The Aar (German Aare) is beautiful sight and jewel of Bern. Aar is a tributary of the High Rhine. It is the longest river that both rises and ends entirely within Switzerland.
Its total length from its source to its junction with the Rhine comprises about 295 km (183 miles), during which distance it descends 1,565 m (5,135 ft), draining an area of 17,779 km2 (6,865 sq mi), including the whole of central Switzerland.
We walked through the Botanical Garden and then continued past the back of the Bundeshaus (Houses of Parliament) which look down on the Aare River. As we continued we came to a larger section of the river where a spillway has been built.
Our view was always from a very high position, maybe several hundred feet or more above the river and gave us a fabulous view of the river, suburbia and landscape. It was a beautiful September day for walking and taking photos.
The river Aare has its origin east of Meiringen, then it flows through a narrow gorge called "Aare-Schlucht" that is an interesting tourist-attraction in Meiringen. Then it flows through Brienzer See, Interlaken and the Thuner See before it gets to Bern, where the river makes a slope around the old part of the city.
Here in Bern, just below the Bundeshaus you can take a bath in the river Aare.
The Aare,is the longest river entirely in Switzerland,it is 295 Km long,rising in the Bernese Alps and feding with a few glaciers also.
The Aare river flowing through the city of Bern,and is a very nice place to walk because it is located just beside the old town or (altstadt).In summer time many inhabitangs of Bern come to the river to have a swim and make some water sports also.Is always a nice place to make a long stroll along the river and see all nice places,bridges and buildings.There are a few bridges that cross this river,some of more important are:
In my opinion, the thing that makes Bern so special is the river that defines it, geographically, historically, and culturally.
Typically, the river is a milky blue from the calcium it carries from the mountains of the Berner Oberland, and it is FAST. But with variations in weather and season it never seems to look the same.
And the Bernese (and everyone else) are drawn to it. The current is too fast to swim against, so people float.... with inflatable boats, rafts, tubes, or only their bodies. It's incredible to put your head under... the musical sound is the tiny pebbles on the bottom being moved along by the current.
It's also quite a sight (especially for Switzerland, especially for Bern), to see hundreds of people wearing only bathing suits unabashedly walking upstream along the footpaths until they find a spot to jump in (sometimes off a low bridge) and float back to where they started. The most popular spot for this is the stretch between Dalholzli and the swimming pools at Marzili, but its popular along the entire river from where the river leaves Thun to Eicholtz and then on down.
There are definately some dangers, though. There is a small rapid at one railroad bridge between Thun and Muri that can take you by surprise in a raft or tube.... stay to the right to be a bit safer. Also, you HAVE to get out just after Marzili (at least by the Dalmazibruke) due to the rerouting of the Aare before the Barengraben.
Also, it can be COLD. To prevent muscle cramps, its best to splash around a bit and get used to it before getting in the first time.
Then, to get out you must find a red handle coming out of the water by the shore... usually on the left bank. This indicates a staircase. Move yourself sideways in the current towards it... it takes some practice to triangulate your movement and grab the handle!
This is a traditional and very fun activity. But unless you are a strong swimmer or already have some practice with currents, its best to take something inflatable along and be careful.
The Aarebad Muri bei Bern is situated directly on the river's edge - only very good swimmers who are not feint of heart should attempt swimming in the Aare and it is a definate no for children. However, there isn't just the river here - there are 3 pools, one with a water slide, 3 diving boards, a very nice and shady playground, beach volleyball and a sport field. A good restaurant covers food and drink. Though you have to pay a small entrance fee, the peacefulness of the area is worth it.
As Muribad is directly on the Aare, you can take a walk away from the pools and explore the area along the river which on a hot day is very pleasant as the forest here is very shady.
Elfenau Park. A quiet park 20 minutes from the city centre.
What I enjoy the most in Elfenau Park is the silence. Located on the edge of the city, it is far away enough from the city centre to be free of all city noises. It is very clean and beautifully cared for and set in a 536'000 m2 area so there is lots of place to find your favorite spot. Whether you want to walk in the forest, picnic in the fields, or find a secluded spot on the river Aare, Elfenau is a favorite place for dreamers, joggersn and families alike. There is an open grill area and a lovely playground. There is a small café in the park that is open on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11am to 6 pm.
There are many places to view the river Aare in Bern. It cuts and winds its way through the city and there are several bridges over the river. This view here is near the casino. Here you are looking down towards the area where the bear pits are located.
The river has a very swift current. We were in Bern just after the terrible heatwave of 2003 in Euorpe ended. It was still very warm and people were swimming in the river at various points. As I watched I was amazed at how swift the current was and how fast it pushed them down stream. I do not think I would want to attempt swimming in such a fast moving river.
Some of you may like the experience of a boat ride on the river Aare. You can discover the delights of Bern on a guided raft-trip along the River Aare and admire the city's sandstone bridges and flower-decorated buildings from an unusual perspective.
from may until mid of september
Price: Adults sFr. 30.--, children up to 16 years of age sFr. 20.-
daily on request. Info: Bern Tourismus, Tel. 031 328 12 12. www.bernetourism.ch.
The river that runs through Bern is called Aare and it's filled with melted water from the glaciers in the 'Berner Oberland'. That's why it has this deep green colour. Beautiful, isn't it?
In summer people swim in the river. Because there is a strong current they just have to jump into the river and before a weir they have to grab a handle so that they don't end up in the weir!
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