Friday, August 21, 2009

Sailing down the streets of Bern

I was happily sailing atop a scooter down a neatly cobblestoned street in Bern during the late afternoon yesterday. Sunlight was glinting off the highest of the geranium-bedecked window panes, and the humming of conversation drifting out of the little cafes along the way was growing steadily stronger.

An energetic, enthusiastic guide had skillfully sheperded our little herd through the arcades and archways of the beautiful Swiss capital Bern, pointing out the highlights of what easily could have taken several days to fully appreciate. The town had a charm to it akin to that of a familiar bedtime story - inviting, magical, but somehow oddly familiar, as if I had walked these streets before in a dream or perhaps, a favorite book.

It was difficult not to drift into a meditative state as I propelled myself, with each step, further along the lanes of what must be one of the most picturesque places I've ever had the pleasure of touring.

In my experience, it is moments such as these -- moments when time seems to slow down, when sounds and sensations intensify, and when you become distinctly aware of yourself in the world - each breath, each step that propels you further, and each experience, such as the delicious feeling of wind across your face as you sail over the crest of a steep hill and peer down a lane that could just as easily have been a watercolor as real - it is in precious moments such as these that I feel most alive - alive does not even do it justice- invigorated, electrified, joyous - they might be a start.
If there's anything I can say for this past week in Switzerland its that it had been such a pleasure to immerse myself in this place, however briefly - its people, its culture, its ideas, and its hospitality. I will be sure to write more about the learning experience, the fantastic collaborations with international colleagues, and Basel, but for now, I will fall asleep - very content to have made the trip and extremely thankful to ThinkSwiss and the University of Basel for making it possible.


Anonymous said...

It was certainly interesting for me to read that blog. Thanks for it. I like such topics and everything connected to them. I would like to read more soon.

Anonymous said...

Rather cool place you've got here. Thanx for it. I like such topics and everything connected to this matter. BTW, try to add some pics :).