“Maybe some of you would regard Zurich or Geneva as the capital of Switzerland, but it’s actually Bern,” I said over breakfast.
“We know that.”
Anyway, Bern is the capital of Switzerland and it is also where we are headed to from Interlaken. Since everyone knew about Bern, then you should know that they are closely associated with — the bear. It has been the Swiss capital since 1848.
“Then do you know that it is also a UNESCO World Heritage?”
“Now that’s news.”
Bern is the Swiss capital and also a UNESCO World Heritage
There are numerous connections with Bern from Interlaken. Since we were on the Swiss Pass, we decided to go for the ICE trains, which takes just under an hour to reach the Swiss capital.
People would say that a day isn’t enough to roam around the streets of Bern, I would say that is true but that doesn’t mean that it cannot be done. So follow me across a few posts to see how I did it all in one day. Sort of.
Once you step off the train, try to look for Platform 13. At the end of this platform are lifts taking you up to the fourth floor. This is where we were headed after arriving in Bern around 9am in the morning. It was still too early, and most of the shops were only just beginning their businesses.
Find Platform 13 and get to the 4th floor; there you will find the University of Bern and a great view.
“What do they have on the fourth floor?” asked the wife.
“Wait and you shall see.
We were at the rooftop of the train station and behind us lie the University of Bern. Interesting right? A university atop the train station. Who would have thought of that? That wasn’t the only attraction. At the top, you get to have an early look at the city of Bern. The historical part. And to map out the areas that you will be visiting during our one day excursion.
If you are a train watcher, this is also a good place to spot the various trains on the Swiss train system. Since Bern is the capital, most trains will make a stop here, from all across the country. From the train station, make your way to the bus station out front. Spot the #10 bus. We are going straight across the Old Town towards Rosengarten (Rose Garden).
“Don’t glue your eyes on the people in the bus, have a look outside. See? We are crossing the Aare River at Kornhausbrücke.” I said as I pointed out various structures along the journey.
“We’re here.” Mum said as the bus made a stop.
Just like the name, Rosengarten is a garden of roses located on a hilltop overlooking the Old Town.
“Why are we here?” asked GC.
“For the view.”
If you are up for it, there is a slightly expensive restaurant here. And you can wine and dine to your hearts content whilst looking out towards the Old Town. The reddish brown rooftops and the unmistakable sight of the Bern Cathedral.
Hiking down from the Rosengarten, we will come to the Bärengraben. The same animal that give Bern its name and also the symbol of the city — the bear. Unfortunately, they were not in their enclosure but out on the grassy slopes next to the river.
“Have your pictures taken with the bear if you dare,” joked Dad.
Another interesting thing I found while encircling the Bear Park are the names on the cobblestones. I’m guessing they are the donors for the park. If anyone has any other reasons, please comment below.
Remember the Space Invader I found at Lausanne? There is one here too.
Here’s another view of Bern just before we cross the Nydeggbrücke.
(to be continued)