Visiting Bern, Switzerland

The Alps and its surrounding areas are often considered as the best part of Europe. The Bernese Oberland in Switzerland is located right next to the Alps and it is a great place for various activities. Bern is a major city in Switzerland and the area allows us to enjoy a mixture between comfort and daring adventure. When we are in the country, it is important to visit Bern that’s located by the river Aare. The city comfortably snuggles into a U-shaped arm of the river and it is located at about 2000 feet above sea level. Bern is actually not a crowded city and it is surrounded by mountains and densely wooded areas.

During the summer, Bern generally have good weather and when we are walking in the city, we should be able to experience the old city with its famed clock tower and cobblestone streets. There are also many working ancient fountains and an impressive cathedral. The Bern train station have different levels, including those for shopping centers. Common souvenirs are those related to bears, which have become the symbol of Bern since the 12th century. It is believed that the duke who established the city killed a bear during a hunting trip around the area. In fact, the city is originally known as Baren or bear in English, which eventually became Bern.

The state flag also has the bear figure and the animal is also shown on the coat of arms. Bern’s clock tower may not be as majestic as London’s Big Ben, but it is quite an interesting performance. When the clock strikes every hour, there are a few moving figures on the tower that performs for about 4 minutes. It is said that the mechanism has been working since the 16th century. Old fountains in Bern are also interesting attractions and one of the most bizarre is the one that depicts a child-eating ogre. We could see the ogre is eating a small child with another child at the other hand.

Many would think that only feudal despots would produce such gory work of arts, but we should consider that many children stories have such scary depictions as well. The Cathedral of St. Vincent is popular in the city and people need to climb 270 steps to enter the interior. Inside, the cathedral is adorned with many stained glass panels and hundreds of figures that portray the Last Judgment. The Moses fountain is located near the Cathedral and it is close to a place where Einstein once lived, while he worked at the local university. The local people take a great pride of the famous scientist of having lived there in the early 20th century.

Marktgasse is the popular shopping area with plenty of shops and houses that line the main street. A museum is also located in the area and it was once a prison tower. We could also go to the Swiss Alpine Museum that provides us with detailed information on the mountaineering culture around the Alps.