A View of Switzerland:
Schools, Government and Railroads
The Parliament Building in Bern.
The United Nations' Palais de Nations in Geneva.
Nicholas Johnson's Iowa City Press-Citizen K-12 education column about the Swiss educational system is tentatively scheduled for publication on June 5, 2001.
The Swiss railroad system
is a joy. With the equivalent of 10,000 miles of track in a country the
size of eastern Iowa, the ride is smooth, quiet and fast, the cars clean,
the availability regular, and the schedules kept with the precision of
a fine Swiss watch.
Because the railroads are electric they are non-polluting.
Some rail cars even have playgrounds for children, including these two visitors from India.
We visited with former
Iowa City, Iowa, classmate, Robert Rehder and his family. He is now chair
of the English Department, University of
Professor Rehder has authored a number of poetry and other books. Take a look at his impressive Web site, www.unifr.ch/das/Robert_Rehder/Welcome.html
Although the family dog, Buddy, lives in the French sector of Switzerland, it is near enough to Italy that he cannot shake his passion for spaghetti.
Of course, there is also
the occasional mountain.
Although Nick decided
not to purchase the castle at Gruyere . . .
. . . he did agree to pose in front of the cathedral named for him, St. Nicholas Cathedral in Fribourg.
Youth hostels are available
around the world. Some of the nicest are in Switzerland.
This is one of the hostels in Interlaken.
And, finally, a street
scene from Bern of the Tower, and one of many 16th Century fountains still
supplying water in the heart of the city.