Lois Reynolds Mead

Art and a pink monkeyflower in a native plant garden…


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Bern, three…

There is one other fountain that I must mention…it was created by an artist named Meret Oppenheim, 1913-1985. She was a Swiss artist who gained early fame creating an iconic image that defined Surrealism. She created this tea-cup and saucer in 1936 but then drifted away from the Surrealists in her later career. She was young, 23, at the time she created the object. Born in Germany but a Swiss citizen, the Swiss are very proud of her art fame.

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She was asked to create a fountain for Bern and it was constructed two years before her death. This fountain symbolizes growth and life. It is supposed to communicate with its beholder. There was much controversy about the concrete fountain that is covered with grass, flowers, and moss. Rick Steves says that the citizens of Bern only like the fountain when it is covered with ice in the winter. However, I found a short YouTube video that seems to think that it has grown on the residents. It is a very interesting video that includes a botanist discussing the plants and growing things on the fountain as well as the issues of how best to preserve it.

The fountain is situated between the Dutch Tower and the Police station. (The police station was originally the orphanage).

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Bern..

Bern, the Capitol of Switzerland, was founded in 1191. A roaring bear is the local mascot. It has a beautiful river, the Aare, and lovely, covered arcades for window shopping and strolling even in the rain. A fire swept through in 1405 and after that wooden buildings were banned. The facades are somewhat monochromatic, except for spots of color in the beautiful window boxes and there are polychromatic fountains in the middle of the streets. The train station is a transportation hub so besides two full days of enjoying the city, we had many days where we had layovers and picked up coffee or excellent lunches. There is no bad food in Swiss train stations.
The train station is also a mall…

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(I included these two photos to see if a couple of my friends read my blog…I was thinking of you Thalia and Gail!)
There were buskers and chocolatiers…

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Bears were everywhere…on sewer lids…

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On street sweeper trash cans…

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In parks…

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And real life breathing bears (although we could not see them) who get to fish in their own pond next to the river…

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The sandstone buildings and the prison tower…

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The first fountain we came to was the bagpiper…

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The Dutch Tower…and then back to the other side of the Prison Tower for the Anna Seiler Fountain (she founded the first hospital in Bern).

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The market…

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Sometimes the fountains went to the birds…

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Chess…

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Parliament Square and the Parliament Building…the fountain has 26 squirts (one for each canton)…

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Pernes-les-Fontaines…

It is getting close to the time of our next trip. I need to eliminate photos from the iPhone and iPad so I can fit in the new thousands of images so I realized that I had never wrapped up the Provence trip. There was a lovely town close by to where we stayed called Pernes-les-Fontaines. Forty fountains (but I did not take pictures of all of them) and possibly the best shutter colors in all of Provence. Most magnificently, the loveliest iron work on top of the church steeple.

IMG_2006The cat keeps chasing that mouse, forever…

A stroll through the town…

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Some of the fountains…

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Your choice of stucco for your walls…

IMG_2110Also, a bride…

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Her name is Amelie…we know because we checked…

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and we walked…

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I particularly loved the cafe umbrella that was adorned with scraps…think I will do that at home…

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There was a castle…

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and the Tourist Info center had art in its garden…

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We were not successful in getting wifi in their wifi cafe, but we met the dog on the bar stool…how cute is that?

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Got back home to another great sky…

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