Four Fun Reasons to Visit Bern

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Have you ever been to Bern? If you answered no, then perhaps we can help you reconsider. Switzerland’s sometimes overlooked capital offers many charming historic places to explore: pretty fountains, narrow, winding streets, historic towers, a covered shopping arcade, and heaps of terrific museums. You can even swim in the River Aare, which lazily winds its way through the city’s historic quarter – a UNESCO Heritage Site. Beyond all of this, though, are our four favourite reasons to visit:

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][vc_single_image image=”13730″ img_size=”full”][vc_empty_space][title_nd title=”1. CHEESE” tag=”h2″][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_column_text]Did you know you could make your own cheese in Switzerland and then – once it’s ready – have it sent to Canada? How cool is that? A short distance from Bern, in the little cheese village of Affoltern you’ll find the Emmental Show Dairy – where you can learn about the process of cheese making and make your own over the open fire. There’s no problem importing your own personal stash of cheese into Canada, although if it’s worth over $20 you will have to pay duty. If you aren’t into the DIY thing, you can easily sample and purchase local cheeses – such as those from local producer Jumi – at one of the farmers markets, or the popular cheese shop Chäsbueb (“Cheese Boy” in English).

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][title_nd title=”2. GINGER LIQUOR” tag=”h2″][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_column_text]A local hobbyist by the name of Pepe Jenzer invented the divine “Ingwerer” (ginger liquor). This is not his full-time job though: he works at the Café Kairo in the bohemian neighbourhood of Lorraine. He started producing the Ingwerer just as a hobby. You can purchase bottles online and have them delivered to your hotel in Switzerland (just remember that you’ll have to declare it when you get to Canada Customs!) or if you’d like to sample Ingwerer at a local bar, there’s a list of bars serving it on the Ingwerer website:[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][title_nd title=”3. LAZY BIKE RIDES” tag=”h2″][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_column_text]These e-bikes actually go by the more dignified name of “FLYER” – and let’s face it, in Switzerland you don’t have to be lazy to want a little help traversing the countryside. Not only are you probably full of cheese, Ingerwerer and chocolate, but there are no shortage of hills. Unlike the noisy gas-powered versions we have in North America, these battery-driven bikes are quiet and much more suitable for a relaxed country ride. You can choose your level of support, too – use a little or a lot of battery depending on how you feel. Emmental, a mere 20 minutes from Bern, is home to the FLYER factory. Take an interesting tour of the factory then give one a go. This is a perfect spot to try them out – there are suggested routes to take you through the lush meadows, dark woods and wild waters of the hilly landscape.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][title_nd title=”4. BARRY THE ST. BERNARD” tag=”h2″][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_column_text]When someone says “St. Bernard” do you instantly imagine a massive, friendly dog with a little cask of liquor dangling from his collar? Well, you’re probably picturing Barry – the most famous St. Bernard of all. Apparently he saved a lot of human lives up in the mountains (by tracking them down and providing them with boozy sustenance). Then, after a life of service, Barry’s owner took him to retire in Bern, where there is now a fascinating exhibition dedicated to him – and the legend that surrounds the St. Bernard breed.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”13729″ img_size=”350×350″ title=”Flyer bike factory”][vc_empty_space][vc_single_image image=”13728″ img_size=”350×350″ title=”FLYER Group Tour”][vc_empty_space][vc_single_image image=”13727″ img_size=”350×350″ title=”Barry the St. Bernard”][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]

Image credits:

  • Show dairy: Bern Tourism
  • FLYER: FLYER E-Bikes
  • Barry the dog: Lisa Schaeublin


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