Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Bern

I have wanted to visited Bern, Albert Einstein realized the theory of relativity by looking back on a clock during a tram ride to somewhere and I have wanted to check out this clock.
 Much like the rest of Switzerland Bern is beautiful.
 Everywhere you look (except for construction on that tower in the distance) looks like a postcard.
 Through out the city of Bern are statues and fountains in the middle of the street.
 And large board games, I have seen large chess sets a few times around Europe.  This is something the US desperately needs, don't worry, no one steels the chess pieces. F.T.P = File Transfer Protocol.
 Outside the Einstein Museum.
 A bust of Einstein, this was part of the tour of his museum.  His nobel prize in physics is also on display here.
 The stairwell to the museum.
 But the main reason I made an effort to visit this city was to see this astronomical clock.  This is also called the Zytglogge and is a UNESCO world heritage site.
 View through the arch under the clock.
When you look at this clock its difficult to appreciate the mechanics behind it, the gears that makes this thing keep time.   Looking at the clock you can see what time it is, what day it is, what day of the month it is and a few other things. 
 But I was also able to take a tour of the inside of the clock tower and this was amazing.  This has been in operation since 1580.  Warning, I'm about to nerd-out on gears....
 And looking at it, it's amazing that someone was able to figure out the engineering behind it without the aid of computers or other electronic ways of cheating (like a TI-85 calculator).  But I guess this is the basic setup of any pendulum driven clock.
From the main gear in the center of the room are other gears that run all over the tower that runs the clock face and astronomical clock face.  This gear updated the day of the week.
 This is kind of the same photo as above but at the time this photo was taken the gears were going crazy.  Everything was moving and making noise.
 This gear ran part of the show put on by the clock, it blows a wistle (you can see the bellows) and it also spun in a circle little statues of bears.
 Outside many people gather to watch the show put on hourly by the clock,
 The seven or so bears.
 Just like any other cuckoo clock this things runs with weighs.
 This clock can run for 28 hours, in a 24 day this provides 4 hours for winding of the clock.  The city of Burn has contracted someone to take care of this, everyday.  The way the tour guide described it, the person responsible for winding the clock has no day off. This is one of the weights used by this clock.
 The top of the clock tour has a nice view of Bern.
 Both East and west facing, you need to open shutters too see outside.  The tour guide yells up 'close the shutters please' when everyone is done looking outside.
 The overhead wires for the tram.
 Looking towards the Bern church.
I got a little confused, I'm not sure what this gear is doing.
 But this is the gear that runs the clock on the outside, the clock above the astronomical clock.
 This was the house, skinny building in the middle, where Einstein lived.
 Looking back on another gate to the old city.
 Another large board game, I watched these guys for a few minutes and could not figure out what they were playing.  They kept moving those white and black pegs around the edge of the boxes.
 Statue of Jesus in the train station.
 Need to look at the board to see what the next train to Zurich was.  I took the 16:32 IC intercity train.
 I think 16:32 was rush hour time, very busy on the platform.