Nothing is so universally detested as a work commute. No matter how you slice it, carving out precious minutes of your day simply to travel somewhere you may or may not hate — or return from there tired, depleted, and annoyed at your co-workers — is a huge inconvenience. Until 100 percent of the planet starts remote work, commutes are here to stay, but people in Switzerland have figured out a way to make commuting fun.
In the Swiss capital of Bern, locals and visitors have long used the Aare River as a vehicle for sightseeing. Exits marked by red bars line the river, meaning if you have a small boat, kayak, or floatation device, the river can serve as a hop-on, hop-off vehicle for getting around the city. Some even use the river as a means of getting to and from work.
Evelyn Schneider-Reyes, a Bern resident, uses the river for her summer commute home. “I only had like 30 seconds walking from my office to the river,” she told Le News. “I had an ‘Aare Bag’, where I put all my clothes, my smartphone, wallet and shoes. I put on my bathing suit and swam home. I would leave the Aare at Lorrainebad, then I walked up the hill for 8 minutes and was already home. From my office to the Lorrainebad it usually took me about 15 minutes in the water. Lovely!”
This creative use of the river as a commuting tool is on full display in this TikTok video by pubityearth.
@pubityearth Interesting and healthy way of getting home from work! #swim #travel #viral #earth #fyp (credit: @unravelledtravels ♬ original sound – Pubity Earth
The river also functions as a social forum, particularly in the summer months.
It goes without saying that if you’re visiting Bern, you shouldn’t just strip down, jump in the river, and expect it to magically carry you to your destination. It’s important to be aware of the currents, and the best places to enter and exit the river. Inflatable boats can be rented to make your river commute easier.