Monday, February 20, 2012

The City of Bern and a Scrimmage with the Bern Grizzlies

Out of the house at 7:00 a.m. to catch a 30 minute ride north of Thun into Bern with Ueli Sutter who works in the Swiss capital for PostFinance Bank.

The plan had two easy parts. First spend the day seeing the sights of the city's historic Old Town which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After a big day of being a tourist, it would then be time to get down to work with an 8:30 p.m. scrimmage against the Bern Grizzlies of the Swiss League's Division I. Your Thun Tigers are a Division II club.

Bern and it's love affair with bears

Bern was founded in 1191, has avoided war damage and has not had a major fire since 1405.

The legend goes that in 1191, Berthold V, Duke of Zähringen decided to name his new village after the first animal that he killed on his next hunt. The Duke killed a bear (bär) so he christened the settlement Bärn which eventually became Bern.

It was a cold morning

The high today was reported to be 32ºF/0ºC.

Chess anyone?

The Prisoner's Tower

Yes, that's a Starbuck's at the base of the tower.

Death before dishonor, I do not frequent Starbuck's in Europe.

Once part of the City Wall, the Tower served as a prison until 1897.

The Mossy Fountain

The brainchild of Swiss Surrealist Meret Oppenheim, it debuted in 1983 to symbolize growth and life.

When first diplayed, many locals voiced their dislike of Oppenheim's work and demanded that it be destroyed.

The building in the background is a Police Station I believe.

One of Bern's many steeples

The Swiss National Bank

Half of Switzerland's gold supply is safely buried here, the other half is in Zürich.

The Bundeshaus

This is the Swiss Parliament Building, I opted to take the 50 minute tour with about 30 French speaking 13 year-olds and just follow in my English guide booklet provided when I entered.

Actually, getting into the Bundeshaus was not as easy as I would have liked. The government house in Thun has my passport while they sort out the final details of my Swiss Work Visa. The Bundeshaus required my passport to hold while I toured the beautiful facility. The man at the gate said that I could not enter with the Xerox copy of my passport that I was carrying.

I offered him my California Driver's License which should work as a photo ID. He looked it over, said no but then looked again closely and smiled. He looked up and asked "George Washington?" I said yes and he then invited me to take the tour. Thanks Dad!

Switzerland uses a Bi-Cameral system similar to United States.

The Council of States is like the U.S. Senate with equal representation, two members per canton and 1 member for each of the former half cantons for a total of 46 members.

The National Council is based on population like the U.S. House of Representatives with 200 members.

She represents Political Independence

No pictures were allowed inside which was unfortunate because the Domed Hall near the entrance is full of wonderful artwork depicting the history and lore of Switzerland. The Wandelhalle also had great symbolic artwork definitely worth seeing.

The view of the rear of the Bundeshaus

The Casino

No, this is not a gaming hall, it is the home of Bern's Symphony Orchestra.

The State Theater

One of the things that really stands out about Bern is their love of symbolic art throughout the city as a means of showing you much of what the Swiss holds dear.

Like . . .



If only their menu had Cuban food

Measurement Rods

Located in the famous Zytglogge-Turm clock tower, these rods show the length of some of the old regional measurements like the Swiss foot, the bigger Bernese foot. and the Elle or elbow as well as the meter and double meter.

Napoleon was the one who brought uniformity to European measuring systems by making all of his conquered countries use the metric system.

Speaking of clocks, Swiss is famous for them so here are a few examples . . .

Notice that it only has one hand

Back in the day, knowing the hour was enough it appears.

The Zytglogge-Turm Clock Tower

This clock dates back to 1530

The statues on the right come to life with a lively performance at four minutes to the hour.

If you know how to read this clock, it is telling you the zodiac, today's date and the stage of the moon.

1643 was a long time ago

The Sun and the Moon

Heroic Time Keeper

What the . . .

Is it possible that I'm hungry?

Albert Einstein's Apartment

Einstein lived at Kramgasse 49 from 1903 and 1905. He lived here while working as a Patent Clerk. This is where the genius lived during his Annus Mirabilis, the miracle year of 1905. He produced five papers, including his Theory of Special Relativity, that year that rocked the scientific world.

Cellar beneath Einstein's Apartment

Most of the shops on Kramgasse are underneath arcades, then there are these cellar shops that open on the street level itself. They originally stored potatoes and coal and then later wine.

I needed a Cappuccino NOW! So the Einstein Kaffe it was.

It was relatively good

I would love to meet this guy!

The Bern Münster St. Vinzenz

Dedicated to St. Vincent of Zaragoza, Bern's 15th Century Cathedral was originally Catholic but the Protestants took it over during the Reformation. It is relatively simple inside . . .

If he could only talk

A Pieta is always a nice touch

Goofy Heraldry in the Münster

The Last Judgement

Located on the Münster's main portal, it appears to be very un-Protestant but probably survived the Reformation by showing that no matter how rich or how high your rank in the Church hierarchy, you can still end up in Hell.

Heaven to the left, Hell to the right.

Bottom Left

What is that green devil doing?

These two are on one side of the Last Judgement

While these two are on the other side

The rear of the Münster

Time to check out where people live in the Old Town.


Nice Gate

The Red Menace still in our midst!

Living in another picture postcard

Bern's theme statues are all over the city.

Chindlifresser - The Ogre

What is he doing?


Shrek he is not!

Dylan, Kevin and The Doctor . . . MIND YOUR PARENTS!!!

One of the Bern Grizzlies
that we scrimmage tonight

Gold is Good

Duke Berthold V
Founder of Bern

Careful bear, the Duke will kill you

Red Lion

Grateful Dead Dancing Bears?

Red Lion with a Scimitar

Samson subduing a lion


Lady Justice

Here she is triumphant over a mayor, a pope, a sultan and an emperor.

A Griffin

A Defender of the Canton of Bern

Wizard of Oz Monkey?

He's an Afro-Swiss

Stripes ARE Slimming

Bagpipes are always good

Winter Trees are Sad,

Snow Covered,

Gnarly and . . .

. . . Mossy

It was a long, cold and wonderful day seeing the marvelous city of Bern and I was running out of energy and freezing, so I headed to Ueli's office to get out of the weather for awhile before the scrimmage.

I think I found Ueli's work area

A couple of cups of coffee and I was ready for the scrimmage with the Grizzlies.

"Be the Hammer, NOT the Nail"

This was my #1 message to the Tigers tonight, BE AGGRESSIVE!!!

Tigers Warming Up

It was 28ºF at 8:30 p.m. when we started the 90 minute/70 play scrimmage.

Tigers on Defense

Goal #1 for any scrimmage is come out of it healthy, both squads did.

Goal #2 was to get a benchmark for the team, i.e., what do we do well, what do we need to improve on?

I was happy with our defense, we ran to the ball very well all night long. We can become better tacklers.

Offensively, our QB's passing and our RT's blocking were bright spots. We have a lot of improvement to make in our overall offensive line play as the Grizzlies front seven controlled the line of scrimmage most of the evening. That will be a big focus in our next two practices.

We are headed in the right direction, our players are very coachable and excited to be on the gridiron!



Laurie said...

LOVE the trees! Enter them in the Ventura County Fair next year!

George said...

Sure, pour salt into the Ventura County Fair wound.