Day 3 Berne-Low Cloud & showers -½° to 2°

We caught the 10.02 train from Interlaken Ost to Berne this morning.  Berne is approximately 60km from Interlaken and took approximately an hour on the train.

As we said yesterday, Berne is the capital of Switzerland and the city centre was built on a hill in a bend of the Aare River.

Armed with our map, we visited the old town, where we wandered along the cobble-stoned streets.  From the station we walked down Spitalgasse, (gasse means street), Marktgasse, Kramgasse, Gerechtigkeits-gasse and Nydeggstalden to the river. For most of this area, there were tram cars travelling in each direction only a minute or two apart and the streets had a footpath down each side and also a section in the middle for viewing the eleven  ornate 16th century fountains along the way.  Most of this area appeared to be restricted to pedestrian and tram car use only.  We passed through the Prison Tower (Käfigturm), saw the Clock Tower (Zytglogge) and made a slight detour down a short street, to see the Town Hall and the Church of St Peter’s and St Paul.  Then we continued along the main street and walked over the Untertorbrücke Bridge to the Bear Park (Bären Park).  Bears have been kept in Bern since 1513.  Until 1857, they were in the City itself, then in the Bear Pit and, from 2009, in the Bear Park.  According to legend, late in the 12th century, the Duke of Zahringen sent his hunters into the woods and promised to name the city after the first animal that was brought to him.  As luck would have it, the bears were not venturing out to the cold, so we didn’t get to see them.

We had lunch at the Altes Tramdepot, where Richard tried a Helles beer that was brewed onsite – he thought it was pretty good, so he had a second one!  We sat at a lovely table overlooking the river and the city.

From there we took a different way back to the station – we walked over the Nydeggbrücke Bridge, along Junkerngasse past the Elacherhof mansion built in the 1700s, to the Cathedral (Munster).  From there we walked to the Parliament Building, where we had magnificent views over parts of the city and surrounds – we were up very high on a section of the old town built on a hill with a very high rock wall to protect it.

As it was then raining, we made our way back to the station to catch the 2.34 train back to Interlaken Ost.  Berne Railway Station is quite big, with a large number of different kinds of shops on the lower level and hundreds of people going to and fro.

When we arrived back in Interlaken, we walked to the hotel and then decided to continue walking further towards Interlaken West, looking at shops and restaurants to find somewhere for dinner tonight as the restaurant in the hotel will be closed.

We started our blog, sorted through our photos and then headed off to the DesAlpes Italian Restaurant, which is only a few minutes walk from the hotel.  We thoroughly enjoyed our Weinershnitzel – no photos tonight as Richard wasn’t game to pull out the camera, as we were seated in the middle of a busy restaurant.  We had a bit of a chuckle because we are in Switzerland, went to an Italian restaurant, were served by an American waiter, had an Austrian meal and were seated next to a table of young Japanese.  The only thing Swiss about it was the local Rugenbrau beer that Richard has taken a liking to!  AND we finished the meal with German Schnapps.

So, all in all, another lovely day in Switzerland….. the snow is melting and it didn’t snow today.

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