This is my last Swiss blog. I’ll be back in UK on Monday. It has been a glorious 9 month here. Like an isolated Darwinian evolutionary continent, Switzerland with its unique political status has evolved a culture different from the rest of Western Europe, this is more visible when you visit the museums. There you are likely to find the concept of War something that is historical or happens to other people. You will find paintings, landscapes which are uniquely Swiss and you would not see around the world. Historical museums, and second-hand shops are full of luxury items and beautiful art Deco furniture and vintage designer clothing owned by generations of wealthy Swiss. The Art and sculpture is rich with detail, extravagance and sometimes a distinct humour.
Anyway, this was my last weekend in this beautiful country so I decided to make the most of it and visit Bern. When I went to the Zurich station I was surprised to find a Thai Festival in action. I went to listen to the chanting of the monks and looked around the food and furniture stands and decided to go and get my train. Bern is a city with so much to offer.
Apart from the medieval oddities such as a sculpture of an Ogre eating babies, or the impressive old clock tower, the city is picturesque and the museums are rich with unusual artefacts. Bern is a very happy city. You see people of all ages having romantic interaction, you see little kids running around the water works in a large square and getting soaked laughing and having fun.
There was an exhibition of hoof cleaning cows and horses. The poor cow was mowing like mad when it was tied down and her hooves were being grind down.
Going back to the subject of Swiss differences, Ferdinand Hodler symbolist paintings are distinctly Swiss.
After the Art visits, the historical museum was also interesting. I came across many unexpected Iranian items such as Astronomy an Astrology instruments, lacquered pen holders, Sufi order items such as the Sufi master’s hat and axe etc. There was also a collection of Qajar Art including 18th century pen holders and recreation of women’s room inside a Qajari house.
The most impressive which in my opinion is a unique masterpiece was the Joseph Reinhart’s paintings of Swiss costumes 787 to 1797 as well as a series of water colours called the dance of death.
The final visit was to Einstein museum where I discovered a side of Albert that I didn’t know about. Albert was one hell of a lover boy and his poor wife who was also educated and had ambitions of an academic life settled for being a house wife and had to put up with her husband’s infidelity. Einstein was wrongly associated with the creation of the Atomic bomb by the Time magazine, but he tried to rectify that. He did his best to curb its use and make people think about the Arm’s race and the catastrophic outcome. He was under surveillance during the McCarthy years and was almost expelled from U.S. He died after a speech about nuclear disarmament and proposing the idea of a world Government in 1955.
I had a great lunch and a glass of Swiss white beer and slept like a baby on the train.
When I came back to Zurich I finished off a very distinct and fantastic glass of Honey wine. I bought a bottle after doing having a wine tasting session and chose a bottle that was not sweet but had a lot of character. The alcohol intake was the exception. I was simply making the most of my Swiss experience and had to finish my wine bottle as my luggage could go over the weight limit. Well at least it is a good excuse to celebrate a long journey!