We were almost at the end of our Bern tour but there was one recurring theme for this current holiday that we are about to complete. My last European tour last year (2012), the recurring theme was visiting all the museums that were available. This time around, our aim was to climb as high as possible. For Bern, that is to climb the cathedral.
Unmissable from afar, this cathedral was built in the 15th century. A Gothic church. I think the people of Bern are really interested in making colourful figurines. As can be seen at the entrance to the cathedral.
For those weary travellers with no place to rest, the cathedral is a nice spot to sit down quietly, gather your thoughts or even go through your itinerary. Heck, you can even have some shut eye if you want. Although I wouldn’t be travelling all the way to Switzerland just to nap in the churches.
The fee to climb the tower on your own? CHF 5
As with other tower climb, most of it you have to do on your own two feet. No such thing as a lightning fast lifts to take you to the top. And on top of that, they charge you a fee for it. For the Bern Cathedral, it was CHF5 (2013) per person. And don’t give me excuses that you’re too old for it, most of the people we met up there were probably double my age.
The two pictures do not do justice to the views that one could get from up top. But believe me, they are well worth the climb. On a nice sunny day, you get to see miles around you. If you don’t like this, maybe our next suggestion would be much more suitable. No climbing involved.
Back to Bern (on the ground)
We were on our last hour at Bern. Our next stop, the Parliament. In case you missed it in the first post for the day, Bern is the capital of Switzerland. Not Zurich, not Geneva. So here lies their Parliament. If it’s not in session, you can get a FREE guided tour. If it’s in session, you get to watch it in the spectators’ box.
Located just a little to my right from the place where I was standing while taking the photo above lies 26 water fountains, one each for the 26 cantons. Beware of them as they don’t usually turn them up every day. I saw at least two people getting wet for walking across the fountains. The sprouts are built level along the ground, so to the oblivious, you would be thinking you’re walking across a puddle of water, only for the fountain to turn itself on while you’re walking.
Immediately on both sides of the Parliament building are two small entrances. Don’t worry, these are public areas, you won’t get stopped by the police. Walk through them and you will find yourself at a viewing platform/garden, overlooking the Aare. I think I’ll just let the photo do the talking.
So there you go, compare with the one from the top of the cathedral. So you decide, which one do you prefer?
We’re coming to the end of our fountain hunt.
Near to the cathedral on Munsterplatz is Moses.
On Marktgasse, there’s supposed to be two, but one of it, the Anne-Seiler-Brunnen was closed off for roadworks. So we were left with:
Finally, on Spitalgasse along the way back to the Bern train station:
So there you go. You can have a good walk all around Bern like we did. You can go fountain hunting. You can go shopping. That’s all up to you in Bern.
(to be continued)