Monday was the national holiday in Switzerland, and we had a lovely day swimming at the local outdoor pool, sitting in Bern and soaking up the sun, drinking cold beer, eating a tasty dinner, and blowing shit up.
It was so relaxing.
I already mentioned this last year, but when the national holiday rolls around everyone and their dog (as long as the dog is over twelve years old) stocks up on fireworks and explosive crackers. We didn't buy any fireworks last year, so instead we spent the whole day listening to the machine-gun exploding of little red crackers, the popping of noise-rockets bursting above our heads, and in the evening, the sounds of pyrotechnic lava spilling from backyard volcanoes.
We were disappointed that we hadn't seized our own opportunity to put a match to gunpowder and run like hell, so it was decided that we weren't going to let that chance pass by us this year. If you couldn't find us on Saturday it was because we were spending a very intense afternoon at the store ensuring that the fireworks we were buying were the perfect mix of colour, variation, and noise; that we were getting maximum explosive entertainment for our money.
Monday dawned to the sweet warmth of sunshine and the sound of some kids (who definitely didn't have a twelve year old dog supervising them) tossing lit crackers into sandpits, and waiting for the expected TNT boom to rattle their teeth. Since Dan had made sure to buy his own box of 'Lady Crackers', we went out after dinner--walking through sound walls of noise-rockets--to add our own symphony of noise to that thunderous cacophony.
"Lady Crackers" is actually the polite English translation.
People around Bern refer to these in conversation as "Lady Farts".
Note the lady crackers in Dan's hand.
I think that these are the perfect size of dynamite to go with Trapped In A Hole Barbie.
Along with her pink brush and cute shoes, of course.
Dan is burying the Barbie ammo under twigs and rocks.
So that they will fly in the air when the crackers explode.
Such a boy.
Let's do this thing!
Let's blow shit UP.
The background really helps put in perspective the ghetto fun we were having.
It is worth mentioning that the first time we lit these I was way too close and ended up covering my ears and running away from the scene, yelping in terror as my camera swung around my neck. The perils of being a photo-journalist, I tell you.
When it got dark, our neighbour came over and we trooped up to a nearby field to set off our fireworks.
This moth has nothing to do with that.
He was just hanging out on a light post, looking wicked bad.
The coolest pyro you've ever met.
And the awesome trail of light.
Now I do not own a tripod, so all my photos are shaky which I think gives you a nice idea of the adrenaline coursing through my Nerdus Nolifeus veins, because as we set off ten different rockets and two volcanoes, I kept thinking with glee: "This should be illegal! It's too much fun to be legal! Someone's going to yell at us! BRING IT ON."
Uh, obviously no one did yell at us because it's not illegal here and also it appeared as though every person in our village was too busy getting their pyro on to pay attention to us.
Little volcano becomes a big volcano...
...then becomes a blue volcano.
After we'd lit all our fireworks we headed up to the village bonfire to watch the professional show.
A shaky view from the top of our village of people's private fireworks going off.
The village bonfire with a couple of volcanoes.
The beer tent and a little lantern.
What's that, you ask?
Oh yes, beer was being served a mere hot dog stick away from a giant bonfire.
And people who were lighting pyrotechnics were consuming it.
Let's have a moment of silence to let it sink in how great that is.
We had to wait about twenty minutes, but then the City of Bern's firework show off the Gurten started up. At our village bonfire a radio and speakers were hooked up so that the music the fireworks were synced to, could be heard.
Dan had me in a bear hug while we watched the thirty minute show.
I felt sparks.