Friday, December 08, 2006

Short break

Dear visitors, I'm sorry to report that my camera is broken so there will be a break here until I get something worked out... Enjoy the rest of the site in the meantime.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Heavy lifting

Click on the image to see this properly!

I've posted this really as a pointer to a fantastic pic I saw on Flickr, which is a great shot in terms of technical aspects, image quality and photo content. Mine pales in comparison really. Please do take a look. Respect to Beegee.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Church of the Holy Spirit

This is the baroque ceiling of the catholic Heiliggeistkirche opposite the train station in Bern. This pic here shows it from the outside.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Cathedral interior

Bern has an impressive gothic cathedral, known as the Munster.

Here here and here are shots of the cathedral exterior and
this pic shows the cathedral on the Bernese skyline. Awesome.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Like cheese?

Try the Bündner Alphüsli cheese stand on the marketplace -

A Bündner is a product or person from the eastern Swiss Canton of Graubünden, known in French and English as the Grison mountains. Amongst other things, the Grisons are famous for the Davos and St. Moritz ski resorts. Not to mention the cheese, of course. And the sausage. And the pear rolls, stacked up on the left! Alphüsli is a real Swiss word and means little alpine house - I guess refering to the chalet-esque (sort of) stall...

You might like this other shot of the back of the market square, just behind the Bünder Alphüsli

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


This photo of Brunngasse (Fountain Street) reminds me of the 'middle-age fortress' feeling that Bern evokes. Inside the city walls, it's a quiet, safe place that time forgot. The rural surrounding countryside adds a buffer-zone to the fortress - it's at least an hour's drive north, east or west before you reach modern European civilization. And if you travel further south into the Alps, time slows down and eventually even starts to go backwards...

Monday, November 13, 2006

Clear view to the Alps at sunset

Last night was a good one. Cold air = good views

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Bern sunset

Tonight's sunset from the Murihalden...the same place as this daytime panorama and this stop on Ted's tour

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


According to this webpage, Café des Pyrénées, Kornhausplatz 17, is "jovial and unpretentious meeting place for artists, alcoholics and others with loud voices. Equal quantities of twenty- and forty-somethings crowd the place out nightly."

This pic is dedicated to the guilty parties who definitely know who they are.

Monday, November 06, 2006

How many bus drivers does it take to change a bulb?

Well, I can't think of a funny answer, but here's a guy from the local bus company, Bernmobil, doing just that.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

View from Kleine Schanze

That's the classic Alps view of Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau, taken in the Kleine Schanze park just beside the Swiss parliament.

Coincidentally I took an almost identical picture at the same place, same time, last year, click here to take a look.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

180° panorama over Bern

This is the view over Bern and the River Aare from the Muristalden, or the "Muri hill", a steep road which in the old days was the main route to the village of Muri.

It has been mooted that the park will one day be transformed into a roaming area for the symbols of Bern, the bears. At present the bears are kept in an ugly and insufficient stone pit close by.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Buskers Bern

Buskers Bern is a three-day long street music festival in Berne. The "buskers" are from round the globe and are mostly excellent.

Here's a snapshot of a Brazilian trio that reminded me of Manu Chao.

Last night was spoiled by rain but tonight looks ok.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Gurten Festival / T-Shirt

The Gurten is what the Swiss call Bern's "Haus-berg", meaning Bern's "home mountain".

It's a mound at the back side of the city and every summer for the last thirty years or so, the Gurten has hosted the Gurten Festival, an imaginatively named music festival. It's a mix of big acts and local heroes, and is small and friendly rather than huge and muddy, which many of the festivals back home seem to be. We had great weather this year and I saw Manu Chao and Mousse T headline the fourth and last night. Awesome. Reamonn are playing in the photo above, a German group with an Irish frontman (they sounded like U2). More on

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Bern from the air

I was lucky enough to be on a flight last week that flew over Bern at low altitude - the sky was clear and I was able to capture this view, showing Bern, the alpine foothills and the Bernese Oberland alps, as well as the snaking loop of river Aare in the bottom right hand corner. By following the river round to the loop, you can pick out the medieval part of Bern (compare with this post). The pic is looking due south.

It's a little blurry, i hardly ever get sharp ground pics from the air because of the high speed of flight and the relative tinyness of the subject, grateful for any tips..

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Some shots from a cruise on Lake Thun

So I know this is the Bern City blog but sometimes you need to get out of the city!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Lake Thun at Spiez

It may have been Ted's last photo, but not mine...

Here's a picture of Lake Thun, very close to Berne. It's taken over the small town of Spiez, and there's a castle by the lakeside, visible if you click on the pic for the large version. Awesome place in summer, awesome place in winter :)

Monday, June 19, 2006

Ted On Tour 4

this is the last one. the high point of ted's tour.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Ted On Tour 2

Ted's pics form part of a set of photos that I took as part of my job (on lunchbreak...). Ted's pics were for his owner, a geography class at a school in the south of England, who follow his adventures round the world and get to see some interesting places he visits.

The very British teddy bear has a distinguished travel history, having been seen in Spain, New Zealand, South America and more!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Bundesplatz / Place de la Federation

270° panorama yesterday afternoon. Looks best blown up big (click on the picture).

The wet patch in the middle is not due to rain, it's because I took the photo while the fountain display, where jets shoot from nozzles in the stone (which is made of alpine gneis rock), was on one of its intermittent breaks.

Take a look at this post to see the fountain (almost) in action!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Chillin' on the Münsterplatform

coffees and beers, with a view to the Gurten Hill

many happy kids playing in the park


Saturday, June 03, 2006

Saturday shoppers on Marktgasse

The busier end of Bern's main street this afernoon.

The main street changes names three times as it runs through the town centre: Marktgasse - Kramgasse - Gerechtigkeitsgasse = Market Street - Kram (?) Street - Justice Street.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Friday on Kramgasse

A typical Friday afternoon at the quieter end of Bern's main thoroughfare.

At some point in history someone famous (perhaps Goethe?) called this street the most beautiful in the world. Well, at that time the world was a much smaller place than it is today, but there's no denying that there's nowhere else quite like it, and it is very cool in its own medieval way. Walking under the arches is almost like being in a time machine. A very unique and atmospheric street.

Here's a favourite photo of the same stretch on a very cold and quiet day.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Who pulled the plug?

This is one of my favourite fountains in Berne. There are many others, and you can drink from all of them, the water is very clean. Most town fountains have columns in the middle of their basins, with statues atop the columns. There is a string of them in a relatively straight line connected by an age-old underground stream running down the middle of the main street through the town (can be seen here covered by a grille). This particular spouter is by the university library in the town centre, at the head Münstergasse. I've got this photo of it full, very classy.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Bern on Google Earth

Bern is a small place, and many people don't immediately know where it is - Geneva and Zurich steal the Swiss limelight. So I thought I would pull a few images off Google Earth to give you a better idea where I've been posting from.

On the European scale, Switzerland is the north-south east-west axis of what politicians call 'old' Europe, which goes a long way toward explaining the international role such a small country plays in Europe and the world. You can see that Bern is more or less in the centre of Switzerland - a compromise point between the French, German, Italian and Romansch speaking Swiss, who might all wish for their own regions' major and better-known towns to be the capital.

At the regional level, Bern is situated just north of the Alps on the Swiss plateau, which spans west to east across the northern two-thirds of the country. The remainder of the country is sparesly inhabited Alpine terrain - the majority of the populace lives on the plateau. Lush countryside surrounds the town and the Alps are within easy reach, past the clean blue waters of Lake Thun :-)

Zooming in, we see that Bern really is a very small town. The most prominent geographical features are the River Aare and the Gurten hill south of the town. The core of the Swiss capital is concentrated on the "half-island" (as it's called in German) made by the curve of the River Aare.

For more detail on Bern, take a look at this post where I made some notes on how the town was founded and on the city layout.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

View over the River Aare from the Münsterplatform

note the accident nets! It's a long way down to the street below!

This photo is taken standing at almost the same place as this one of the Münsterplatform itself.

Take a look at this photo with almost exactly the same view, but in very different weather conditions!

Monday, May 29, 2006

River Aare in the centre of Bern

I haven't been posting much because it's been raining a lot. But as you can see, a lot of rain makes nature go GREEN!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Summer day on Parliament Square

On the left we have the guy about to make a run for it through the fountains; the father and child thinking about it (he did, in a minute); then there's the BMX rider up the back, who i hadn't noticed when i was taking the photo, bonus point; and on the right, that baby just did a run, got a soaking and came back to his father in tears..!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Spring buds

Spring's still trying to break through here in Switzerland, but a few days of April snowstorms have been holding it back. Here's to the Easter weekend!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Münsterpark panorama

We had temperatures of over 20°C this weekend!

When the weather permits, Bern loves to get out the house and stroll through the Old Town.

The Münsterpark is a platform overlooking the river and the lower Old Town and is a good place to break a walk. There are benches, play areas for kids, a café on the far right and the crowd is always eclectic - families, rockers, hiphop g-stylers, students, business people and elderly folk all mix, creating a very relaxed atmosphere. If you're in Bern and need to chill out in summer, this is one of the best places to do it.

I shot some views over the edge of the Münsterplatform last autumn. This and this are also related.

Have a good week!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Rathausgasse wall painting

Following yesterday's decorated vehicle, I'd like to pick up on another theme my friends at other City Blogs have been posting - here's a nice wall mural for you. It's on Rathausgasse (Town Hall Street), and portrays soldiers dancing with ladies at a party.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

The greatest Swiss bus ever

Spotted in Bern!

The license plate shows FR - it's from the Canton of Fribourg, the Canton of Berne's easterly neighbour.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Spring checks in

Sunday was officially the first day of spring 2006. I can only say that I'm glad to see the back of the that cold and dreechit winter am am looking forward to the explosion of life over the next few weeks!

I've been experiencing some problems with Blogger this week, it wouldn't let me upload photos... Anyone else?