Bern (Berne)

“Bern” (or “Berne” in French) is the federal capital city of Switzerland, as well as the canton containing the city.

Sundlauenen to Merligen

Catching the ship from Faulensee to Sundlauenen, hiking through the forest past St. Beatus Caves to Merligen, and then home by paddle steamer. Approaching Sundlauenen by ship St. Beatus Caves, Beatenberg Sundlauenen quarry The funicular from Beatenbucht to Beatenberg Traditional house in Merligen “Blümlisalp” paddle steamer in Faulensee…

Sundlauenen to Merligen

Schilthornhütte, Switzerland

A small mountain cabin overlooking the Bluemental valley serves as a restaurant for hikers in the summer and for skiiers in winter. Between seasons, when the restaurant is closed, the spot is a blissfully peaceful point on the mountain, to which only determined walkers come. The Birg mountain station overlooks the scene, and on a summit in the distance, the…

Schilthornhütte, Switzerland

The boy on a pogo stick

Roses wave gently in the breeze, and a wood pigeon coos from a tree, unseen. A cyclist glides silently by and a muffled, childish swear word echoes quietly from a nearby football pitch. Bees buzz, breezes waft, and a boy bounces past on a pogo stick.

The boy on a pogo stick

The view that isn’t quite there

Somewhere in the hills which push up the wall of rock on the western end of the Bernese Alps, there is a view. A view of rolling hills, green trees, little farm buildings and forested land. Beyond them, the sparkling turquoise-blue water of the Thunersee, with the impossibly white, impossibly high range of mountains which stand guard over the Jungfrau…

The view that isn’t quite there
Niederhorn, Switzerland

Heaven is this

Sitting, cross-legged, a couple of arms’ length from the edge of a two-and-a-half-thousand foot drop to the valley floor, watching clouds drift across the lake into the distance.

Heaven is this
Wyssebach Falls, Susten, Switzerland

Stunning

There’s a trend these days for people to use the word “stunning”: from tabloid newspapers to t.v. presenters. And their use of the word so often makes everyone else use it. A view of the sea: “stunning”. A fashionable dress: “stunning”. A film star looking average on a red carpet somewhere: “stunning”. I think that use of the word needs a bit more…

Stunning

Photographing the Milky Way

I’m certainly no stranger to long-exposure photography. But during the few years that we’ve lived in a flat with a balcony and an unobstructed view of the night sky, I’ve come to realize that I’d never photographed the Milky Way properly. The first time that I can even remember seeing the Milky Way at all was when we were in…

Photographing the Milky Way

Chüematte to Gemmenalphorn

Whilst many travel up to the top of the Niederhorn ridge by cable car – one of the most expensive ones by distance in the whole region – there’s a much better alternative for the fitter visitor. There’s a private, tolled road leading up from Waldegg, at Beatenberg, to farm buildings on the mountain, which drivers can use by purchasing a…

Chüematte to Gemmenalphorn

Someiyoshino in Bern

The Someiyoshino (Japanese cherry trees) on the hillside below Bern's Rosengarten park were given as a gift by Yoshiyuki Urata in 1975, after he visited and was very taken with the city. They bloom in early April and the spectacle only lasts a few days, before the blossom falls. I was lucky enough to get time to photograph them in sunshine this year.

Someiyoshino in Bern