Capital of Switzerland
Bern means "bear", and while all wild bears were killed
long ago, Bern displays its bears in a small zoo at the Old
Bern's medieval Old Town is represented by
this clock tower dating back to the 12th Century.
The Swiss Parliament is nearby. Switzerland's form of
government allows for national referendums and initiatives
to decide most important issues. Thus the Swiss voted
down joining the European Union and took about 50 years
before even becoming a United Nations member, despite
hosting the U.N.'s European headquarters in Geneva.
Swiss 16th Century fountains are kept painted and in wonderful
condition. Bern has the famous Ogre Fountain in which
children are being eaten. This is precisely the kind of bad ogre
reputation that Shrek had to deal with in recent movies.
My guess is that the Ogre Fountain was used by parents
to scare children into behaving properly. Otherwise they
could be fed to the Ogre. Might have worked quite well.
If you have a high speed internet connection,
watch the Intrepid Berkeley Explorer's video of
this trip, by clicking on: Tulips That Yodel