Spotlight: Bern, Switzerland

Yesterday was a typical lazy Sunday. After coming out of the haze of a weekend of late-night fun in San Francisco, I was glad to spend the afternoon napping and catching up on DV-R. One my favorite (and frequently recorded) shows lately is called Dhani Tackles The Globe, which airs every Monday on the Travel Channel. The show follows Dhani Jones, a football player on the Cincinnati Bengals, as he travels the world and engages in the local games and sports of each destination. Jones is kind of a goofy, yet lovable guy, and he seems ready and willing to take part in every culture’s rituals and obsessions.

On the latest episode he visits Switzerland for a week to learn about the sport Schwingen, which is sort of like sumo wrestling crossed with those intense lumberjack games you see at 4 a.m. on ESPN 3. While in Switzerland, Dhani visits the capital, Bern (or Berne), for a day to soak up the sun. I immediately perked up when he strolled onto the riverfront park of Aare. It was a majestic public green hiding in the shadows of Bern’s mythic, medieval architecture. The park reminded me a lot of cross between San Francisco’s Dolores Park with Austin’s Barton Springs. The cool blue water looked refreshing and beautiful, and the people tanning, lounging about and eating is extremely enticing.

I started sniffing around online with Mia this morning, and we came across a few beautiful hostels in the area, as well as Bern’s great tourism site . Just a short trip from Zurich, Bern looks like a definite candidate for a short layover on our way toward Germany. Despite Switzerland’s reputation for being expensive, most rooms in Bern run at the low end of what you might expect to pay for a double room in Europe (around USD$30 a night).

Bern is quite a historic gem, clocking in at nearly 1,000 years old (it was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985). Up until recently, Bern had a bear pit on the edge of town (it was shut down this year)! It also served as one of the original scenarios for the first SimCity game (weird).

Check out Bern’s beauty:


image: http://www.travel-to-switzerland.info


image: http://www.unspecial.org


image: http://www.viamichelin.co.uk

Make sure to check out Dhani’s blog!!!

-Adam

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