Permanent Tourist

The personal website of Mark Howells-Mead


I took part in our company day out yesterday, when we went down the river Aare from Schwellenmätteli in Bern, beneath the towering heights of Bern’s old city, to Eymatt, on the north western edge of the city suburbs. Although it sounds like a city-centre trip, the area around the river in and near Bern is very green and once away from the old city, the countryside quickly encroaches to make the experience much more of a natural one.

The river is famous for its cleanliness and so once past the obstacles of the bridges in Bern’s Matte area, those of us familiar with the river quickly went overboard to enjoy the last remaining breaths of summer, swimming alongside the boats whilst wearing obligatory life vests (for the boat company’s insurance policy) and getting as many people on the boats as wet as possible. The tradition of going down the river on a rubber boat is very popular here, be it from Schwäbis (near Thun) to Bern, or along the stretch we followed heading out of the other side of the city.

I didn’t miss out on taking photos thanks to the loan of a waterproof digital camera: an odd experience after so many years of fastidiously protecting my equipment from water, to jump in a river with a camera in my pocket.

(“Aareböötle” is a Swiss German slang term, meaning “Aare boating”.)

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