Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bern and Genève (Now with pictures!)

Today we traveled to the capital of Switzerland in the morning to have a guided tour and then Genève after a full day of working on our robots on Wednesday...
We arrived in Bern, the capital of Switzerland at around 9:30 in the morning after a couple of hours on our tourbus. We split into two groups to have guided tours of this very old and historical city, with the highlight of the trip being going up in the clock tower which was built in 1530 and still has all the original parts. It was very interesting and informative! Bern also was the home of Albert Einstein for seven years of his life, he worked as a patent officer on one of the main streets in Bern. Bern is surrounded by the Aare river on three sides, which was a strategic move on the planning of the city because in the event of an attack they would only have to defend one side of the city, rather than four. After the tour concluded we made our way up to the rosegarden that overlooks the city to eat our lunch that was provided by our hotel in Winterthur.

After our lunch we made our way back down the steep slope to get on the bus and drive to Genève, a couple hour busride. Genève is the international center of business within Switzerland, with many United Nations organizations having their headquarters here. We are only a few kilometers from France at the moment and most of everything here is in French and they only speak a little bit of English. This is much different than the part of Switzerland where we were before, and that is part of why Switzerland is so unique because each region is influenced by which country they border. It is truly a wonder that this region is still a part of Switzerland because the architecture, language, and culture is different except for the swiss flags in the windows and francs in the wallet. So tomorrow we travel to CERN to visit the laboratories where the European Organization for Nuclear Research, and the large hadron collider reside, it's very exciting for us engineering students!


Here is a picture of the river Aare, the one that flows around the city of Bern.


This is the view of Bern from the rosegarden where we ate our lunches.


This is a typical street in the city of Genève.


This is the main cathedral in Genève, we visited it when they were christening the new bells up in this tower so we got to hear them being played for the first time.