Bern, Switzerland | September 7 to 8, 2017
While I thoroughly enjoyed seeing and driving through the Swiss countryside, it was delightful to end up in the country's capital. Most people think the capital of Switzerland is Zürich or Geneva, but no, it's Bern! And there we were, walking in the gorgeous old town that sits on a 'U' shaped river—the postcard that is easily recognizable. From up above, the view is dazzling and adds a striking level of charm to the city.
If you have seen any of my posts before, you would know that typically, the first thing I do when I get to a new city is try and find a vantage point where I can relish a great view. We luckily found the Bern Rose Garden (Rosengarten) within an hour of arriving. We went just after the sun went down when the lights turned on, and then again early in the morning right after the sun came up—that's how much we loved the view. Bern is decidedly one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.
Bern is known for being the city where, in 1905, Albert Einstein formulated the Theory of Relativity (e=mc2). To honor Einstein, a statue of him was erected at the Rose Garden with his back facing the city. It is assuredly worth seeing if you make it to Bern.
Since we had just been traveling throughout Switzerland for the past few days, we decided it might be a good idea to relax and stroll through the city. Although we didn't see too many landmarks or famous sights, we just took in the beauty of the town and cherished the last day on our Switzerland road trip.
A place you have to be sure to check out near where the picture below was taken is the Bärengraben, where three bears are caged and put on display for all to see. You can see them as you walk along the main bridge. It's a remarkable sight and is interesting given Bern's history with bears. So it goes, bears have been confined to the city since the 15th century, and a Duke from the 12th century had ferociously hunted them.
I hope you enjoyed the last of my four part Switzerland Road Trip series. We had a great time, and it is unquestionably one of the past trips I ever took. If you are looking for something to do in Europe—and have a good chunk of change—driving through Switzerland enables you to continuously witness the breathtaking scenery, soak up the ageless culture, and breathe some of the freshest air on Earth.
Now, I don't want to inject politics into a travel blog, but indulge me for a moment. Our Earth is at risk of destruction, and Switzerland is fighting hard to keep their beautiful little country clean and pristine. Because of global temperature increases, the snow in the Swiss Alps may not be there forever—or at least at levels typically seen. That being said, enjoy this amazing country as much as you can now. And take care of it while you're there, for all our sakes.
- If you plan on renting a car to drive through Switzerland, pay a little extra money to upgrade to a luxury brand (e.g., Audi, BMW, etc.). When driving through the winding roads in the Alps, having a car that performs adequately will make your trip more comfortable and enjoyable.
- Keep in mind you will have to pay for parking just about everywhere you go in Switzerland. Unfortunately, there is no way around it.
- There are individual towns in Switzerland you cannot drive in. Places like Zermatt and Muren ban cars to keep the congestion out of the town. The ban means you will have to find a place outside of the town to park, then take a bus or train in (depending on the area).