Sunday was a beautiful spring day. We decided on making a trip to Bern - the capital of Switzerland. It is one of those hidden gems. Zurich is otherwise the city that most people hear about. Zurich is also the largest city in Switzerland and therefore often thought to be the capital. Bern is only the fourth largest city. Actually Basel is larger than Bern. However, Bern is a beautiful city with plenty of charm. The Aare river flows through it. In the distant horizon you have the pretty and impressive snow capped peaks of the Alps that can be seen from here.
When we celebrated the Swiss national day on August first we floated with the small rubber boats along the Aare river all the way from Thun to Bern. We got our first glimpse of Bern then and decided we must come back to see more which we finally did this weekend.
This is the Bundeshaus or House of Parliament. The national monument of the Swiss confederation. In front of the this magnificent building there is a nice park with a view over the city and the river.
The people of Bern are known to be notoriously slow spoken. My German teacher in Basel once told us that a phone conversation between someone from Zurich and a person from Bern would never work as the people from Zurich are the most fast spoken and used to fast pace city life.
Here in front of the House of Parliament people of all ages are enjoying themselves on this sunny quiet Sunday in various ways such as with a game of Chess.
Bern is on UNESCO:s list of world heritage sites since 1983. The city's cobblestone arcades and clock towers have been beautifully preserved since the 1400's.
The Old Town is charming and very pittoresque. Most of Bern was destroyed in a big fire 1405. There is nothing left of the old wooden houses from medieval years. The city was then rebuilt in sandstone and the many arcades make the city especially beautiful.
We made a nice stroll a long the river bank in the sunshine. This is the city where also Albert Einstein lived and worked in. You can still visit the Einstein house. It has been recreated to the year of 1905 when young, newly married and badly paid Einstein working as a clerk at Bern's patent office developed and published his Special Theory of Relativity.
The river tuns and twist itself around the city center. During summer the water is truly emerald green. The water line was pretty low now as it has not snowed as much this year as the previous year. A long the river are some really cute houses such as this one. Looks like a small cabin or hutte that are seen in the small villages in the Alps.
The city mascot is the bear. At Bären park (the bear park) you can visit the bear family of the city. The city has kept live bears since 1513 when the Bernese soldiers brought the first bear to the city after a victorious battle.
A city with an interesting history, impressive views and pretty architecture.
A lovely first spring day. People enjoying the sunshine in the various parks around the city, strolling, talking to a friend, or playing a game of some sort. We enjoyed the many views and the long nice walk we made, taking pictures, having a coffee at one of the coffee shops in Old town. There is something very pleasant and inviting about Bern. It is a city that you easily fall in love with.
A city a definitely want to revisit many more times. There is a lot more to see and do that we did not have time for this time. It is an easy visit from Basel as it only takes an hour to drive here. It is well worth a visit if you get the chance.