Our Airbnb accommodation in Bern was about 10 minute Train ride out of the city. Our apartment was called the Art Apartment. It was quite large but contained enormously comfy lounges with beautiful lamps, lots of windows to get in the warm afternoon sun, a multi coloured shower hose light, cascading plants and layers of artwork in every room. The TV which we didn’t use was displayed on an art easel. The kitchen was very organised and the apartment could easily sleep 6 adults. You could tell a creative brain had invested a lot of time in creating many special spaces. The creative art minded person is highly valued and recognised here in Switzerland. This has given Rob and I an opportunity to appreciate art. The walls of our apartment are full of oil paintings and sketches of the surrounding city.


On our first morning in Bern we were again lucky to wake up to the falling powder of snow. It was Valentine’s Day and we were both eager to explore Bern the capital city of Switzerland. It is not as big as Genรจve or Zurich but it has lots of old world charm. We caught the tram, bright red with three carriages in tow into the city. The tram slithers quietly like a snake through the city streets. Totally the opposite of the trains as they move at high speeds down the tracks like cheetah’s on a hunt for its prey.


Bern’s centrepiece is the beautiful crystal clear emerald river of Aare that winds through the side of the town. From the bridge you have spectacular views of the city and the bear enclosures. The bears, as the sign said, do not hibernate they are in winter rest in their dens, during this time their brains remain active. In other words don’t mess with a resting bear! The bears come out of winter rest in March until October. We are two weeks too early which was a shame. Maybe a future Spring trip to Switzerland sprung to mind!


The city of Bern has a love affair with the Pyrenean Brown bear. It is on the city’s coat of arms, flag, rubbish bins and fountains. During the Middle Ages warriors were dressed as ferocious bear warriors. In 1513 the soldiers captured a bear and he was placed in a moat which became the city’s first bear pit. Only last year the first bear was seen in the wild here in two centuries!!!


The old city streets are filled with hatchet doors that open directly onto the road. They have extremely steep steps that lead down to an underground shop. We headed underground to a beautiful vintage shop where we could have made many purchases. The most exciting underground hatchet door had stairs and a slippery dip for the kids to slip down into the Lolly shop.


We passed the house front of where Albert Einstein lived for 2 years from 1903 to 1905.


One of the things that we both really wanted to see was the famous Zytglogge. It is a fifteen century astronomical clock with the sun and the moon orbiting different zodiac symbols. It is housed in the city gate tower which was built in 1191. It was originally a guard tower. The clock was built with moving figures in 1530.


At 4 minutes to the hour the revolving figures twirl. Rob and I rushed madly through the ancient medieval street with minutes to spare only to find the clock covered in scaffolding. It is under major renovation until June.


We had to view it through scaffolding with a horde of Japanese tourists. At least we didn’t paid for an expensive tour guide. It didn’t really have a magical feeling covered in scaffolding, but true to form most renovations happen in winter out of tourist season.


There were many more wonderful historical sights to see in Bern’s old town like it’s many 16th century statue fountains.


The child Eater (ogre eating children) was our favourite along with Zรคhringen (a muzzled bear with its baby eating grapes) and Lady Justice. The fountain are so intricate and detailed. It was a bit like finding Spot. We couldn’t wait to get to the next one to see what the story was. These were the work of a sculptor called Hans Gieng.


It makes you wonder will the modern parts of the city ever hold as much magic and when would that be?

Another jaw dropper was the Bern Gothic Cathedral or Munster. The spire towers over the city. The cathedral tower is the tallest in Switzerland. It is a pure gem for your eyes to behold both inside and out. Faces stare down at you from the high ceilings and the stained glass windows don’t disappoint. We must have been too eager to explore and didn’t read the signs properly! Oops!!! We were asked to not take photos!! Lucky we snapped a few memories!!!



Bern Parliament House is another impressive building that sits in the centre of town with an impressive panoramic view to match.

Being that it was Valentines Day Rob took me out to a Burger cafe and we shared one lot of chips and a coffee. This cost $18-00 and the chips were smaller than a baby’s finger not sure why an ogre would want to eat a baby!! Crazy prices .. you don’t come here for food.


Rob and I have been living on my hearty homemade minestrone soup. It lasted us for 2 dinners and a breakfast. I definitely know how to budget for a year of travel!!!!


Our day done we decided to walk home up some steep stairs and through some beautiful snowy street which housed some impressive stately homes. They looked a little haunted with their interesting snow pitch slate tiled roofs covered in snow and large shutter windows.


The morning we left Bern it had been snowing most of the night. Our street was now covered in snow. You could no longer tell the parked cars apart. They were all covered in a blanket of white magic dust. The snow ploughs were out in force! Men were throwing handfuls of salt on the sidewalk which apparently stops the path from freezing over. We found it a little slippery to walk on. Let alone trying to also pull our luggage through the snowy street. Every step had to be meticulously calculated. A bit like a penguin walk! Give me sand any day!!


Watching from afar the birds seem extremely active. The scurry around as if the Queen is about to arrive. Probably if they don’t keep moving they will be frozen in time just like in the story, Beauty and the Beast.


Once at the station, Rob checked the train timetables and knew exactly where he wanted to go. Which train destination do you think my husband would want??? Mmmm…


Glancing out the train track can easily put you in a trance like state. Once beautiful green sloped fields and grass are now buried beneath a world of snow.



1 comment

  1. Wow I love the carnival photos. Certainly puts our cheap and nasty costumes to shame. These posts of yours are so addictive. I keep saying “just one more”. They are like a good book you don’t want to put down. Travel safe.

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