Thursday, June 7, 2007

June 6 ~ Bern, Switzerland

So our next stop was in Bern (pronounced like Behrn). This is in the German part of Switzerland (we've been in French speaking areas 90% of the time). Bern means Bear in German. Appropriately, there's this big circular pit in the middle of town that has a few bears roaming around. It's open air, with a a little mini fake cave for them to get shelter. There's no charge or any organization as to who can go see the bears. It's in a spot where a statue or fountain would normally be in these other towns. So our teacher planned ahead and brought some carrots, as you can feed them whatever you want. It's so foreign as an American to see these bears in the middle of town and be encouraged to feed them. So when the bears saw that Bob had carrots, he got up on his hind legs, put his hands up by his ears, clapped, and sat down on his butt, like a human would. It was really unnatural looking and reminded me of old posters for circuses. We were all laughing pretty hard. This whole time Bob is throwing the carrots into this pit that's about 25 feet deep, and the bear is catching them in his mouth. Then the bear laid on its back with all 4 legs straight up in the air, clapping and rubbing its belly. He's obviously learned how to get the most food out of the crowd. (photos below)

The other cool thing in Bern was that we went and visited the Natural Museum of History. It was a bit above average as far as those museums go (we have very similar ones in the states that I've seen) but their lead designer is Claude Kuhn. He's a world famous poster designer, and the point of the visit was for us to go and pick his brain
(a google search will show you some of his posters). We bought some of his posters too and got him to sign them. He has a very defined style in all of his work, and that style bleeds thru to the museum, so it was a different, but effective, take on a Natural Museum design. (photos of his posters below)

I'm remembering to get more photos of me in them, so sorry Mom.

Also, I had a thought while walking thru the city; Does this city have anything to do with the Bernstein Bears?

Another thing, this is where Einstein was working as lowly patent clerk and developed his theory of relativity. Didn't have enough time to hit any of the Einstein museums, unfortunately.

Bern Bear
Bern Street
Claude Poster

1 comment:

AT said...

On our way through Yellowstone a couple of weeks ago, we saw 2 bears. A black bear up towards Mammoth and a Grizzly on the road between Madison Jct. and Old Faithful. The first time I've seen a Grizzly from the road in Yellowstone in ages. Funny that you would see bears over there...