Bern, Switzerland has a lot more going for it than a clock – the famous Zytglogge – yet that is all we remembered from our one-day visit in 2003! It is on the top of every list of what to see here, but check out our photo and commentary. Yes, it is big; yes, it attracts crowds; but it was a little short on performance, as we were expecting more. We have seen city clocks in Germany that have figurines going around in a circle, and even chasing each other, on the hour.
This time, we took a tour of the National Parliament building. The outside doesn’t do justice to the fabulous interior! It was just magnificent, and the city offers free tours with a great guide, in English. The police checking people into the Parliament Building were gruff and unpleasant, which surprised us for a country like Switzerland. But their unpleasantness didn’t ruin the tour. The tour gave us an up-close and personal look at the building. We have been on tours of many centers of government, including the US Senate and the British Parliament. This is the first time we remember being able to sit in the chairs of the members, which made it a very down-to-earth experience.
While in town we visited some churches and just walked the streets of Old Town. There are statues with fountains, as we show below, in the middle of the streets here and there. The streets are lined with covered arcades, which cooled us from the unrelenting sun and heat. Did you see that there is a heat wave in Europe? It is supposed to reach 100 degrees here early next week. We have been in several hotels with no air conditioning, so that would be most challenging. Good thing we have our small fans! At night, they provide just enough air movement to feel comfortable.