More of Bern, More of Aare River, University of Bern

28 Sep

Coleman looking casual. He’s my nephew-in-law, having married Anna over a year ago. He’s pretty much unflappable. All the way through the trip he helped my mother into our rented van. Sometimes he actually lifted her in.


Hannah and Joe are two of Gwynne’s colleagues at the University of Bern. Hannah is from Norfolk, England and Joe is from Australia. Joe visited with Barth and Rhonda for Christmas in Ithaca, New York last year, where he was able to enjoy wearing the same pajamas everyone else wore.   Gwynne is getting her doctorate in Linguistics.


Gwynne Mapes’s Office–We all wanted to see where my oldest niece worked.


This is a picture taken last winter of Gwynne in her office.


My nieces Rebecca and Meghan are looking at the view outside Gwynne’s Office.


Library at University of Bern


Evangelical Reform Church with Tower, View from Gwynne’s Window


Closer View of Clock Tower

Soldier on Tram


Mom and Me in Bern

Drain in Bern.jpg

When we went shopping in Old Town, I stood on this center drain in the middle of the street.  I had never seen a drain in the center.  I could hear rushing  water beneath my feet and wondered if the Aare was underneath the city as well as around it.



Gwynne and Rhonda, my sister-in-law, walking in Old Town


Upper View of Buildings in Old Town


Rebecca in Munster Cathedral


Coleman and Rhonda in Munster Cathedral


Munster Cathedral in Bern


Munster Cathedral in Bern 2


You can’t have a capital city called Bern without Bern (bears). I haven’t decided exactly how I feel about bears being in a zoo, but these bears–there were about five–have a good set-up. I noticed that the caretaker placed food around the small park they live in to get them to move around for the tourists. I’d be curious to know if they live longer in zoos or in the wild. Because of bear hunts, it isn’t an easy question to answer.


More bears!


This is a picture of me with Bern in the background. After we saw the bears, we took a short hike  to the top of a nearby hill.


Picture taken in same spot.


Same spot. You can see the Aare River.


Probably best picture at this site.


This is the spot outside Bern where everyone relaxes after going swimming. There are two swimming pools and a diving pool. Evidently, the Swiss have fewer hang ups about nudity because men and women are together in the changing rooms and no one pays any attention.
If you look at the lower right of the picture, you will see my party near the greenish-yellow umbrella. Mom is reading. The others are in swim suits
The two large pools are well laid out, which is in keeping with the emphasis on order I observed in the rest of the country.


Same area, pointing the camera a different direction. You can see the Capitol Building (Bundeshaus or Federal Palace)  in the background.


Swimmer in Aare River.  Note the railings on the right-hand side of the frame.


Another Swimmer in Aare River.

A weekend activity that residents of Bern are drawn to is swimming in the Aare. The idea is to jump in and navigate to the middle where there are fewer rocks. The water speed is very fast (at least faster than any rivers I’ve been in ) and the water temperature averages around 62 degrees. That is very cold. To give you a frame of reference, Cayuga Lake, next to Ithaca, New York where I live, is 72 degrees right now, and while you can still engage in water activities,  most people would choose not to.  Many swimmers hug onto beach balls or sit on rubber rafts. Six or seven sets of stairs are located on the left-hand side of the river. When you get tired, you are supposed to grab the railings and pull yourself up the stairs on the bank.

When I jumped in, I immediately realized that it is was too cold for me. After about twenty feet I swam to the side and scrambled up the bank, asking for help. A woman came and gave me a hand.   Sometimes I think it’s good to know your limits. I love swimming, but I did not love the temp. I had huge scrapes on my left leg the rest of the trip.



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