The Bears in Bern - 5 July 2005 – We hope everyone had a great 4th of July. After settling in Dragonfly for the night here in Bern, we were surprised to hear fellow Americans setting off fireworks. You are never too far from home. We awoke this morning to sunshine and after showers (each time you turned the handle you received 30 seconds of water – a heavy participation shower), we caught the bus into old town Bern. A beautiful city right in the bend of the River Aare, Bern founded in 1191, is full of beautiful fountains, sandstone buildings, and bears – the symbol of Bern. We enjoyed walking through the city, browsing the markets, and enjoying the occasional beer or Starbucks coffee (actually, a coconut Frappacino). Louise purchased a souvenir this morning – a Swiss army knife. She then promptly dropped it through the cracks in the square in front of the Swiss Parliament Building. After trying many solutions (including gum on a stick) Mom borrowed a wire tie off one of the merchant signs, and after several tries, Dad was able to hook it and bring it up through the crack in the floor – to give to a very relieved Louise. We enjoyed feeding the Bern bears (mixed fruit) – they obviously were used to this routine as they expected you to throw the food directly to them, as they lay on their backs – very funny. We returned from town and Lou went for a swim in the pool, while the rest of us relaxed out and planned our route for tomorrow. Dad and Rick heated up the barbeque and we had another wonderful dinner of sausages, pomme frites, olives, dark beer, Chianti, and fresh pressed apple juice from the market. We are really settling into our routine and enjoying our new home “dragonfly”. We bought a dragonfly lawn ornament today to put out with our awning. Many campers go all out with gnomes, flower planters, flags, lounge chairs, and sofas – we are just trying to fit in.