Berne (also spelled Bern), the Swiss capital, reminded me a lot of Canada’s capital, Ottawa when I visited in 2018. Both cities have a relaxed feel, big enough to have whatever you want/need – without the traffic.
I only have vague memories of my first visit to Berne, in 1986. I remember seeing the famous bears and a clock tower, but not much other than that. I think it was a quick stop when changing trains.
Last year’s trip wasn’t much longer. My wife was attending a one-day seminar and I went along for the ride. I spent some time exploring the area where the seminar was being held, marveling at the high Swiss prices and thankful I’d brought a picnic lunch.
Rather than pay an exorbitant parking fee, I found a free spot on the street. I wasn’t sure how long i was entitled to park, but figured if I returned to my vehicle every two hours I would be withing whatever time was allowed. That meant I didn’t explore as much as I might have otherwise.
Berne, like Ottawa, has a lot of parks, so I spent a good portion of my day just sitting and reading, enjoying a pleasant fall day. When I discovered that the Parliament Buildings, I went inside to see if there were tour spots available. There weren’t, but I got in anyway (and we’ll save those pictures for another day).
Canada’s Parliament backs onto a river, and you can get some very pretty pictures from Parliament Hill. So too in Berne, as there is a terrace behind Parliament that overlooks the Aare River.
As I walked along that terrace I took a couple of photos, and that is what I am sharing with you today.