Destination: a quaint little town in The Alps that is a getaway for some, and a way of life for others. Bern, Switzerland, is a capital of unmatched beauty. Viewing the architecture — alone — could serve as an entire trip. But, there are many more attractions to pull you to this unique destination. The clear blue waters of the River Aare, crystal clear runoff from the glaciers that cap the nearby Alps.
The city center is made up of the peninsula formed by the winding of the River Aare, creating Venetian-styled waterways that gracefully lap against the stilted homes and buildings at the river’s edge. Across the river from the city center, hills slope up into cliffs, with a vast expanse of towering buildings clinging to the rocky outcroppings. One could almost say that there is no other place like it in the world, if it weren’t for the striking similarity it holds to Vail, Colorado, USA. Cascading, chilly-blue melt from the perennial snows funnel down the cliff-sides surrounding Bern, creating an arterial flow of small streams and creeks that feed the Aare.
This city is so unique, because it is so interrupted. Switzerland has long-been a sovereign country that retires itself from political affairs. Due to its reclusive political stance — and fortress-like Alpine boundaries — the land has remained as pristine and untouched as it was 300 years ago. Barely scathed by World War(s) I & II, much of the rich architecture that was lost in Poland, France, Germany, and other lands involved in WW II, is still alive and thriving in Bern.
Carved by thousands of years of glacial movement, the valley that holds Bern, Switzerland is not to be missed. Whether for skiing, summer retreats, or just passing through, Bern is a comfortable destination to sit back, relax, and enjoy the crowning beauty of Central Europe.