Bern - Bold and the Beautiful!

June 1, 2006

So it was an early rise in comparison to our recent efforts. At 9am we hada left the house and braved the cold wind to venture to Bern. Did you know that Bern is actually the capital of Switzerland, not Zurich? Well it is. And I can tell you another thing. It is a beautiful city. It is like the Swiss version of Florence. The buildings are just full of so much character. The streets are filled with markets choc-a-block with little wood dolls and Swiss flags. Jackie weaved his way through the streets like an old pro not wanting to waste a second of his day off. It was great. He skipped all the boring stuff you find yourself stuck looking at and went straight to the good stuff.  
One of the first things we went to see was the famous Bears fo Bern. They`re not cubs anymore though so the powers that be have done the humane thing and decided to create a sanctuary where they can roam at will. Very cut though, and playful.  
From there we wandered over to the Bern Bridge and had a bit of a look at the river. Everyone knows that in Switzerland, in summer, the snow melts and the water rises. Well it was still pretty cold and this river looked like it was about to burst at the banks. It had already flood a couple of weeks earlier.  
After that we strolled through the streets just absorbing the atmosphere when we came across this amaying church. It reminded me of the church that my parents got married in Bendigo only on a grander scale. Above the entrance was this fantastic sculpture representing heaven and hell. I`ve added a picture. The spire was so big that you have to lie on the ground to fit it in, so I did! When you walk into this church it goes silent. The noise from the street two seconds prior disappears and all that you are left with are your thoughts. Given I wasn`t having too many of those I left, but not before checking out the colourful stainned glass windows and magnificent organ pipes that stood the entire height of the back wall. I was glad I saw this. 
We went for lunch and in true Swiss tradition, we ate too much and then felt sick because we had to run to the next appointment. You would think that the Swiss of all people, the one`s who make the most famous watches and clocks in the world would have a good sense of time. But no, we ran on a full stomach.
It was worth it though. We did a tour of the Switzerland Parliment House. It was pretty spectacular. Not like our boring grass roof concrete city - hope that didn`t offend anyone! This building had statues representing the four official languages of Switzerland - French, Swiss German, Italian, Romanche (Ancient language noone understands) - and painting of all the motifs of the counties of Switzerland, and giant murals in the where the action happens. It was amazing and I`m not that interested in politics.
After that we drove home and Sally and I cooked a feast for a King or in this case a Queen. Queen Noemie was granted her wish of a Thai Green Curry complete with chopsticks. And all the Village was happy.
Tomorrow I thiink we sleep. Then off to Bienne or Biel depend if you are French or German.

 

 

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