Bern is the official capital of Switzerland; it is easy to travel there by train from Zurich in exactly 56 minutes. The whole old town is situated on a peninsula in the middle of the Aare River; it became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983. Once you emerge from the station, simply follow the signs “To City”, a little forward to the bus terminal, and then turn left. You will see the famous Zytglogge, the Clock Tower, and the main street. As it was raining, my pictures came out a bit askew, since I was holding my umbrella in one hand and my camera in the other hand. It is possible to walk right across the town, using many covered arcades as shelter from the rain. It is preserved in its Medieval image, most buildings are quite low, including the Rathaus (Town Hall) and the towers. Even the celebrated statues all along the main street seem slightly smaller than life-size. In general, one feels like being on a fairy-tale movie set. The Cathedral of Bern is the only tall structure, with its purely Gothic style. The tallest tower is under renovation, so I took some pictures of the sides. Like all the Swiss towns, Bern is very clean; one feels that it is possible to eat from the floor so to speak. There are plenty of shops with imaginatively designed windows, as well as all the familiar chain stores. In spite of the rain, there are crowds of tourists everywhere. At noon, hundreds of them stop in front of the clock, waiting for the chimes and for the dancing figurines to appear. Many people sit around sipping tea or coffee in numerous cafes which line the sidewalks, gazing at the running tourists. Surprisingly, it is possible to get quite a good meal for very little money, as compared to the other Swiss towns. It is a great half-day trip! Most people speak some English, in addition to their state languages – German, French and Italian. The Swiss are excellent linguists.






DSC03336 River

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