I admit going into this trip I was a bit nervous about 23 days in one place. It would be very busy with work, but I should have my weekends free. Question was if they would be interesting or if I would be sick of it and just want to get home. I went into it determined to make the most of it, and hoped that time would fly by!
You know it’s a good sign when you get to your hotel, and the sign in the elevator knows you’re coming:
The nice thing about the middle of summer in Switzerland is that the sun sets quite late, so even though I didn’t leave work until a bit after seven most evenings it was still plenty light to walk around.
One of Bern’s nicknames is the “City of Fountains” due to the more than 100 fountains around the city. An even more interesting fact: the water that comes from them is very pure and drinkable. Definitely nice to have when it was over 30C and hot most of the time I was there. Just three of the many fountains:
The Zytglogge – a famous clock in the center of Bern. It was funny watching the tour busses drop people off, they stay 10 minutes waiting for the clock to strike the hour, everyone takes pictures…and they all pile out again.
Bright blue skies even in the evening – and I love the way many of the streets in Bern were lined with flags not just of Switzerland, but also of the Canton of Berne.
Over the week I came up with a running loop that was about 6km – perfect for a little late evening exercise after work and a great way to enjoy a really scenic city…as long as you don’t mind dodging tourists!
The Aare River and the old buildings really made it feel like wandering in a storybook fairy tale:
Many evenings people would set up tight ropes across the river. As some one majorly uncoordinated I was super impressed with the balance these guys and gals had!
The sun set pretty late in Bern, but when it did, we were treated to some gorgeous sunsets. Usually when you’re below mountains sunsets are less stellar, but there were definitely a few really nice ones!
Ended up with one day complete free on the first weekend, and I’d spent all week researching places I might go that might not be TOO touristy, so I bought a full day train pass figuring I could decide then at the last minute where I would go.
I was glad I had, because I found a mountain I had never heard of before – Diavolezza – in the far southeast of the country. It would take over four hours each way by train, but since I do love a good train ride it sounded like a great day trip…even if I would have to get up at 6am to get a start on the day!
After changing trains three times, I was finally in Landquart ready to catch the Bernina Diavolezza Express train for the short ride to the base of the Diavolezza. This was a panoramic train that goes into Italy, but I would only be riding it for a short distance, which had a supplement of like 10 francs for the panoramic car. Well worth it!
The cable cars to the top of Diavolezza only left every 30 minutes, and I had just missed one, so I had a chance to relax and wait. Return tickets for the cable car were 36 francs and were not included with the railways daypass, but it seemed a reasonable price to get up to 9,770 feet above sea level!
Once to the top there was an outdoor viewing deck, with absolutely spectacular glacier views:
Lunch with a view on the observation deck. Some delicious rösti and a Bernina Beer while enjoying. I had worn shorts and a hoodie since it was 33C in Bern, but up here on the Diavolezza it was only 5C….but given the strong sun I was perfectly warm while eating despite being in shorts.
After spending about 90 minutes on the top, it was time to ride the cable car back down and catch the train. Glacier lake on the way down:
Catching the train back to Landquart:
The views from the train were absolutely spectacular:
Decided since I had the daypass I would stop off in Zurich since it was more or less on the way, and have some drinks before heading back to Bern. But first, while changing trains, I had to get some Mövenpick ice cream!
Then one more train before the train to Zurich. Not too uncomfortable inside:
After drinks in Zurich it was back to Bern – another week of work awaited, and hopefully also another weekend adventure!