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You could not image how much meaningful things we accomplished today, we visited a energy park in Tropenhaus in the morning for 3 hours and then we got to the capital city Bern, took a 2 hours’ tour around the city. In the next 2 hours, we visited the Swiss Parliament .At last we arrived at Biel, our new living site for next 3 days. Many thanks to Gaby, she cooked us a really delicious dinner in the evening, which made us totally fulfilled not only in the spirit but also the stomach.
The energy park we visited is named Tropenhaus Frutigen, the builders got the idea in 2002, beginning with a very interesting story. With the construction of the Lotschberg Base Tunnel, the temperature of the water in the tunnel drainage system is increasing much higher than what the natural springs and lakes can bear, so the water must be cooled before it is drained to the natural water. Then a scientist solved this problem successfully using it for fish production, for the 20˚C- water is helpful for the fish to grow fast. What’s more, the high latitude(+800m) of the water resources makes it possible to transfer the gravitation force to electricity with a turbine with 10,000 rotation per minute when the 11 liter per second water pass it. They also have solar panels on the roof and geothermal heat pump for the air condition. With the production of fish, vegetable and fruit from eight fishing pools and one big green house, they can serve fresh food in their restaurant. Meanwhile, the wastes from the kitchen and wastewater treatment pool can be used to produce biogas, which is also a kind of economical green energy for running the park.
There is also an expo in it, with exhibitions on mountains, lotschberg Bace Tunnel, renewable energy, healthy eating and sustainable farming. The saddest thing is to know that with the construction with hydro power stations in the world, the sturgeon fish cannot give birth because they cannot jump over the big dam. So, some of their species are extinct. I hope that we can one day successfully solve this problem, do less harm to the nature.
What I am most interested is the water recycling system in the energy park. There are three kinds of water in it, one is the drinking water, and others are rain water &mountain water. Each of them has different usage. Drinking water is from the water supply plant used for electricity production and close-circle air condition; the rain water is collected from the roofs of the houses and used for irrigation in the green house; the mountain water is used for the fish pool, which can be recycled for 12 times a day then treated to clean water with bio sludge treating system, after that, it’s drained to a river nearby. The whole system is very scientific especially with the temperature and quality control system.
I have known a research building in China which can afford all its energy cost using green energy like solar, wind, bio-gas and so on. But this park gave me a great new surprise that it can combine the energy usage, environmental education, production of Switzerland’s first caviar fish, green house of tropical fruit, restaurant and shopping together. Every element is unforgettable and interesting.
Then we got to the capital city Bern, I must to say it’s the most beautiful city I have ever been. The first impression of Bern to me was its long track bus painted with red crosses running though the streets with historical architectures. There are no high buildings and no traffic jam, even if it is the capital city, I still can enjoy the peace and clean like Grindelwald and Maloja.
Dario is very familiar with this city because he ever studied in Bern. He showed us the city river and on its banks live the bears presenting the origin of the city’s name .Dario told us stories and history about this city. Then we visited a famous church with over 500 years history, I was impressed by its elegant decoration, every statue of it is an art.
The most interesting visit is to Dario’s college. We took a short visit in the library where everyone was concentrating in their books. With Dario’s introduction, we know that in Switzerland, everyone who wants to study can get a chance for free in such governmental college, but he needs to pass the exam and gets to the top 200 for his medical degree. Which means every Swiss citizen can get an opportunity to learn, no matter he is rich or poor but he needs to study hard for the final degree. How nice and reasonable this educational system is! I really hope every country in the world can provide such opportunity like Switzerland, so that there will be no one who needs to give up his dream because of poverty.
At last, we visited the Swiss Parliament, I think it was our great honor to have this chance to know how it’s like and the history of this powerful building .What impressed me most was its superb paintings and exquisite statues, each of them has a special meaning, seems like telling you stories and constantly give you wisdom, courage, trust and strong will. What’s more, I felt that it’s very unique for Switzerland to have different linguistic representatives from Swiss-German, French, Italian and Roman speaking parts. The linguistic and cultural differences are the defining feature of Switzerland. People from different part of Switzerland know to respect each other’s cultural and they live in harmony with each other. I am sure such kind of feature also gives Swiss people a broad mind to live peacefully in the world with other countries.
I believe whenever I thought of today’s experiences, I could get some new inspirations.