Bern / Thun

Top station of the Gurtenbahn in Bern Yet another European capital to tick off from my list: over the last weekend, I spent four days in Bern. Yep, Bern is the capital of Switzerland, neither Geneve nor Zürich. I always thought it is Geneve… Well, it is similar to the Netherlands where Amsterdam is more famous than The Hague but the latter is the capital.

It takes little less than six hours to get from Göttingen/Kassel to Bern. There is a direct ICE which connects Berlin with Interlaken Ost. I have no idea why the train does not end in Bern because Interlaken is a small town with roughly 6,000 habitants. Maybe it is because Interlaken is close to one of the most famous mountain ranges of the Alps, i.e. Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau? Who knows… I got off the train in Bern anyways.

I stayed in a small private hostel. Actually, it was the house of an artist who rents a couple of her rooms to visitors. Very private… So far, I only slept in normal hotels where you are kind of anonymous. It was totally ok – the room was clean and well equipped, the bathroom was excellent. However, in the future I will rather avoid these kind of accomodations. I prefer to be just a face in the crowd. The good thing in Bern is that you get a free ticket for public transportation with every hotel reservation so I had a four day Bern card that covered the most essential areas.

The weather in Bern was ok. It was not really warm but also not cold. Unfortunately, it was quite cloudy which blocked the view of the Alps for the best part of the four days. That was a bit of a bummer until the last day where I had the opportunity to take some pretty nice pictures of THE panorama. Another disappointment was that the three brown bears which are kept in a large compound downtown were not there because of restoration. :-( Finally, the Tour de Suisse passed the town both Saturday and Sunday. This caused many inconveniences. There were still many lovely things to see. The house where Continue reading →


Vienna

Prater @ night I spent the begining of June in Vienna. It was my first time ever. I always associated Austria with the Alps and never considered that a large part of the country is actually relatively flat. I took the train to Vienna which goes there directly (ICE, Hamburg – Vienna). No need to change! It was a six hour round trip through most of the major Bavarian cities – Würzburg, Nürnberg, Regensburg, and Passau. I could have left the train at any of these stops and explored the respective city as I’m only familiar with Nürnberg, but first things first. When I’m done with the major European capitals, I’ll continue in Germany.

I was lucky and the weather was really good in Vienna. It was 30 degrees every single day. I staid for three nights. That gave me enough time to explore most of the major sights. When I decided for Vienna, I didn’t really have anything in mind but the Prater. When I walked the streets of that town, I had the impression that basically every building is something special – and the Hofburg seems to cover most Continue reading →


Zürich

Zürichsee I spent end of October in Zürich. I only stayed for two nights but that was enough to discover the city. It felt as if I had a hole in my purse.

Zürich is beautiful, especially with the lake and the river. As the weather was really nice, I had the chance to take some good pictures. I was fortunately able to resist the Sprüngli temptation. I didn’t even buy a single piece of chocolate.

On one of the days, I spent 25 minutes at Fraumünster watching the Chagall windows. I like his way of painting.

Overall, the trip was a nice escape. I’ve only got one little criticism: Zürich is too clean. Not that I’m a fan of beggars but if there are none of these people around, what does this say about a society? I believe they exist everywhere…

Oh, and my camera is now at a local camera store. I have dust on my sensor. It’s visible on all pictures that I took in Zürich. Here’s to digital photo editing.

Limmat Zürich @ night Uetliberg in fog Zürichsee II Zürichsee III Großmünster, Zürich


Rome: The Eternal City

Old Rome @ night II I finally took the chance to visit yet another European capital. This time, I decided to go to Rome. I wanted a warm place and I found it: five days 28 degrees each. I flew from Hamburg as they offered the cheapest direct flights that do not land in the middle of nowhere (like Ryanair for instance).

The very first impression of Rome is… chaos. It seems that there are no traffic rules but one: never stop! For me as a stranger, it appeared basically impossible to cross a street. Being German, I waited at the zebra crossing for ages but after the 100th driver ignored me, I knew that I was doing something wrong. Just a minute later that Roman guy walked past me and right into the traffic. I regarded that as suicidal but astonishingly, the cars really stopped – at least the ones he was directly in front of. When he had reached the other side, the traffic was as crazy as before. It was like Moses who divided the waters. I was a poor Egyptian… 😛 I learned my lesson and always stuck to someone else’s heels. I never dared to cross a street alone, though.

The hotel was – well let’s say ‘ok’. It could have been better but for a single traveller whose goal it is to explore the city, it was Continue reading →


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