While I was riding my bicycle along the banks of the Aare River I noticed that there were small groups, then large groups, then dozens of people in swimming suits, most of them barefoot, walking long distances up the bank of the river.
Then I noticed that there were heads bobbing up out of the swift-running turquoise water, much like the photos we used to see of Mao Tse-tung swimming in the Yangtze River, but cleaner.
There are signs along the shore saying that the Aare is very fast-flowing and dangerous, and only for experienced swimmers.
Second photo: Because of the swift current, there is only one direction you can swim in the Aare, namely downstream, which is why people try to walk up quite a ways so they can have a longer swim down.
Third photo: Diving in. (Or not.) The water temperature was only 19 degrees centigrade, so some people took a while to get their courage up.
Fourth photo: Swimming in the Aare.
Fifth photo: The main thing about swimming in the Aare is that you have to be careful not to miss the last exit on the left bank, otherwise you might get caught up in the weir below the Kirchenfeld Bridge.
If you're good enough, it is possible to go water-boarding on the Aare. For this purpose there is a strong, thick rope attached to the Altenbergsteg, which is a low bridge beneath the much higher Kornhaus Bridge.
I'm not sure exactly how this works, but I think you have to jump off the bridge with your water-board, grab hold of the rope without losing the board and somehow get up onto the board with the help of the current.
The guy in the photo is the only one I saw who actually managed to do this, though several others also tried.
Although I don't play very much chess nowadays there was a time back in high school, especially durnig Chemistry Class, (never did get into the Science classes) when my friend Duane and I would make a chess board on a piece of paper and then with each of our moves would erase where the chess piece had been and pencil the piece into a new square.
Needless to say in a very evenly contested match we literally wore holes through that piece of paper with all of our erasing (moves) and typically our matches lasted for several days. From what I remember I don't think we ever got caught either.
Oh well so much for ancient history. It was interesting to walk onto this square in Bern on a day when it had just begun to rain and catch a little of the chess action going on. Couldn't really tell who was winning this match, but the board was well covered with trees so even in the rain the "game was still on."
Equipment: From the looks of it from this picture all you have to do is bring yourself and maybe something to eat and drink if the match is truly a meeting of like minds.
Since this winter you can go Skiing in Bern!...
... Well at least if you are a child or beginner. Up our Mountain the Gurten (see my other tips) there was a small Ski-Lift installed theis winter. As it was a great success it will be installed again next winter. The slope is perfect for beginners and kids, its not to long and not steep.
I had great fun watching the kids do their first curves on their skis.
The Ticket for the Lift is only 5.- CHF for the day.
If you need a drink to warm up there is a Snowbar just next to the Lift, and of course the restaurant only a few meters away.
Equipment: Skis, Skiboots, Waterproof and warm clothes.
There are several places throughout Bern to rent a bike for the day. When arriving in Bern via train you’ll see a lot of bike rentals right outside the station. It’s a relatively small city and therefore navigating the streets on a bike is a great way to get acclimated with the area. It’s also a biking city, so if you’re driving in the city beware of riders and pedestrians for that matter. After you’re finished exploring the city ride up into the surrounding hills for spectacular views of the area. What a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.
Equipment: Rent a bike from one of the rental places near the train station.
This is the future stadium of BSC Young Boys.
In its place, a multifunctional football stadium with up to 40,000 covered seats is now being constructed for European Football Championship 2008, in Switzerland and Austria.
The famous 10 miles of Berne.
This running event has been votet to be one of the best town running events. And it's the biggest sport event in switzerland!
The running course is a roundt trip around Berne passing the Bundeshaus, the Tierpark, the Aare and the old town. But running you probably don't have lots of time to enjoy the views... ;-)
All along the course there are music bands playing so it's not only a running event its a event for everyone!
There are different distances to run: the kids races(2 km), the Altstadt GP (5.5 km) and the Grand Prix (10 miles, 16.09km). Last year over 20'000 people where runing!!!
I'e never done it myself, but every year i work for the event securing the course.
The next GP will be on Sat 08.05.04
Equipment: Running gear
You might think that there's enough water already around Bern with the Aare river that's taking it's route around the whole city, but a few kilometers away from the capital in direction to Fribourg, there's a silent lake like a bed of the Aare, thin but rather long, the lake of Wohlen. Its water lies very friendly - protected of hills - like a present for every rowing friend, who should - in this case - direct himself to the Wohlen rowing club (Ruderclub Wohlen).
The landscape around the sea is hilly and green, good paths lead through the wood above the sea. An ideal address to go and relax after having walked for miles and miles from one edge to another through the city.
Equipment: If it has just been raining don't walk with high heels through the wood - it's climbing up and could be slippery!
Berne is a good base for skiing days! Of course only in winter....
Near Bern there are several places to go skiing big and small.
The Berner Oberland with all the famous resorts like Grindelwald, Gstaad or Adelboden is only about 2-3 hours away. The nearest places in Wallis aren't much further.
There are some small places to go skiing a few hours a bit nearer. One place is the Gurnigel. This ist where the picture was taken. You can see more about this place on my Gurnigelbad page!
you can rent tobaggonians in most swiss mountains resort like ski equipment..
like here in grindelwald