Anyone who knows us and who also knows Bern would know where we were headed for when we arrived in Bern. We planned to take the number 12 bus, over the bridge to the Bear Pit, of course!
Since our last visit here, the old Barengraben has been improved somewhat and the bears of Bern now have a most magnificent park in which to play. The whole of that riverbank is terraced and secured which means the three bears can explore the large area to their hearts content whilst we get to see them from all directions! They even have a section of the river to swim in, there at the bottom of the slope.
We arrived to find all three of them out and about on the grassy slope and were happy to stand and watch, taking photographs by the dozen. Zoom lenses were in action all over and these bears were happily wandering about the place, uninterested in the attention they were receiving.
To begin with, we stood on the top terrace, with the old bear pit behind us, and admired the smallest bear playing around. So sweet!
And though, of course, we were using our camera zooms, actually, these bears were pretty close to us, possibly as close as we’ve been to bears anywhere, in fact.
We loved it.
Just when we thought we’d move along, maybe go and find somewhere for our picnic, they would have a run around, lark with one another or something, but we convinced ourselves that they’d still be there when we’d had our lunch…
We found a picnic spot amongst the trees, a little upriver and sat for a while enjoying the fruits of the farmers market earlier.
The Solothurn cake was delicious and of course, I wondered why on earth I’d bought such a small one!!
And then it was back to the bears. This time, we walked along the lower, riverside level and found the youngster paying a great deal of attention to a group of people with a bright yellow inflatable. All the time we were watching bears, people were floating down the river on airbeds, in small inflatable boats and so on, and this bunch of folks had just got out a little lower down to take a look at the bears. Clearly, the bright yellow had caught this one’s eye and he was showing quite a bit of interest.
But they were the other side of his swimming pool and he was too scared to go in! So, he stood on the side of the water, splashed a paw in it from time to time and then stood up to growl a while, maybe feeling threatened by this strange yellow being?
The commotion he made drew the attention to one of his parents, who ran down the slope and dived straight into the pool with an enormous splash! (A cheer went up at this point!)
We were treated to a great display of bear swimming skills and a bit more chasing around until the people with the yellow li-lo moved on and peace was regained.
What a great place to visit. How well the bearpit has been extended to create not only a fine home for the bears but also a really interesting and satisfying visitor experience too.
As we left, my hero spotted the “bear” on the telegraph wires just outside the bear park, too! How could we miss such a fun sign by the entrance?
We strolled back up the main street in the afternoon heat, doing our best to keep going and taking every opportunity to enjoy the cold water in the fountains.
We admired the work of a group of artists, thinking we might have a go at the same scene ourselves, but working from a photo, later.
Then we stood for a while trying to work out the astronomical clock but really, were ready for home.
It was a full train home but we all found seats and even managed a nap. Arriving in Zurich with what seemed like a holiday crowd, we decided to go out there and then for a bite to eat.
Having done so, we caught the tram home again. The 6 and the 7 go to the Enge station, so we never have long to wait.
How handy that it arrives in front of that helpful reminder for our shopping list!
And, after another enjoyably busy day, we return to the flat and a table full of leaflets, guidebooks, cold drinks and yes, chocolate, to decide what we’ll do tomorrow.
We have so many options!