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Permanent Tourist

A personal website by Mark Howells-Mead

City walking

Walking from my office around a variety of city streets before returning to the office is a good way to put aside the complexities of my work for a short time.

Unterseen, Switzerland

I used to visit the Bödelibad leisure centre regularly. Before I had a car, I used to catch the train to Interlaken West station and walk from there. The route takes you along the river Aare, forming the border between Unterseen and Interlaken, leading to a footbridge with this view. In the foreground Unterseen, with… (Read More)

Untertorbrücke, Bern

The Untertorbrücke is one of the oldest bridges in Bern, crossing the river Aare. The first bridge was built of wood on this site and opened in 1256, and was replaced in 1489 by a more substantial, fortified stone version. It was Bern’s only bridge until 1834 and has stood in its current form since the… (Read More)

Aare You Safe?

Swimming in the river Aare is a regular summer pastime of the Bernese in Switzerland. But there are occasionally mishaps. The campaign “Aare You Safe?” is intended to remind the public of the dangers of swimming in the river: not with a wagging finger but with a “cheeky wink”. Keep an eye on yourself and… (Read More)

Parcours on the Altenbergsteg bridge in Bern

Video preview image for Parcours on the Altenbergsteg bridge in Bern

Être Fort (“Be Strong”) parcours athlete Simon Gfeller crosses the Altenbergsteg bridge in Bern the hard way: by hand, across the underside of the iron framework.

Review of 2013

With surprising alacrity, it’s time to flick back through my digital album as we approach the end of 2013, and the end of another year behind the camera. Here are a few highlights; a larger set is on Flickr. My favourite memory of 2013, embodied in the lead photo of this blog post (above)? Visiting… (Read More)

“Aareböötle”

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… (Read More)

Never-ending story

The view across the river and weir at Schwellenmätteli in Bern is wonderful on a late summer evening, and will be vastly improved from a photographic perfectionist’s point of view once the restoration work on the minster is complete. If I understand this article on Swiss newspaper website Der Bund correctly, there has been scaffolding… (Read More)

Swimming with the fish

Swimming in the river Aare is a hobby I’ve taken up this year with gusto, having been initiated by colleagues at work last summer. Once past Bern, the river slows down as it meanders through the countryside and the greenness of the pastures below the ridge of the Jura mountains extends into the river itself, reminding… (Read More)

Aareinseli

The “Aareinseli” is a small, privately-owned island in the middle of the river Aare, just upstream of the Swiss town of Solothurn. The owners, who run a smallholding on the island, open the island to paying guests between May and September and offer an idyllic setting for social events: from a basic drinks reception to… (Read More)