Archive for the ‘Bern’ Category

Switzerland Cities: Bern, Schwellenmaetteli

The Local ch reports: Bern residents know there’s nothing better than a swim in the river Aare on a hot summer’s day.

Jumping in upriver and floating down the fast-flowing water into Bern is a popular pastime in the city.

Some even use the turquoise river as a means of commuting to work, drifting around the Swiss capital with a change of clothes in a dry bag.

The Aare flows in a loop around the base of the city, with the town sitting up above, so residents have to walk down from the roads and bridges above to access the riverside.

Now one Bern-based organization wants to make it even easier to go for a dip – and increase the fun factor at the same time.

Grassroots organization Alternative Linke (AL) has proposed to the Bern city authorities that slides be installed at various places in the city to offer a fast and fun way to access the river below, reported 20 Minuten on Thursday.

The public chutes could be installed in the Lorraine and Bundesrain districts, said Markus Flück, who came up with the idea.

The slides “combine usefulness with pleasure,” he told the paper.

“We are aware that this is a very imaginative idea but also one that is very realizable,” he added.

AI submitted the idea to the authorities in early summer, said the paper.

The organization’s plan also suggests installing lifts on several bridges in the city to allow people to get back up to the city centre again.

Discover wild swimming in Switzerland


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Bern – A city of Swimmers!

Crave Online reports: “We’re very laid-back people,” said Regula, a 30-something resident of Bern, appointed one of my unofficial ambassadors to Switzerland’s capitol city. It’s easy to see, literally, where Bern’s chilled-out vibe comes from; the city is surrounded by dramatic views of the Aare River. It’s so clean, the motto is, “Swim with your mouth open.”

River Swimming Bern Switzerland

The Swiss are mad for swimming. Each city seems to have its own special, logo emblazoned on a dry bag, rubberized to keep the contents safe while floating down the river or lake.

Wild Swimming Bern Switzerland

In Bern, there are river entry points all over the city, with railings and signs warning of the next place to get out. The river is Bern’s local amusement park, and it’s free. The water flows so fast, it’s like being on a water flume, and the only way one can properly do strokes is to go against the current…

The Swiss are mad for swimming

Now in the UK we can’t boast freezing cold pure and bubbling glacial waters running through our city’s, but clean water has returned as our polluting industrial past fades away in memory. Getting swimmers back into our waters is another matter. Unlike the Swiss, far from being a laid-back chilled-out people many feel sure that river swimming is a fringe activity and are very suspicious about the concept of outdoor swimming. It wouldn’t be so bad if we had more of a ‘live and let live’ attitude, but if that cannot be achieved we can always visit Switzerland to see just what were missing!

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Much has recently been said about safe river swimming. Its easy to think that when it comes to safety standards the British kitemark is and always should be the standard. But if we take a look at attitudes in Switzerland, we find that swimming freedom is experienced throughout the country.

River Swimming in Basel

Visitors to Basel are encouraged to try a special leisure activity that brings exceptional enjoyment – a swim in the Rhine. It is often said that the Mediterranean seems very close to the city, and If you mix with Basel’s inhabitants you will soon discover why. You can take a dip in the Rhine at any time during the summer months

Wild Swimming in Switzerland

I have decided to take a closer look at this remarkable country and visit as many swimming places as possible. I will be looking at how safety concerns are addressed and at what can be learned from the Swiss in the swim and report on my findings in the Autumn.

Summer is coming so come on Britain let’s go swimming!

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Wild River Swimming in Bern Switzerland

It’s hard to imagine now, but at one time river and lake swimming were encouraged throughout Britain.
Before the current era of NO SWIMMING signs, wild swimming was very much the thing to do each summer.
Those that chose not to swim enjoyed watching the spectacle of fun freedom and adventure as it unfolded in the waters all over the UK. Later the lido era drew huge crowds of spectators as swimmers, divers and beauty contestants pulled in crowds from traditional bathing places.
The sunbathing era  changed the focus of swimming and eventually put pay to the chilly lido, especially when bargain holidays to Spain came within reach of the working man.
Throughout Britain, outdoor swimming has been discouraged since the 70’s, yet by contrast throughout Europe, America and Australia attitudes are have remained liberal and supportive.
These pictures might just tempt you to take a trip to Burn this summer to see and experience for yourself what life is like for swimmers who have remained free.
Wild Swimming
The following information is provided by: Tourist Information Bahnhofplatz 10a | CH-3011 Bern | T +41 (0)31 328 12 12 | F +41 (0)31 328 12 77 | info@bern.com | Bern.com
Swimming in the Aare – Information
Dear Guests,
Summer in Bern is a wonderful season of the year. The arcades provide shade for visitors strolling through the city. And when the weather becomes too hot in the old town, swimming in one of the Bern municipal pools or in the Aare beckons.
In summer, the River Aare is very popular. Many Bern residents enjoy a refreshing swim in the river. The Aare is a beautiful, but untamed river which must be treated with the respect it deserves.
To avoid getting into any kind of difficulty when swimming in the Aare, please observe the following rules:
Only good swimmers venture out into open water (rivers or lakes) and swimming aids do not provide 100% safety.
Never go swimming on a full or entirely empty stomach – wait for two hours after eating a rich meal.
On no account drink alcohol or consume drugs.
Never jump into the water when you are very hot – your body needs time to adjust.
Never jump into turbid or unfamiliar waters – especially not head first!
Small children must not be allowed in or near the river without supervision.
Make sure to comply with the local notice boards. You will find them in all the bathing pools in the River Aare in Bern.
Never swim on your own.
So if you wish to swim in the Aare, you will do well to start at the Marzilibad (admission free of charge) and leave your personal effects at the bath (lock up all valuables). The river reach at Marzili is a good place to get to know the Aare for the first time. Many landing stages and steps down to the Aare make for easy access to the cool water. Here you may also take the opportunity to swim for a few metres to familiarize yourself with the river.
If you then wish to spend a little more time in the Aare, just follow the Aare path up to the Schönausteg, a good point of access to the river. If you prefer, you can also walk as far as the Eichholz camp site where you will find another ideal access to the river.
You can then swim down the Aare back to the Marzili pool where you may leave the water by one of the landing stages identified by a red handrail. Marzilibad is the final point at which swimmers can leave the River Aare. Please comply with the warning notices!
If you are not sure where and how to get in to the River, just ask a local Bern resident. We will all be happy to help you.
Have fun and enjoy your stay in the Swiss capital!
Best regards,
Michael P. Keller
Head Tourist Information, Bern Tourism


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