aare River working by means of the centre, and there are views throughout to the snowy peaks of the Bernese Oberland.

Swiss Alpine Museum

If you’re in the historical past of the mountains, the Swiss Alpine Museum (ALPS) tackles present mountain points from everywhere in the world in an unconventional approach, with a collection of momentary exhibitions. I favored the Memories Lost and Found which has a set of snowboarding gear over the ages. The Alpine Workshop highlights mountain crafts together with violin making and weaving. In the shingle workshop, you’ll be able to rise up near the wooden and practise your expertise.

Gantrisch Nature Park

For these craving the actual outside, a brief prepare experience takes you out to the city of Schwarzenburg, the gateway to the Gantrisch Nature Park and the mountains of the identical title. If you’re not feeling assured sufficient to sort out these, then anybody can entry the Gäggersteg, a novel picket jetty in the center of the forest reserve. There’s a round household stroll right here however an extended path results in the Berghaus Gurnigel, a part of the Gantrisch Panorama Trail. When it’s clear, evening hikes provide magnificent star gazing, though tonight it’s overcast so I keep inside the nice and cozy chalet.

Fact File

FLY: SWISS provides weekly flights from the UK to Zurich and Geneva. One approach fares begin from £80. From Zurich airport it’s a prepare journey to Berne on the Swiss Travel System community with a Swiss Travel Pass providing limitless journey for £186 for 3 days in second class.

Best Western Plus Hotel Bern**** makes a snug base in the town centre.
Berghaus Gurnigel is an effective base for climbing in the Gantrisch Nature Park.

The Aarebar Bern is a pop-up bar by the river, excellent for after-swim cocktails.
Restaurant Altes Tramdepot is subsequent to Bear Park and brews its personal beer.
Restaurant Dampfzentrale serves fashionable Mediterranean delicacies on a terrace overlooking the Aare River.
Restaurant Gurtners serves tasty meals in Gurten with an excellent view of the town.
Restaurant Bären, Schwarzenburg has hearty meals in the Gantrisch Nature Park.

Bern Welcome has details about the town.
My Switzerland has details about the nation.

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