Two Hours in Bern
Berne is the capital of Switzerland, a diverse and beautiful city! Berne is a medieval city founded in 1191, on and around the River Aare. Berne has quite a few attractions and historic sites, as well as an active cultural life. It is here that Albert Einstein worked, the Toblerone chocolate bar is made, and Emmental cheese, known as Swiss Cheese, reached out to the world.
That is about all I knew about Bern before coming to the city. I was hoping to get out here the day before to spend a couple of days in the city and then head out to Zurich. Unfortunately, I once again lucked out on trying to find someone to couchsurf with so instead I ended up spending the entire Friday in Lausanne. On top of that, I have heard so many good things about Interlaken over the past few days, that I wanted to check it out for myself. Combined with the fact that I was able to find a hostel for much less than ones in Bern, I made up my mind - I will head out to Interlaken and take advantage of the train change in Bern to spend a couple of hours there, spend the night and a part of next day in Interlaken, than head out to Zurich with another quick stop in Lucern.
It was a quick one hour train ride from Lausanne to Bern but it gave me just enough time to look up a couple of things I wanted to check out there - the old town, the bears habitat, and the house where Albert Einstein used to live while working at the Swiss patent office (and coming up with his crazy theories).
Once I got to the city it was already lunch time so I decided to head down to the river and enjoy my sandwich there. I was glad I did as the view was amazing with many trees starting to change colors, a few beautiful houses set along the river shores, and, of course, the river itself, which looked very clean and was flowing pretty fast (as I discovered later, it actually flooded the lower portion of the riverwalk). There were also occasional runners jogging along the river and it was pretty tempting to join them as the weather was just perfect - sunny, slightly cool, and no wind.
After lunch I kept strolling along the river bank quickly falling in love with the city. The views of the old town at the river bend ware spectacular and Bern is now right up there with Marseilles in the list of my favorite places. The walk took me all the way to the other side of the old town where the BärenPark is located. Bears were always a part of festivities in Bern so there is a bear family living at the BärenPark serving as the popular tourist attraction. I must say that these were the most active bears I have seen at any zoo, obviously enjoying their spacious accommodations.
After watching the bears for a while, I crossed the river back into the old town and walked down Marketstrasse (appropriately surround by restaurants an boutique stores) to find the Einstein's house. It really was not very easy to spot just a small sign on the wall an a picture of Einstein in the window of his apartment. I decided not to pay for the 'tour' which mostly was just a small video (there is an actual Enstein museum somewhere else in Bern). Instead I just snapped a few pictures and moved on.
As I got closer to the train station, the streets started to fill up with more and more people as more and more supermarkets and department stores were replacing the boutiques. There was also a small market with a bunch of food and cheese vendors that I decided to skip as it was already time to go catch the next train to Interlaken.
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