Thursday, August 13, 2015

“Gone somewhere, back sometime”

That was the note I left my younger son, my housemate and her husband last Saturday.
I had come back from Zurich early – too hot, no air conditioning in the room and a sudden yen to be home – but still had the day card for the Swiss trains and decided that it should get used.

Hopped on a bus at just past 8, breakfast at the train station then checked to see how far I had to go in order to get my money’s worth: very easy, only to Fribourg and return. That knowledge in mind I decided to head back to Bern having not had time to visit the main church, nor the bear “pits” when I had accompanied my cousin on Monday.  When I asked at the Tourist Office I was told that the bears weren’t there due to renovations and was given a city map with instructions for the bus to the Münster. Unfortunately, as in Geneva, as in Zurich, summer is when all roadwork is accomplished – who cares about the tourists – so the bus that should have taken me there didn’t.

Never mind, by wandering around the back alleys with map in hand I came across some other spots of interest where there were no tourists – worth it! 
The main bus and tram lines start here - under shelter!

Civil Engineering since 1865
Making visible that which takes place underground: amongst others electricity, sewers, traffic lights, communications, etc.

"Zytglogge" or the Clock Tower

Detail of the Clock Tower

House on the Junkerngasse

Arcade sidewalk - Junkerngasse

A painter's house on the Junkerngasse

Mini restaurant on a side alley

Eventually did reach the Münster, only to find out that one is not allowed to take pictures inside.  
The Münster cathedral seen from the Junkergasse - behind

A flower shop - very original displays

detail of the display

The Zeerleder House
 This house has been owned by the Zeerleder family since 1806: it is the only one of its kind in Old Bern: a Unesco heritage building it is post-1612 - two house facades in one, the facades were painted by brothers Rudolf and Hans Münger in 1897 - neo-gothic.

One of many elaborate door knobs
Another door knob
After circling back round the Münster enjoying the views over the Aar River - and with no pictures - never mind quick trip inside then down the alley where an open-air market was slowly being packed back up.
Terraced gardens and beehives leading to the river
The Aar river goes in a u around Bern city

One of many bridges, restaurant on the Aar and the old houses along the banks - often flooded

Read and Play

A great concept that could and should be copied by many other  cities and parks: a medium sized hut - and tent in the park - where one could borrow a book, a magazine or one of many games to play whilst whiling away a few hours.

The flag of Bern, amongst others, along the market alley

Too cute!

Sausages and dried meat sliced on the spot
One of many cheese stalls  
Typcial cellar
Many statues to Bears in Bern
 Formerly used to store things in front of the arcades, many of these cellars are now used as shops and restaurants: Loved the name on this one: "Wine and Be"
A Vegan restaurant duly noted for another trip

Way too typical of all Swiss cities this summer: Bus stop not served!

On a whim decided to return to Geneva via Thun, Spiez, Visp, Sion, Sierre, Martigny the other way instead of back tracking.

typical countryside near Spiez

Vineyards from the train in Valais

more vineyards in Valais

Some of the mountains - alps out of sight - in the Valais

In spite of also having to wait on busses and improvising once back in Geneva as it was the Geneva Festival’s firework’s night and the main bridge was shut from 5 p.m. until 3:30 the next morning, I arrived home in time to take my younger son out for dinner. “Life in the fast lane” has nothing on me! Mind you, four train trips in seven days was perhaps a bit much.

Finale Fireworks - the Mont-Blanc bridge is shut in between 5 p.m. and 3:30 a.m.
 P.S. This one is dedicated to sisters Irma, Evelyne and Eliane - who lived in Bern many years ago... enjoy the memories!