I arrived in Bern on Sunday 19th July 2015. I was tired. I will admit it, I was hungover. You can read the post which explains my hangover here. It was hot and my luggage felt heavier than ever. I was in no mood for messing about. I got a little bit lost on the way to the hostel which put me in a bad mood but eventually I found Bern Backpackers Hostel but I was far too early to check in. So instead of walking around with my incredibly heavy luggage, I sat in the reception area for a few hours reading my book as there was no where safe to leave the luggage.
Eventually I was able to check in. There were 6 to a room, with lockers, the room was small but it was clean and there were separate rooms with both shower and toilet in, and a lockable door. Luxury. The hostel was right in the town centre so I had a walk around Bern but didn't venture too far, I was tired and needed food. But it turns out that on a Sunday evening, everything closes in Bern, even food places. The only thing open seemed to be McDonalds. As a rule I don't eat McDonalds but this day, I broke that rule. I then chilled out in the lounge at the hostel and went to bed. The hostel was near near the clock which chimes every hour, but as I was so tired it didn't wake me. I would stay here again.
The next day, I woke early and ventured to the next hostel, Youthhostel Bern, where I stayed for 2 nights. I stayed in two different hostels in Bern because I booked the trip the week before I went so there was very limited availability. I got to the hostel very early and wasn't allowed to check in yet, but they let me leave my belongings in their luggage room. This gave me the freedom to walk around and explore. This hostel was a little further from the town centre, but still close and a walkable distance.
There is so much to do in Bern!! Having only spent three nights there I didn't get around it all but I got to see a great deal. I was looking forward to visiting the bear park, or Bärengraben, but unfortunately it was being refurbished at the time. I also took a great deal of time wandering around the side streets and admiring the scenery.
I feel like I really got to know Bern. It's nooks and crannies. The popular attractions, and the least popular places.
I had researched Bern before I visited Switzerland, and for this place I had a list of things that I wanted to do. Ideas for this list came from here, here, here and here.
As I have mentioned, I stayed in Youthhostel Bern. I had booked to stay in a 20 dorm, mixed sex room. This is the place that I was most nervous about staying in. I was imagining stag parties, noise, stuff going missing. But I had none of that! For starters, the room was not fully booked. The room was large and full of bunk beds, mine was against the wall. There was no one sleeping in the bed on top of mine, and no one sleeping in the beds next to me. This gave a slightly private feel about the place. The other people in the room were quiet, some were in bed before me, and the others who came in later were quiet. There were lockers next to the bed which fit a decent amount of luggage in, so my belongings felt safe. I wasn't keen on the showers, and the dorm room wasn't spotlessly clean but it was ok. They offered a free breakfast in the morning and that was quite decent, I was also allowed to place my stuff in the luggage room after I checked out until I was ready to leave Bern. I probably wouldn't stay here again, and just because of the price. It was quite pricey. For the price they were charging I would want things to be a little nicer, and possibly a 4 dorm room. You can certainly get cheaper elsewhere. The breakfast was a bonus though. The amount of churches in Switzerland was amazing. I love churches.
By the hostel there was a patch of grass next to the river. I used this as my sunbathing patch. One day whilst I was minding my own business, dipping my feet into the water reading my book, a man approached me. He asked if he could make me dinner one day and take me for a drink. I didn't know what to say, he wasn't exactly my type. I thought he had gone, when he then returned and handed me a piece of paper with his phone number and email address on. I took it and used it as a book mark, which I later lost. I wasn't intending on calling him, but later on I was at the hostel and he bumped into me. It turns out that he worked at the hostel!! He then asked if we could arrange a day for dinner. I agreed on Thursday, knowing I would have moved on in my travels by then.
One day I visited the house that Einstein used to live in. There's a fact that most people don't know about me, and this fact is that I love Einstein. I have read several books about the guy, Albert Einstein is my hero. So it was such a great experience to visit the place where he used to live.
I am so glad to have visited Bern. I absolutely fell in love with this place, and actually felt quite sad about leaving. It was so beautiful and just... nice!! Whilst I was staying in Bern I took a day trip to Geneva, but that's for the next Switzerland post. This post is already way too picture heavy!