A tale of two very different cities – Basel and Berne

What a difference a day makes! From sunny and warm to raining and cold. Our plan for some forest walks was decidedly changed so we took to the road on Good Friday and headed off for some culture in Basel.

Outside the Kunstmuseum
Outside the Kunstmuseum

We had found that there was an exhibition of The Belgian artist, James Ensor, on at the Kunstmuseum which also boasts of works by Renoir, Munch, Picasso and Monet … just to name a few. In order to be able to explore and wonder at the square metres of artworks we were in need of warmth and sustenance so we headed straight for the cafeteria.

Die Intrigue by James Ensor 1890
Die Intrigue by James Ensor 1890

After this we wandered down to the square and the Cathedral which looked as if it’s roof was wearing a crocheted blanket. The shingles were of three or four different colours and in a distinctive pattern of greens and reds. Basel is on the Rhine and has one of the oldest universities in Switzerland.

Looking down at the Rhine from the Rittergasse
Looking down at the Rhine from the Rittergasse

On Saturday it was not as rainy but much colder. Armed with beanies, coats, gloves and boots we headed for the capital of Switzerland, Berne. Here it was all colour, noise, jostle and tussle as everyone was madly buying their food for the Easter holiday weekend. My cousin told me that they may have been feeling disappointed at the weather as they would have been hoping to celebrate outside with their families – preparing the barbecues and pulling out the garden furniture from its winter hidey hole.
image
The stores had rabbits, real, ornamental and edible in most of their windows. The market tables were groaning under the weight of fresh, lush produce. There were men playing an oversized chess game in the market place and tourists were pouring in to see the Berne bears being fed.
image
Berne has had bears for hundreds of years and it was amazing to see them excitedly cavorting over their hillside enclosure before being allowed into the feeding pit where food had been hidden all over the place for them to forage for. The youngest bear found a watermelon and gobbled it down as quickly as he could before the largest bear caught him and made short work of the rest of it.

Playing chess at the market place in Berne
Playing chess at the market place in Berne

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s