Accomodation and transport
After Basel we headed straight to Bern. It only took us about an hour by train. We stayed in an AirBnB apartment which was very conveniently located near the old town. It was most practical for us to buy a six-fare ticket per person for city transport. Like Bern, Basel also offers visitors a Bern ticket if you stay at an offical accomidation. Being convienetly located we were also able to walk to many of the sights that we wanted to visit.
Bern is the capital of Switzerland. It is very charming and has a wonderful atmosphere. It was listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. We fell in love with the city and are definetly coming back for a longer stay as soon as possible. The Altstadt is wonderful with the huge Zytglogge – Clock Tower and endless fountains. Our personal favourite is on the Parliment square. It has 26 fountains representing the cantons and the water splashes on irregular intervals making it super exciting to run through without getting wet. Or, as in the case of the youngest one, trying to get wet by all the fountains! Luckily we had a towel and dry clothes in our backpack and she had an awesome time!
Sites and activities
The first thing that we did was to visit the Bear park. There a bear couple lives with their daughter down by the river Aare with a 6000 square feet are for themselves. While we were there we noticed people floting after the river and decided that was a must try!
Instead we visited Freibad Marzili, an Outdoor swimming pool with kiddy pool, springboards, and chance to go into Aare. The current in the river is rather strong so the girls were not able to go into the river by themselves but their heroic dad dived in with them (and returned with a few scrapes and bruises). There is also a large area for sunbathing / picknick so a picknick blanket or beach towel is reccomended (we forgot to bring ours). Access to the pool area is free and you can rent a locker for 5 chf (+20 in insurance). What a great time we had there!
The family took so much interest in the river Aare that the next thing we decided to do was to rent an inflatable raft and take a trip down the river from Uttiger to Bern. We took a train to Uttiger (20 min) and could use our interrail pass for that. Our plan was to leave Bern later that day so the travel day (in interrail terms) was put to good use.
Almost as soon as we hit the water it started to rain! It was a bit absurd sitting in our swimwear and lifejackets in a pooring rain with shivering children! But soon enough the sun broke through and we had a wonderful time leisuring down the river. The trip took about three hours with a short stop on the way. We had food and drink with us on the raft and got a drybag for our clothes and other luggage. We miscalculated us a little and ended up in small trouble getting ashore, but we made it eventually!