Switzerland
Bern-Mittelland District

Here you’ll find travel reports about Bern-Mittelland District. Discover travel destinations in Switzerland of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

60 travelers at this place:

  • Day96

    Bern Switzerland

    September 10, 2017 in Switzerland

    We detoured to Bern, the capital of Switzerland, on our way to Interlaken today. We picked a good day to visit. Its music festival was on and not sure if part of the music festival but it also had a medieval fair. Displays of old trades and tools were showed off by locals dressed in medieval costumes. Great interaction with the public. Bern itself has some beautiful medieval architecture along with some quirky statues and shops hidden away beneath cellar doors. Would have been nice to stay longer. Another time!Read more

  • Day174

    Bern

    February 24, 2017 in Switzerland

    Beautiful train trip from Lausanne to Bern, and only one hour 26 minutes. The country side and mountains were beautiful. Got into Bern and spent 3 hours roaming around. Very homogeneous here with all the buildings the same colour of communist green. Very weird. Only spending one night here and then heading to Lucerne. Saw five guys swimming in the river today, holy wow, because I was cold in my down jacket. I had to take a picture of them. Super expensive in this city and so glad I groceries yesterday. Very clean but very tourist driven. They have these shops and restaurants that are in cellars underground. What happens when it rains? Where does the water go? Also noticed that there is no wheelchair access to many sites or cathedrals. When I was here 30 years ago they had the Bern bears in a hole in the ground. The girl at reception said they are still here in hibernation but their hole is bigger.Read more

  • Day188

    Day 189: Old City of Bern

    August 22, 2017 in Switzerland

    Since Switzerland is so expensive, we'd decided that our journey through the country would be as crammed full as possible - no time to relax and basically going closely point-by-point to the UNESCO sites. Maybe we'll come back another time and do a few other bits.

    Out quite early this morning, since our parking expired at 9am and Swiss parking fines are apparently quite expensive. We were heading into the Old City, a fairly small and compact area so it made no sense for us to drive in. Instead we headed for a Park & Ride carpark about 15 minutes away, where we dropped the car off and caught a bus into the city. Quite quick, only 10 minutes to the main bahnhof.

    The Old City of Bern is a long, narrow peninsula of land surrounded on three sides by a river. It's quite a high hill as well, since the river cuts sharply through the local sandstone. It's all very distinctive too, since the city burned down in the 15th century and was all rebuilt in sandstone at the same time. Every street has these long columned arcades for pedestrians, underneath the actual buildings - it was weird to read a sign about an interesting shop front, while being completely unable to see it!

    I've also just realised I didn't mention it was a World Heritage site, so yeah. We wandered around for quite a while, filming and exploring. One of the cooler things they have is Renaissance era public fountains. These are mostly in the middle of streets, all topped with allegorical figures. Some are biblical, like Moses and Sampson, others are mythological like Lady Justice, the founder of Bern wrestling a bear, and of course the famous one - an ogre eating a baby. It's wearing a typical Jewish hat, though it didn't look stereotypically Jewish so I'm not sure what the point was. Awkward.

    Walked past Einstein's house, where he lived from 1903 to 1905 while working as a patent clerk. It was also the house where he developed his special theory of relativity. The house is now a museum, but at 6 francs each we decided to skip (particularly since he only lived there for a couple of years - we felt another "Mozart's Birthplace" coming on).

    After about an hour of slow walking and exploration we arrived at the two bridges over the river, right at the far end of the city. The water was a luminous green colour, obvious glacial run-off and with a very strong current. Some locals were in the water, floating along either on rafts or just on their own momentum. Looked like a lot of fun, but we decided to pass.

    Here we also encountered the bear pit! There was some hazily-explained legend about the founder of the city wrestling a bear, but it's now the symbol of the city and they have three large bears in an enclosure overlooking the river. They looked pretty hot, poor guys, since it was pushing 30 degrees! One of them was paddling in a pool though.

    We walked up a hill to the Rose Garden where you get a fantastic view back across the river at the old city. Filmed some stuff here, then discovered the restaurant with a nice view as well, so decided to indulge. We both ordered roughly the cheapest mains on the menu - I had a sausage in onion gravy with a potato rosti (think a very large hash brown, but with fingers of potato rather than reconstituted like at McDonalds), while Shandos had a sausage with sauerkraut, and we shared a tasting paddle of beer since the venue also brews in-house. All up, it was about 50 francs, though the food was quite good.

    Walked back across the bridge into the old town where we explored the last couple of areas we hadn't been to already, including the 15th century cathedral. It's very impressive, and the tallest cathedral in Switzerland at 120 metres, but inside was very plain as most of the religious icons and relics had been destroyed during the Reformation. Seems to be the way in protestant countries!

    We grabbed an ice-cream and sat in a nearby park on the cliff-tops for a while, since it was still really hot. Eventually we wandered back past the Swiss parliament house (Bern is the capital city, not Zurich or Geneva!!) then hopped on the free bus to our park and ride, and then the drive home.

    Thankfully the road markings were finished, so we were at least able to park out the front this time! For these blue marked spaces, they have a very trusting system. Every car has a parking disc which you put on the dashboard, indicating to the nearest half-hour when you arrived. Since most blue spaces are one hour, it's quite trusting to assume people will indicate accurately when they arrived! Though I guess you'd have a much larger fine for falsely indicating as opposed to just overstaying your allowance.

    Spaghetti with pesto again, and we spent a bit of time chatting with our hosts as well.
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  • Day187

    Day 188: To Switzerland

    August 21, 2017 in Switzerland

    Back on the road again today, after being in the same spot for a week! We left our apartment around 11:30 and walked back to the train station. Thankfully this time no dramas with the trains, so we grabbed some supermarket sandwiches and boarded our train to Switzerland.

    It was about a 90 minute trip, still very French countryside with rolling hills and lots of farms and meadows. Sometimes you wonder how countries of millions of people can feed themselves, but it's only once you travel through enormous fields of wheat, corn and vegetables that you start to realise where it all comes from.

    Arrived at the train station in Basel - well, the French station, anyway. Basel is in Switzerland but right at the borders with France and Germany, so it has two separate train stations - one connecting to the French train network, the other to the Deutschbahn. It also has a tri-national airport, where you have to go through different exits whether you're going to Switzerland or France/Germany (remembering of course that Switzerland isn't part of the EU).

    Our train arrived at the French station, while our hire car pickup was at the German station, and of course they aren't particularly close to each other! So we spent 10 minutes on a tram with all our luggage, crossing the city. Our voucher said the rental car office was inside the station, but we couldn't find it, and when I asked the (mostly non-English speaking info man) he said it was outside and down the street about 200 metres.

    We got down there and found the office of a different rental car company, but they couldn't help us either. Eventually we found it, about 20 metres behind where we'd gotten off the tram! Whoops.

    Picked up the car with no problems, a Mini Clubman Cooper S which is very nice. We'd actually splurged slightly and booked a Mercedes A Class but this is probably slightly better. Spent some time fiddling with all the little gadgets and then set off on the drive to Berne.

    The drive itself was actually fairly uneventful, the countryside was much the same as in France though maybe the hills were slightly more dramatic. Still a long way north of the Alps, so no mountains just yet.

    Approaching 5pm, we decided to just head for our Airbnb on the outskirts of town - just a bedroom in a three-bedroom ground floor apartment with a young couple. They're slightly hippy - he's a stand-up comedian (in German, no less!!), while she's a language teacher who teaches French to German-speaking Swiss company employees. They're both nice, though the road was being repainted and so the parking spaces were blocked off and we didn't know where to park. Eventually we found a spot a street over.

    Headed straight out to grab some supplies from the supermarket, and here got our first taste of Swiss prices. The Swiss Franc is worth about $1.30 Australian, so add 30% to each price. Large bag of muesli: 10 francs. 300g packet of supermarket brand spaghetti - 6 francs. Small jar of pesto - 8 francs. Yeah. We're gunna be eating in a lot here.

    As you can probably guess, we had spaghetti with pesto for dinner, along with a couple of beers which were actually pretty cheap.
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  • Day65

    Switzerland for a couple of days

    September 16, 2016 in Switzerland

    Made it to the capital of Switzerland. The ride out of Treisenberg was great. The old proverb of "what goes up must come down" suited the ride perfectly. The road down the other side was fantastic smooth tar with really well banked corners..just fun. Had to traverse a couple of ranges and the weather was looking a bit ominous but held off. Beautiful country side but with a fair bit of slow traffic including the obligatory milk trucks! The problem with a lot of these roads is that there is nowhere to pull over for pic taking.

    Bern is a mix of old and new like a lot of Europe. I thought Lietchenstein was expensive......just add 10% for Switzerland. Spent a couple of days wandering around the city ang got the shortest hair and beard cut of my life. I went into an African barber shop that advertised cuts for both "black and white". Well by the surprised look on all the faces in the shop when I took a seat, I'd say it had been a while since anyone took the sign at face value. There was a bit of whispeting and pointing and then some big smiles (ftom all of us) before I was invited to take a seat. Anyway great hair cut (a number 1 - took about 3 1/2 minutes) but still cost me £30.

    Next stop Italy and a chance to meet some relatives.
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  • Day2

    Pause in der Schweiz

    May 19 in Switzerland

    Ein sehr teures Vergnügen an der Raststätte.. aber Pause muss auch mal sein.. und Mensch und Hund und Katz brauchen ihren Auslauf und ihre Ruhe.. Bei den weiteren Stopps in der Schweiz haben wir dann vorgesorgt und uns vorher mit genügend Brotzeit eingedeckt, geht ja bei uns prima, haben ja alles und v.a. auch einen gut gekühlten Kühlschrank an Bord :-)

  • Day1

    Bern

    February 24, 2017 in Switzerland

    Was isst man zum Einstieg in Bern?

    Genau: Käse. Und zwar einen ganzen Teller voll :D

    6 verschiedene Sorten haben wir probiert: Sbrinz AOP, Emmentaler AOP, L'Etivaz AOP, Berner Alpkäse AOP, Gruyère AOP, Tête de Moine

    Sehr lecker!

You might also know this place by the following names:

Bern-Mittelland District, Verwaltungskreis Bern-Mittelland

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