Where We Be
|The entire Old Town of Bern is a UNESCO World Heritage Site so everywhere you walk you see interesting architecture and sights
We took the short train ride from Thun to Bern
and were able to check straight into our room
at Martahaus B&B, located outside the historic
center in a quiet suburb on the far side of the
Aare River but within walking distance of all
the main attractions. Back near the train station
we had a strange Mexican burrito made by
Indians that tasted like no Mexican food we've
ever tasted before. Over the next three or four
hours we saw most of the key sights of Bern.
Bern is very livable and feels too provincial
and quiet to be the capital of all of Switzerland.
The Old Town is nestled in a bend of the Aare
River and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Must-see sights include the clock tower, the
statues lining the main pedestrian street, the
Gothic cathedral, and of course Einstein’s
house. We stood in the apartment where
Einstein had some of his most brilliant insights
while working as a patent clerk not far away.
We also visited the Barengraben, or bear pits,
complete with four bears. Bern has had a bear
pit since the 15th century. Our last stop was
the Rosengarten (rose garden), which offered
lovely spring flowers and panoramic city views.
|Einstein lived here from 1903 to 1905 -- 1905 was the "miracle year" in which his most famous papers were published
|From the Rosengarten you can see the entire medieval city center of Bern spread below you
|We crossed over the Aare River multiple times going between our Martahaus B&B and the medieval city center (and train station)
|The pedestrian thoroughfare is quite wide, with shops and restaurants on either side and periodic statues located smack-dab in the middle of the street
|The Federal Palace (Bundeshaus) houses the Swiss National Parliament
|One definite benefit of traveling in springtime is all the flowers in full bloom
|I love this down-low photo of irises and other spring blooms at Bern's Rosengarten
|Balancing bear silhouette near the Barengraben
|The bear has been the heraldic animal of Bern since the 1200s! Thus the Barengraben (bear pits) -- not to mention the bear statues and flags all over town.
|We enjoyed our third-floor courtyard balcony at Martahaus B&B
|Bern's 15th-century Munster (Gothic cathedral) is suitably elaborate
|This is Bern's main pedestrian thoroughfare. It is lined with colorful statues like this one depicting the founder of Bern's hospital in 1354.
|Einstein's house is also located along this main thoroughfare. We paid the admission to go upstairs and visit the apartment where he and his wife lived.
|Our last stop was the Rosengarten, with a mix of formal and casual gardens
|These lovely statues grace the main portal of the Munster
|Bern's most famous sight is the Zytglogge ("Time Bell"), an elaborate medieval clock
|Many shops on the main pedestrian thoroughfare are "underground" like this one,
with another shop built above them. This one comes complete with a kiddie slide!