One good thing about Bern is that I can spend the afternoon in a noisy urban hipster bar or in the busy arcades downtown – and minutes later start a campfire in the woods, take a swim in the river or feed ducks at Wohlensee. The latter is one of my favorite hideouts in summer. It is actually our beloved river, Aare, that slows down to become a very long lake because of a dam a couple of kilometers outside the city. The lake with its bays and beaches, its rural surroundings, and diverse wildlife is very popular amongst outdoor enthusiasts, especially Stand up paddlers (there are paddles and kayaks for rent).
Actually, I discovered the lake only a couple of years ago. Back then, a tiny food truck opened an ambitious little pop-up restaurant right under the gorgeous Wohleibrücke. Nowadays, the bar Bogen 17 is no longer a well-kept secret — it’s quite a popular green oasis for day-trippers, locals, urban crowds, and nature lovers alike.
Depending on how long I want to stay, I take the bus (Lines 100, 101, 107 to Hinterkappelen from the upper floor of Bern main station) or the bicycle. The latter takes you on a phenomenal bicycle path from the Länggasse neighborhood through the forests downhill to the lake. The way back (the path to Köniz is recommended) is breathtaking – because it’s beautiful, but also because it’s uphill all the way.