Getting Active in Bern, Switzerland

Getting Active in Bern, Switzerland

The Swiss love the great outdoors and in the capital, as well as hiking and biking, you can float down the river and end up in front of their parliament.
Bern’s old town is UNESCO protected and the layout of its wide streets goes back to medieval times. It was founded in the 12th century on high ground, circled by a tight U-bend of the River Aare, making it easy to defend.

The story goes that Berthold V, Duke of Zähringen declared that he would name his new settlement after the first animal he found hunting in the forest. It was a bear, (Bären in German), and they’re now housed in humane conditions in a special park.

Bern Clock Tower
Bern Clock Tower
The city is tiny and it’s easy to wander around on foot. The Zytglogge, or clock tower, was built early in the 13th century as Bern’s Western gate and subsequently enlarged. It houses the bells and an astronomical clock with a mechanism manufactured on site, between 1527 and 1530, by Casper Brunner. It’s still going strong and you can climb up inside and watch the complex whirring of cogs and gears as it strikes the hour.

Time was also important for Albert Einstein who lived just down the street for two years when he worked at the Patent Office. The apartment, where he developed his Special Theory of Relativity, has been restored and furnished in period style and is open to visitors.

Floating down the River Aare
Swimming Bern
Keeping cool in the Reiver Aare
In summer, Bern residents keep cool by plunging into the River Aare, often carrying their clothes and shoes in a special waterproof bag. The current carries them downriver to the Marzili. This complex of open-air pools and lawns, just below the Swiss Parliament Building, is perfect for an active lunch break.

I leave my clothes in a locker here and walk upriver for around a kilometre before holding my breath and jumping in. Temperature is around 20C so it’s not too cold, but after 15 minutes I’m ready to get out. As well as steps and handrails there’s a special channel leading from the river to the safety of the outdoor pool. This sounds more difficult than it actually is, but you do need to be a confident swimmer.

There are also strict safety rules – no alcohol or drugs, leave your airbeds behind and don’t dive into the cloudy water. There are also times when there’s heavy rain in the mountains and the river becomes a murky torrent, concealing floating pieces of wood. Mercifully today the water is crystal clear and the sun is shining. It’s a fantastic experience, one I can heartily recommend.

Gurten, Bern’s Mountain
It’s worth taking the funicular up to Gurten, known as Bern’s mountain, although it’s only a small hill rising to 858m. A network of running, cycling and walking trails caters for Bern fitness fanatics. On a clear day, the city is laid out in front of you, with the sparkling Aare River running through the centre, and there are views across to the snowy peaks of the Bernese Oberland.

Swiss Alpine Museum
If you’re interested in the history of the mountains, the Swiss Alpine Museum (ALPS) tackles current mountain issues from all over the world in an unconventional way, with a series of temporary exhibitions. I liked the Memories Lost and Found which has a collection of skiing gear over the ages. The Alpine Workshop highlights mountain crafts including violin making and weaving. In the shingle workshop, you can get up close to the wood and practise your skills.

Gantrisch Nature Park
For those craving the real outdoors, a short train ride takes you out to the town of Schwarzenburg, the gateway to the Gantrisch Nature Park and the mountains of the same name. If you’re not feeling confident enough to tackle those, then anyone can access the Gäggersteg, a unique wooden jetty in the middle of the forest reserve. There’s a circular family walk here but a longer path leads to the Berghaus Gurnigel, part of the Gantrisch Panorama Trail. When it’s clear, night hikes offer magnificent star gazing, although tonight it’s overcast so I stay inside the warm chalet.

The incomparable British Summer of Cruising

The incomparable British Summer of Cruising

It would appear that cruising is back on the plan and as long as you are completely immunized, you likely could be cruising this late spring.

Princess Cruises

Princess Cruises has 22 Summer Seacations on two boats from Southampton, heading up the west coast taking in the blending field of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Grand Princess has 14 journeys from July 31 to September 23 while Sky Princess has eight, from August 30 to September 28.

Most are three-and four-nighters for ‘grand cruising’ (that implies no ports of call) while a modest bunch of week-long travels take in a blend of Liverpool, Belfast and Glasgow.

The OceanMedallion wearable, electronic voyage card gives what Princess calls a ‘genuinely touchless’ experience, from registration to installments to food orders.

These being picturesque excursions, no inside lodges are accessible; comprehensive tolls (drinks, wifi, tips) for an overhang room start at £539 (three evenings, no calls), £599 (four evenings, up to one port) and £999 (seven evenings, up to three calls).

Rules: Vaccinated, UK-inhabitant visitors as it were.

To book: 338 8663


Cunard is offering the opportunity to cruise around Britain in sublime style – Queen Elizabeth’s mid year season in the Med has been supplanted by occasions at home from July 19 until October. There are 13 travels, from three to 12 evenings, all from Southampton. Ten are British Isles Voyages, half of them picturesque, relentless excursions, embracing the coast from southern England to the Scottish isles, half settling on decisions, including Liverpool, Greenock, Belfast and Newcastle in addition to Cunard’s first visit to the Welsh port of Holyhead. Three Sun Voyages head ‘any place the sun sparkles most splendid’, albeit how far away from home that may be is cloudy. Gallery spaces for three-night beautiful journey from £499, 10-night trip with prevents from £1,299 and seven-night Sun Voyage from £899 – albeit less expensive, inside rooms are accessible.

Rules: Guests should be immunized.

To book: 338 8641


P&O, consistently pleased with its British legacy by flying the banner on its boats’ uniform, has three-and four-night travels on leader Britannia, June 27 to September 19, and seven-night trips, August 7 to September 18, on new boat Iona, all from Southampton, more than 30 altogether. Iona’s seven-night first venture (from £1,199) sails around the Scottish Islands, securing off Iona, her namesake, for a nightfall festivity. Three-nighters, wandering along England’s south coast, start at £449.

None of the travels includes any calls however the organization vows to screen the climate and head where the sun sparkles most brilliant – the seven-night Voyage To The Sun as of now vows to clear past the Channel Islands and along the French coast.

Rules: Vaccinated, UK-inhabitant visitors as it were.

To book: 555111



Viking Venus getting perused to cruise

Viking reveals its most current extravagance transport, Viking Venus, on three England’s Scenic Shores sailings (May 22 and 29 and June 5). The seven-night travels head for the sun (however much it is conceivable) with visits to pretty Tresco in the Isles of Scilly, Falmouth in Cornwall and Portland, Dorset’s southernmost point, where one can stroll along Chesil Beach and through the antiquated stone quarries.

Viking’s security program incorporates an installed research center for every day testing of staff and visitors and individual air cleansing gadgets for every visitor room. Costs to be affirmed.

Rules: UK occupants as it were. Inoculations not needed because of wellbeing program tests.

To book: 298 9700



Riviera’s Seaventure

Riviera, the waterway journey subject matter expert, has added maritime 160-visitor MS Seaventure to its armada for UK travels.

Two Scotland’s Highlands and Islands travels (July 5, leaving Leith close to Edinburgh, July 26, withdrawing Greenock close to Glasgow) visit Aberdeen (for Balmoral), Orkney, Oban and the Outer Hebrides. Like Riviera’s stream travels, visits are remembered for the cost – which is from £1,999 for each journey. A lot to see – and the boat has a warmed saltwater pool, rec center, sauna and bar on the off chance that you like to remain on board.

Rules: Guests should be inoculated or have introduced a negative test.

To book: 888972


Adventure has six summer travels, not least the 15-night debut journey of Spirit of Adventure, from Tilbury to Dover (July 26, from £3,458), a circumnavigation of Britain, with 11 calls from Newcastle to the Orkneys, Belfast to Bristol. At that point there’s the enlightening six-night Tilbury full circle Northern Isles to the Fjords on sister transport Spirit of Discovery (July 3 and 25, from £1,539), which goes through a day cruising in the midst of the cascades and heaps of Norway’s longest fjord, Sognefjord, and calls at the Shetlands, Orkneys, Outer Hebrides and Scottish territory. Disclosure has two other Tilbury return trips, the 14-night Great British Isles Adventure (July 11, from £3,375) and six-night Scottish Highlands (June 27, from £1,154). The five-night Celtic Escape to the Irish Sea leaves Southampton on September 24 (from £1,075). All rooms have a gallery and excursions are comprehensive, including visits, wifi, tips, escort to and from transport up to 250 miles every way, free stopping or mentor or rail travel, and travel protection with up to £5m Covid cover.

Rules: Guests should be inoculated.

To book: 250 0948

Fred Olsen

Fred Olsen has a period of 11 British travels on two little ships new to the armada, six on Borealis (cruising from Liverpool, July 5-August 23) and three on Bolette (cruising from Dover, August 16, 19 and 24), with two on Balmoral (July 28 and 31). Most are beautiful sailings (no stops), from £399 for Bolette’s three-night first trip to the Channel Islands and Isles of Scilly (August 16). Other relentless excursions incorporate weaving in the midst of Scotland’s isles – the rough Small Isles and Mull, with a loch or two as well, the Faroe Islands and surprisingly Balmoral’s five-nighter to Norway’s fjords (July 31, £749). Other five-and seven-night trips with stops take in the Orkneys, Shetlands and Northern Ireland.

Rules: To be affirmed.

To book: 804 4156


Dusk Bar

The Sunset Bar on Celebrity Silhouette

Big name is offering a line of UK travels from July 3. The schedules, six to eight evenings, will leave from Southampton and embrace Britain’s drift and remember a few stops for Scotland – Inverness, Kirkwall and Glasgow – just as Belfast, Liverpool and Portland. Travels are generally on Celebrity Silhouette, given a multi-million-pound makeover a year ago with the new outdoors Retreat hideaway for suite visitors, patched up rooms – and advanced, without hands passage to every one of them. Six-night sailings in overhang rooms (July 3, 17 and 31) from £1,049, seven evenings (August 14, 21 and 28) from £1,299, eight evenings (July 9 and 23, August 6) from £1,449, all on the new Always Included program significance beverages, wifi and tips are incorporated.

Rules: Vaccinated visitors 18 and over those under 18 with negative PCR test results.

To book: 493 2093


Hurtigruten, the Norwegian campaign journey trained professional, transforms Britain into an experience on four journeys from Dover. The 15-day Picturesque Ports, Isolated Islands and Wonderful Wildlife journey (July 4, August 1, from £3,569) heads up the west coast to the Outer Hebrides and back, with remembered arrivals for little boats and a few trips into a wild universe of seabirds and standing stones, abandoned sea shores and Ben Nevis (mooring at the noteworthy lochside town of Fort William). There are visits to Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Isle of Man, Scilly Isles and the south bank of England. The 13-day Remote Islands, Natural Wonders and a Diverse Coastline trip (August 15, September 10, from £3,315) follows a comparative course. All travels are on 500-traveler MS Maud, cool and contemporary with bars and cafés, and including master talks and wine with supper.

Rules: To be affirmed.

To book: 3993 8259

Disney Cruise Line

Disney Magic

Disney Cruise Line has consistently offered awesome amusement parks adrift – this late spring you don’t have to stress over upsetting the fun by getting off to investigate.

Disney Magic will have relentless sailings of two, three and four days from Southampton, Liverpool, Newcastle and London Tilbury. The outings are for all ages, close by most loved characters, waterslides, youngsters’ clubs are grown-up just pool and spa, a diversion locale and top notch café. Dates and costs to be affirmed.

Rules: To be affirmed.

Best of the rest

Kirkenes – Bergen. MS Trollfjord på vei motel I Trollfjorden

Different organizations are additionally assembling British summer breaks. Marella (, most popular for travels to bright climes, is dealing with a British program. Italian-styled MSC ( guarantees brief breaks from Southampton beginning May 20 followed by week-long travels with stops.

Sailings will be on new leader MSC Virtuosa. English visitors just and those without immunizations should show verification of a negative test inside 72 hours preceding embarkation. Furthermore, Cunard ( is offering the opportunity to cruise around Britain in wonderful style – Queen Elizabeth’s dropped summer season in the Med has been supplanted by occasions at home, subtleties to be finished.

8 International Travel Tips From a Guy Who Lives Out of a Suitcase

8 International Travel Tips From a Guy Who Lives Out of a Suitcase

In case you’re setting out abroad toward business or delight, here are a couple of tips I’ve taken in (the most difficult way possible) that will assist you with expanding your efficiency and your good times.

  1. Download Google Maps. (Or on the other hand figure out how to request bearings in Mandarin.)

Any place you’re going external the US, odds are the transmission capacity will suck and Google Maps won’t get you where you need to go. Require a couple of moments to download the guides for the space you’re going to before you leave, and you’ll never get lost abroad. Here’s the manner by which to do it:

Go into settings in the Google Maps application and discover the choice for “Disconnected Maps.”

Pick “Custom Map.”

Zoom out on the guide to incorporate the territory you’re visiting.

Pick “Download.”

On the off chance that you need to download a bigger territory, you can rehash this interaction for covering regions, and you’re all set!

  1. Get a worldwide information plan. (In case you’re moronic and rich, skirt this segment.)

In the event that you plan on calling, messaging and utilizing information, you should make this stride before you leave the USA. Go to your transporter’s site and see what’s shrouded in the spots you’re visiting, and discover an arrangement that works for you. In the event that there’s a month to month charge for the arrangement, makes a point to drop it just after you get back!

Alternative two is to kill information meandering when you travel, yet then practically every application (Yelp, Google Maps, Email, and so forth) will not work. On the off chance that you can live with that, you’re having a preferable existence over I am!

Here are connections to a portion of the greater transporters’ global plans:





Related: The Hotel Owner Who Called Out a Blogger for Asking for a Free Room

  1. Track down the correct force connector and bring a couple – or bring an electrical expert.

Most gadgets adjust to the distinction in the voltage from one country to another naturally, yet you’ll actually have to manage the clever looking attachments. Before you leave, you ought to have a couple of connectors in your gear. To discover what kind you’ll require, look at this guide. Furthermore, make certain to have one in your portable gear, so you can charge your telephone during delays or if your baggage gets lost.

  1. Purchase a convenient charger – and make sure to bring it!

Versatile chargers are a lifeline when voyaging abroad. Telephones will in general run out of battery quicker when you’re wandering, and it’s no fun being abandoned with no spot to charge. Pick a little yet amazing convenient charger, something that fits easily in your regular stuff, so you don’t lament conveying it. Also, bring a more extended charger line, so you can charge your telephone while you’re utilizing it. Here’s one I truly like.

  1. Check whether Uber works where you’re going.

Uber is an incredible decision to get around when you’re voyaging, particularly in nations where getting a taxi may expect you to go to explicit areas or call ahead. Uber doesn’t work all over the place, so you’ll need to check their rundown of worldwide urban communities. Also, try to make a Uber account before you leave in the event that you don’t have one as of now. (Truly? No Uber account?) Are you to a greater degree a Lyft fan? Extraordinary in case you’re going to Canada, yet other than that, you’re in a tough situation.

Related: Check Out This CIA Operative’s 9-Step Hotel Safety Checklist

  1. Use ATMs for cash – however just bank ATMs.

You’ll likely need some neighborhood money, regardless of whether you for the most part use Visas. It is in every case great to have a little neighborhood cash close by for odds and ends and tips. Simply keep away from the air terminal money trades to get your mixture.

Utilizing cash trades at the air terminal is a sucker’s wagered except if you love complex expenses and swapping scale control. ATMs in different nations are a simple arrangement and normally have an alternative in English (Hint: Click the U.S. or then again UK banner when it asks!) But just use ATMs that are worked by real banks, not by cash trade organizations. What’s more, keep away from unheard-of ATMs found in little shops and throughout the night markets – they’re infamous for odd expenses and taking personalities. Keep the entirety of your ATM receipts until you can crosscheck your records back home.

Related: 10 Things You Need To Do If You’re Flying In Bad Weather

  1. Keep away from the Visa hustle.

Charge cards are an incredible method to deal with your abroad spending, however here are a few things to check so you don’t end up with startlingly tremendous bills.

A few cards charge an expense for each abroad exchange. This can get excruciating in a rush. Try not to utilize those cards by and large, as there are numerous that have no extra expenses for charging abroad.

Address American Express – it’s an image based on movement, and they offer a huge load of cards with highlights and advantages for the abroad explorer. AMEX is quite reasonable concerning trade rates and is magnificent at ensuring its individuals against misrepresentation. One admonition: there are a few shippers that don’t acknowledge AMEX, so make certain to have a reinforcement card or some money available.

Pay in the neighborhood cash in case you’re at any point given the alternative to “see your all out in dollars,” when looking at. While it’s pleasant that the Visa machines can show the sum in dollars, the secret swapping scale offered is ordinarily route more regrettable than what your Visa organization will charge. Simply say no, and pay in the nearby cash.

  1. Be keen with your visa, sham.

Make two copies of your identification before you withdraw – leave one at home with a companion and take one with you. In the event that you lose your visa, you can utilize this duplicate to help fire the way toward tidying up this wreck you’re in. You ought to likewise take a decent photograph of the visa with your telephone. Continuously secure your identification when you show up at your objective, similar to the lodging safe. Furthermore, set a schedule update for the date and time you’re leaving so you don’t go to the air terminal without it!