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
Bern, Switzerland
We took the short train ride from Thun to Bern
and were able to check straight into our room
at Martahaus. The B&B is located outside the
historic center in a quiet suburb on the far side
of the Aare River but within walking distance of
the main attractions. Back near the train station
we had a strange Indian burrito that wasn't half
bad. Over the next three or four hours we saw
most of the key sights of Bern.

Bern is livable and feels almost too provincial
to be the capital 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 nearby.

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 out below you
We crossed the Aare River multiple times going between Martahaus B&B and the medieval city center
The pedestrian thoroughfare is quite wide, with shops and restaurants on
either side and statues periodically punctuating the middle of the street
The Federal Palace (Bundeshaus) houses the Swiss National Parliament
A benefit of traveling in springtime is all the flowers in bloom
Flower's-eye view 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
Bern's main pedestrian thoroughfare is lined with colorful statues
like this one celebrating the founding 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
Lovely statues grace the main portal of the Munster
Bern's most famous sight is the Zeit Glocke ("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!