Fashionista goes Shopaholic in Bern
When Hubby told me that we were going to Bern, Switzerland’s capital, for a day I immediately went to surf the waves of endless knowledge on the world-wide- web in order to be well prepared for my limited time of exploring fashion over there. I was very pleased to find many raving reports on how Bern is a paradise for individualists and of how many wonderful small boutiques one was to find in the old part of town in a 6 km long Arcade...
Bern really is a very picturesque little city founded in 1191 with many, many original buildings, nicely restored! As we entered the city through the embassy area I was really impressed by the mix of architecture of all those beautiful & grand villas!
Since Hubby had meetings to attend, he dropped me off at the city centre. I couldn’t wait to explore all those mentioned little shops and practically jumped out of the still rolling car, just saying over my shoulder ‘Call me when you’re done, Honey, and we’ll meet to grab a bite.’ and off I went. Unfortunately I first headed into the wrong direction of the main shopping street and was bitterly disappointed to find mainly shops of big discount fashion brands, one after the other and some boutiques with outstandingly ugly displays ... So I took to studying the houses themselves in detail and my mood improved tremendously discovering wonderful elements on practically every single house, be it flags, statues, crests or paintings, etc! :o) I took lots of pictures and enjoyed simply being a tourist.
Still I didn’t want to declare defeat on my original shopping idea so easily!!! So I re-traced my steps to the main square where I took pictures of every clock tower to be found and went into the ‘Thomas Sabo’ shop – since I collect those charms almost addictively I went to see if they had any special editions as they have in most cities –> no such luck, but something cute one always finds there ;o)
On I went to the ‘right’ part of ‘Gerechtigkeitsgasse’ where I did find many, many cute Bistros, Bars, Restaurants and those much praised boutiques. I have to say that they really are sweet, nicely decorated and highly individual but I didn’t find any fashion items that I considered worth buying, much less shoes!!! I guess the Swiss style and mine are just not the best match...
At this point everyone who knows me will start wondering with concern if I didn’t feel all that well doing NO shopping at all – don’t worry in the end I went to explore some of the countless tiny antique shops which have loads of hidden treasures at reasonable prices :o) Obviously I couldn’t buy any furniture since we wouldn’t have been able to transport them back and the house is already furnished anyway.
BUT in one of the shops towards the end, when I had almost given up on the idea of finding anything, I was found :o) I had a nice little chat with the shopkeeper discussing our preferences in periods, upholstery fabrics etc. when he invited me to take a look at the cellar where he keeps his un-restored stuff. Ohhhh, goody, this is always the best part! Between layers of dust, several centuries old, I found a stuffed white tiger head from the early 1900s. I felt so sorry for this once magnificent creature that I simply had to rescue it! Someone must have started restoring it since its mouth was full of pistachio green plaster (or what not) and I felt the poor dear must be suffocating down there in the cellar with none to love it, between all those uncared for old, half fallen apart chairs & sofas. Although I’m a vegetarian, am totally, totally against hunting and particularly pleased that it’s finally forbidden to kill tigers (one of THE most beautiful animals God has created!) I did feel since this one was already dead for a good hundred years it should at least live with someone who really looooooves cats! So I took it upstairs and started haggling about the price till I was sure I got a good bargain.
When I met up again with Hubby I told him excitedly about my wonderful find and couldn’t wait to show him. On sight of my treasure he was less than convinced and said ‘But Catzien, what do you of all people need a stuffed tiger for that is dusty and has lots of green stuff in its mouth?!’ ... Men!!! Sometimes they don’t understand ANYTHING!!! ;o) I told him since I was a ‘cat’, too, I needed a ‘guarding cat’ (like others have their ‘guarding angels’), I was going to paint over the green and hang him above my desk so he could watch over me. That convinced Hubby and I called my tiger ‘Angelo’, gave him his well deserved ‘makeup’ and he’s now got his place over my desk, watching on as I type ;o)