January 30, 2014

Bern Baby Bern, Switzerland

The stop over in Bern, Switzerland was short, too short in my opinion. After our city tour, we were given just a few hours to eat lunch and explore the city.

The clock tower, which sits in the center of Old Town Bern, was built in 1530 and is one of the towns focal points.

Two hands sweep the face of the clock, the outer dial points to the Gothic Roman numerals I-XII, this is the longer of the two hands with a sun emblem on one end. While the arrow shaped pointer on the inner circles, is for the quarter hours.

The black and gold dial is said to symbolize the creation story of the Bible. 
Genesis 1, 1-3 "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  And the earth was without form, and void and darkness was upon the . . . And God said, let there be light! 
 The black base represents the dark and the gold numerals and hands the light.

The astronomical clock displays the positions of the sun, moon, and zodiac constellations.

Four minutes before the hour a mechanical performance next to the astronomical clock begins with the appearance of a rooster, armed bears, jesters, Father Time, a knight in shinning armour, and a lion.

Tours  of the clock tower last 50 minutes, we had such limited time that we decided, sadly that we couldn't take the tour. 

Sitting above the Aare river sits the Swiss Parliament building, tours were available because parliament was not in session, but because of time constraints we were unable to take the tour.

This is the back entrance to the building, the square in front was used as a parking lot. In 2004 granite slabs repaved the area, and 26 water jets, one for each canton or county was hidden at surface level. In the summer, this is a popular place for the area children to cool off. This new square was awarded two prizes for its design.

This is the beautiful green dome that sits at the top of the Federal Parliament building.

On the corner of Kramgasse stands the oldest pharmacy in Bern, established in 1571.

The Bern Cathedral of St. Vincent's is said to have the tallest spire in the country, this Gothic church has been dated back to 1492. Many generations worked on this church, the steeple was completed in 1893.

We rounded the corner to view the front of the Cathedral to find this very imposing fence sheltering the entrances of the church.

 Over the main door is a magnificent depiction of the Last Judgement which has over two hundred wood and stone figures.

Justice occupies the center, flanked by angels and the Wise and Foolish Virgins. Above is the Archangel Michael, with a sword and scales. The saved are on the left, and the damned are on the right.

The church was not opened, so we were unable to see the spectacular inside.

Our time was just about up in the beautiful city of Bern, Switzerland, and we hadn't eaten lunch, so we picked up a sausage from a vendor at the Christmas Market as we walked back to get on the bus.


January 27, 2014

The First Sights ~ Bern, Switzerland

The capital of Switzerland is Bern, with a population of roughly 130,000 people. I found the pace in Bern to be  leisurely and relaxed filled with abundant history, culture, and impressive architecture.

My first view of the charming town of Bern as I exited the bus.

One of the most charming towns, Bern, Switzerland.
The bridge over the Aare River that leads into the city.
The residence of these buildings has a view of 'The Bear' park across the river.
Bjork and Finn can climb, fish and play in their newly created surroundings, 'The Bear Park."
Visitors can view the bears from above or from the river walk.
The bears old habitat was deemed inhumane, I must agree, a small cement pit didn't allow much room for the bears.
The cement quarters the bears once called home.
Count Berchtold V of Zahringia founded the city of Bern in 1160. According to legend he killed a large bear in the forest near his new town and named the town for the beast. 

Old style Bern flag, the bear is always represented as a male.
Structures of houses sit atop the smoke stacks.

These small houses add a charming element to the architecture of the buildings.
Charming detail added to the smoke stacks.
Walking down the main street of Old Town Bern, Switzerland, fountains with statues stand in the center of the street.

 One of the eleven fountains in Bern. This is 'Lady Justice' erected in 1543 and stands in the center of Gerechtigkeitsgasse or Justice Street.

The Fountain of Justice is listed as a cultural heritage of national significance because it is the only Bernese fountain to retain all of the original design elements.

Looking up at the facades of windows, you will see full sized statues on pedestals that represent some the towns craft people from times gone by.

A leather worker or tanner.
On the main street shops and restaurants are at street level, with some located below.

I will share more of my Bern experience in a future post. What a glorious town.

School has been called off for today and tomorrow because of extremely cold temps. These children will be going to school well into the month of June.


January 23, 2014

Cabin Fever and An Experiment

It's winter, and it's cold, but the supermarket floral shop has buckets of tulips for five dollars a bunch. I decided I wanted to bring a little bit of spring home with me, so I splurged and bought some vivid yellow tulips home.

Tulips have a tendency to droop over the sides of the vase, so I decided to divide the tulips into three different vases and experiment with techniques that I have read about on the internet.

I gathered everything I needed to conduct my experiment.

In the clear container, I placed a copper penny. It is said that it will make several different types of flowers stand tall in a vase.

After I trimmed the stems at an angel, I placed my tulips inside the container.

Next I took a straight pin and pierced the stem of the tulip near the base of the flower. 

I trimmed the stem at an angel and place them in the vase.

The last of the tulips had the stems trimmed and placed in a vase.

This is what the all looked like, left: has the stem pierced, middle: has the penny, and on the right stems trimmed and placed in water.

I put all three vases on the side table in my living room and enjoyed the splash of color that they brought to the room. 

I woke up this morning and walked into the living room and saw the yellow tulips and smiled. I don't care if they are standing up straight, or drooped over the vase, I like tulips, any kind any color, they remind me that spring will soon be here.

It has been a very long, cold, snow covered winter here is Wisconsin, I think I've been cooped up indoors for too long, and have cabin fever!

January 22, 2014

Share Some Love ~ Share a Recipe

Kitchen remodeled finished, new appliances installed, cabinets organized, and now I'm ready to cook. Last night I cooked 'to go' dinners for both of my daughter's and their families.

Nothing fancy, good old fashion meatloaf, one with bacon on top and one without for the daughter who does not like bacon, insert a huge *GASP* because why would you not like bacon?

I decided to make bacon and eggs as a sweet treat for the grandchildren, bacon, the pretzels, and eggs, white chocolate and a yellow M & M for dessert.

I wasn't going to dig all of the yellow M & M's out of the bag so they got every color inside the bag.

I enjoy reading a post about delicious recipes that bloggers have made, and often times I do get a chance to make them. 

Scarlet from The Finished Article shares marvelous vegetarian recipes that are tasty and economical, Jacqueline from Cheapskate Bletherings her latest was a fish stew, Judy at Cranberry Mornings shared an English Toffee that looked very tasty. 

I have a confession to make, don't judge to harshly, I don't use Pinterest, I have an account and have even pinned a few items, but I don't enjoy using it. I click and click and sometimes click again until I am at the page with the instruction/recipes, dislike that, a lot. 

Now my sweet sister, who I just gave my old iPad to, was shown by her daughter Pinterest and she loves it, in fact, spends more time with my old iPad and Pinterest than she does me!

So a huge thank you to all the bloggers that post recipes that inspire me to cook delicious dishes.

If you have a few moments stop by and visit Scarlet, Jacqueline, and Judy, tell them Paulette sent you.

Have you posted a tasty recipe on your blog? Leave me your URL and I will be sure and visit.