The Aare River is a life force in Bern, carving a narrow peninsula around a bend in a wooded river valley. The river created a need for bridges to reach the aldstadt. Today, there’s a nature park along its banks. The Aare flows only in Switzerland, originating in a glacier, flowing through two lakes before it reaches Bern. Here is a map of the Aare River.
Five bridges cross the Aare. One day I crossed all of them to explore different parts of the alstadat. From the Kornhausbrucke which I crossed many times, you can see the Aare’s milky green currents and understand its importance in Bern’s thousand-year history. On an early Sunday morning walk, I looked down from the Kornhausbrucke and saw a narrow walking bridge beneath. I had no idea I would cross that bridge later in the evening.
I started my morning by hopping on a tram for a visit to the neighborhood, a quiet, modern area with parks, schools, apartment buildings and shaded streets. Bern has a superb public transit system, clean, modern, punctual. Miss a bus or tram check the digital monitor to see when the next one is coming by. Eight minutes was the longest I had to wait.
My destination was the Rosengarten above Bern where the Aare carves its horseshoe bend. The garden was wonderful, well maintained with wide paths, plenty of benches, not a drop of litter. Trill of songbirds was especially delightful. I strolled through the gardens, took too many photos, watched families, tourists, pensioners, and young lovers holding hands. Everyone looked so content. No wonder.
I watched grandparents taking their granddaughters through the gardens. The girls were possibly twins dressed identically, include cute white, frilled caps. The literally danced through the garden. What a nice moment.
The rosengarten had been recommended because of the panoramic views of Bern, the Aare, and the aldstadt. So true.
I found a cobblestone path which descended the hillside and shaded by trees. I followed, admiring the views, the serenity, and gentle decline to a street that led to Nydeggbrucke. A word to those who might visit Bern and go to the rosengarten; if you take the path go down . . . not up. The cobblestones make it a bit challenging.
I heard loudspeaker booming, crowds cheering, and rock music blaring. Bern was hosting European mountain bike event, crazy guys bouncing, jumping, twisting bikes to navigate over logs, tree stumps, and stone blocks in an enclosure that looked like a bear pit in a zoo. Bikers, young men all, were timed as they made their way over the tortuous course. Can you believe some of these obstacles?
Nydeggbrucke and Kirchenfeldbrucke
After watching for a half hour, I walked across Nydeggbrucke into the aldstadt and continued exploring. Later in the afternoon, I crossed Kirchenfeldbrucke which had busy bus, auto, and tram traffic.
Again I was rewarded with views of the Aare, but this time, I noticed a dam that directs water out into a channel rather than along the city’s walls.
I spent the day walking through the aldstadt, crossing bridges, having lunch, but I still wanted to experience more. There was another adventure I wanted, walking along the Aare. I walked down a shaded stone path to the riverbank where there was a restaurant and small park.
The symbol for Bern is a bear going back to an early legend of the first animal hunted before the city was first built. To acknowledge the role of the bear in Bern’s history , there’s a small bear park below the Nydeggbrucke.
Meeting on walking bridge
Pleasant encounter on the walking bridge
I came to the narrow walking bridge I’d seen earlier in the day looking down from Kornhausbrucke. I met two young Swiss women on the bridge; we had a nice chat, took photos, and wished each other well. A nice encounter.
I ended the evening, walking up a path to Lorrainbrucke which I had crossed my first day. It was still light and thought I’d stop for a beer before returning to my pensione. I met three Germans from former east Germany who work construction in Bern. We had an interesting conversation, sharing stories in German, Russian, and Italian.
Next: Schloss Spietz
* * * * *
In addition to this travel blog, I write international thrillers, mysteries, and suspense novels.
I’m currently writing a thriller series based in Milan featuring the anti-terrorism police, DIGOS, as they pursue domestic and international terrorists. I travel to Milan every summer for research, to see my Italian and American friends, and to work with my researcher and translator.
If you’d like to receive a free ebook of my first Milan thriller, Thirteen Days in Milan, please sign up on the left side bar. I just need your name and email address.
The second book in the series, No One Sleeps, follows DIGOS agents as they track down a sleeper cell of Muslim terrorists in Milan who have received toxic chemicals from Pakistan to make deadly sarin gas.
You can find my ebooks all digital book sites. Paperbacks of Thirteen Days in Milan and No One Sleeps are available at Amazon and independent bookstores around the world. If they’re not in stock, stores can order from Ingram distributors. You should have your book in 3 or 4 days.
Book 3 in the series, Vesuvius Nights, will be published as an ebook in November and a paperback in 2018. If you’d like to learn more about Italy, travel, and writing, sign up for my email newsletter at my publisher’s web site, RedBrickPress.net or my personal web site jackerickson.com.
I like hearing from readers! Please email me and tell me what you like to read.