Fun for Strong Swimmers Only
One of the native Berneses' favorite pastimes is to go swimming in the river Aare, one which the city was built. Even in the summertime, the river is quite cold, but it doesn't matter much to the natives.
You can drop your towel by one of the banks (people lie on the grass and sunbathe to warm up before or after swimming.) Then run or jog upstream until you find a staircase to use to get in (marked with a red handle) or a bridge to jump off like the natives if you're more daring.
The currents in the river are very strong, so if you're not a strong swimmer, I recommend hanging out by the pools at the bottom instead of riding the river down. However, if you're used to strong currents, just jump in and enjoy the ride! You won't have to swim at all, until you're ready to get out, and then you'll be swimming a lot. You have to get to one of the red handled staircases on the left bank, and because the river moves so quickly, you'll have to start moving left earlier than you would think in order to get out. Grab one of the handles and let the river pull your legs downstream from it, and then use your arm strength to pull yourself back upstream and out of the water. Then run back upstream and do it again! [more]