Cool places to visit

This is a list of places that I have seen while riding my bike around the area. I don't think you could go wrong visiting any small town in Switerland. Usually the churches, castles and local attractions are worth the trip.

I think all the ski areas are good. We have been to Grindelwald First, Adelboden and Gryon and the skiing at all three places was outstanding. The train office offers discounted trips to and from the ski area with sizable savings.

I mention lakes and rivers a lot with my description of these towns. Water is everywhere, and it is fresh, clear and clean.

Avenches

Roman church Roman church inside Roman amphitheater

Avenches was the Roman Capitol of the Confederation Helvetica 2000 years ago. You can walk around town and look at the Roman ruins. We saw an old church, the East gate to the city, the 16,000 seat Roman amphitheater and a few other Roman ruins. There is also a Roman Museum there. It is about 20 miles from Bern.

Biel

Derek & Laura in Biel

Biel is the watch making capital of Switzerland. It sits on a beautiful lake. There are canals that flow through town giving it a decidedly calm feel. This was an Expo 2002 city. The town has both French and German speakers. Cool castle in the middle of town.

Burgdorf

Burgdorf is known by the locals as the city that hosts the Ikea store. Burgdorf has an impressive castle on an egg shaped slap of limestone. It is a very pretty city and has a nice downtown as well.

Freiburg

cathedral cathedral

This city has a beautiful cathedral in a small river valley. The architecture is Gothic and you can see it from everywhere in town. An ancient wall surrounds most of this old city.

Gruyeres - Say Cheese

Gruyeres is famous for the cheese that is its namesake. It is also a city that sits atop a hill with a wall around it. This is a very tourist friendly place. You can go and eat Fondue at any time as there are many restaurants that specialize in this national dish. There is also a weird museum of the artist HR Giger, many know his work as the Alien monsters from the movies, Alien I-IV. He is also opening a bar there that will be unlike anything that you have seen before.

Gryon

Alps of Gryon - Photo courtesy of Glenna Rowlandson

Little ski area in the French Swiss area of the alps. It is near Lake Geneva. We stayed in a great little hostel here. Fantastic skiing!

Luzern

Mom and Dad in Luzern

Beautiful in summer. Located on a lake with moutains on all sides. About 1 1/2 hours from Bern.

Murten

Located on Lake Murten just 20 miles west of Bern. This city is in the French speaking area of Switzerland so you get a different feel while you are there. The old town itself is inside of a midevil fortress wall that overlooks the lake. The area inside the wall has covered shopping prominades, hotels and restaurants. You can climb up onto the wall and walk around to see the sights. Murten was one of the Expo 2002 cities.

Thun - pronounced tune

DHs with Thun Schloss

This beautiful city sits on the west end of Thunersee, Lake Thun. In the middle perched on top of a rocky cliff is a castle. You can walk up and down the lake shore or shop along the river Aare. You can also use Thun as a starting point for a float trip to Bern. Bring some bread to feed the swans and cute little black ducks.