Interlaken in the heart of the Alps and Bern, at 8:42 are two of the great destinations of Switzerland presented in this practical guide, along with the historic city of Thun at 25:10 in the travel video.
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Switzerland playlist http://bit.ly/2qsUism Interlaken makes a perfect home base for exploring the beautiful mountains all around the central region of Switzerland, offering many hotels, restaurants and shops, and wonderful train and bus connections to get up to the mountain sites. Tourists have been coming to Interlaken and the area since about 1800 when it was first popularized by some romantic painters and then tourism really increased in the 1890s and early 1900s with the opening of railway service.
Some of the world's most spectacular mountain scenery is waiting for you just outside of Interlaken in the heart of the Swiss Alps. In this movie we’re focusing on how to get the most out of your visit to the town. For the more adventurous you can go paragliding. Or for something less adventurous you can just rent a bicycle and go peddle around. There's a lot to see in the Interlaken area. The town itself is relatively flat and you can peddle through the shopping areas and up into the residential zones.
A main activity in town is shopping – all sorts of souvenirs for sale, clothing, you can buy some hiking gear. It's a great place for backpacks, for boots, hats, clothing of all kinds, walking sticks and a T-shirt that says Interlaken.
There's not much of a pedestrian zone that's free of automobiles here but they do have one little lane that's for pedestrians. But the rest of town is very friendly for walking around, the sidewalks are wide and there's always things to look at and things to do.
The great meadow forms a major park, beautifully landscaped and kept in a semi-natural state with flowers and trees and the meadow along one side and grand hotels on the other.
If you’re a gambler there is a casino like there is in most Swiss towns and it's an elegant place. It’s part of the Kursal complex which for 100 years has been a cultural center of the city, set in a beautiful park with fountains and flowers.
Another major attraction worth seeing near Interlaken is the city of Bern the political capital of Switzerland and it's just one hour away by train.
The Bern train station is right next to the old town so your walk through the historic zone begins the moment you arrive. The main street proceeds directly from the front of the train station right through the historic center. It's one street about ten blocks long, but it changes name several times. By the station and it's the Spitalgasse, then it becomes the Marktgasse, then the Kramgasse, then the Gerechtigkeitsgasse. Today, it's the main street of Bern, as it has been for centuries. This road is remarkable, not only for the ancient buildings and arcades that cover both sides, but for the spectacular Renaissance fountains down the middle. Today it's a popular shopping street with surprisingly modern shop interiors, and there's a slight curve with a long line of Baroque façades that combine to produce one of Bern's most impressive streetscapes. This Kramgasse and its buildings are part of the UNESCO World Heritage site that encompasses the entire old city of Bern – a very impressive honor that UNESCO has designated all of the historic area as a World Heritage Site.
At the end of town across the river they have their famous bear pits. In recent years the government has greatly expanded this bear habitat to make it really a pleasant place for the bears to live.
Another important building is the Gothic cathedral with the nation's highest church tower at 328 feet, which you may climb for a bird’s eye view of the historic center. Construction of the cathedral began in 1421 in the Gothic style. It is a three-nave basilica without a transept or aisles, 85 m long and 34 m wide – it is quite huge. The walls outside are supported by flying buttresses and the majority of the building is constructed with local sandstone, and bricks were used for the ceiling for the vaults.
On the train ride back to Interlaken it is easy to get off at the picturesque city of Thun and spend a few hours walking around, enjoying the special ambience of this place, with a river running through the middle of the Old Town and a unique two-level sidewalk on the main pedestrian street. Then return to Interlaken and continue our exploration of this great city.
This video is part of a longer series that we're presenting all about Switzerland, including Lucerne, Zürich, Zermatt, Lugano, Locarno, and a lot of beautiful mountaintops scenery to share with you.
Interlaken, Bern, Thun, Switzerland,