We arrived in Bern at 1:30pm and found a nice camping park next to the fast flowing river Aare in Bern within walking distance (3k) of the city centre.
Bern is the capital of Switzerland with a population of 131,000, the fourth most populous city in Switzerland. It lies on the Swiss plateau slightly west of the centre of Switzerland and 20 km north of the Bernese Alps.
After lunch we set off for the city by walking path next to the river Aare. You could not help but notice people walking in the opposite direction wearing only bathers (men only wear budgie smugglers here). We found out why when people started quickly passing us enjoying themselves bobbing up and down in the very fast flowing river. As you approach the city there are marked exits over the river like road signs where to get out. Electronic signs indicated the water temp to be 17C.
Next to the river we passed free sporting facilities and swimming pools water temp 19C. It is no wonder that Bern is ranked among the world’s top ten cities for the best quality of life.
Staying by the river we passed the weir and crossed the Nydeggbruke bridge to the Bear Park. The bear was the heraldic animal of the seal and coat of arms of Bern from at least the 1220s. The earliest reference to the keeping of live bears in the Bärengraben dates to the 1440s. Since the 16th century, the city has had a bear pit (the Bärengraben). As we arrived at the renewed pit off the far end of the Nydeggbrücke the bears came out to play and we watched them play fighting for a while before heading on up into the old town.
The historic old town in the centre of Bern is a Unesco world heritage site. We walked up the main street. The city has a good atmosphere and fountains every 200m or so with potable water. The sides of the street are covered, and the old town boasts one of the longest covered shopping promenades in Europe. Commonplace in Australia but unusual for Europe and the UK.
Passed Einstein’s house Albert Einstein lived in an apartment at the Kramgasse 49, the site of the Einsteinhaus, from 1903 to 1905. (now a coffee shop).
Continued up the long street to the Zytglogge (Bernese German for “Time Bell”), an elaborate medieval clock tower with moving puppets.
Turning left into Bundeshaus (Federal Palace of Switzerland), Parliament Square (Burndesplatz) to find a TV studio and filming crews. Unfortunately the Bundeshaus building had just closed however the remainder of the late afternoon passed quickly while tasting the absinth and watching the entertainment and filming
You need to be careful here as fountains of water shoot out of the flat ground! Not on a hot afternoon though a spray of cool water was very welcome.
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A walk around the market then it was soon time to make our way back down to the river and the walk back to the Hymermobile.
We were very impressed with this wonderful city and Trish and I both agree that this is one of the best cites we have ever visited.