Bern, October 21-24

Wednesday is on to Bern, where I lived for six years, from November 1995 through February 2002. I spend the afternoon in a rush to get all my shopping done. After six years here, I have my favorite stores.

Bundesplatz in Bern (the square in front of the House of Parliament)

Bundesplatz in Bern (the square in front of the House of Parliament)

An arcade in downtown Bern

An arcade in downtown Bern

Stained glass window in Hotel Arabelle, Bern

Stained glass window in Hotel Arabelle, Bern

This is the real reason for my trip: the International Space Science Institute (ISSI), where I worked, is celebrating its 20th anniversary.  In the evening I catch up with a former colleague, now at the University of California, Berkeley, for dinner.

Thursday and Friday are packed with talks and receptions during the day at the institute. I’m sad to learn that Hanspeter Schneiter, formerly of Contraves Space and one of the people who got me to Bern, has died. Another scientist who was one of the directors as I was leaving, Götz Paschmann, is apparently extremely ill. Attempts to get his mailing address through ISSI were unsuccessful — a shame, because I appreciated working with him a lot.

Friday evening is the big event at the Hotel Bellevue Palace, an elaborate dinner with string quartet.

Saturday I’m off to Solothurn, about 40 minutes from Bern by train, to meet Silvia, a former colleague from my days at the Embassy of Switzerland in Washington, D.C. (and the colleague who worked at Glas Trösch).

Painted building in Solothurn

Painted building in Solothurn

In the evening I meet a former ISSI colleague and her husband for dinner in Bern.

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