This morning straight after breakfast we set out in the bus, headed for Berne via Lausanne. The weather varied from poor to passable, but we got a very warm welcome at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne  where, since his retirement, Prof Jean-Francois Loude, has been setting up a Physics Museum that is more like ours than most. He was excited to meet me as we are the only two museums on earth to have Eotvos balances in their collections. So he reckons, anyway. After an introductory talk, we split into two groups, one to look at the displays, and the other to visit the storeroom, where we learned a new word: vistemboir  meaning mystery object as we were tasked with identifying some. They were pretty hard and Jean-Francois remained unconvinced by any of our theories.

We joined up again for coffee and croissants and then swapped venues until lunch of emince de veau avec champignons (known down the road as Zuricher geschnetzletes, an old favourite of mine) in the campus restaurant.

The clouds cleared for long enough to give glimpes of the mountains across the lake. It is a beautiful campus, and all the buildings, set in meadows, have fanciful names like 'Le Cubotron'.

They have quite a good website too. Give them a few hits at:

Then it was a sleepy ride in the rain to the hotel Baeren in Berne where we quickly checked in and then reboarded the bus for a painfully slow grind through heavy traffic to Bienne and up and up and up to the little village of Evillard where SIS member M. Dubuis had invited us to see his collection. He said his apartment was too small, so he had brought about 250 aneroid barometers to a local restaurant. And then 'found a sponsor' to pay for a three course meal for all of us. The sad part was that he is gravely ill and was out of hospital just for the night. But he clearly enjoyed seeing us all enjoying the collection. There was every imaginable form of aneroid barometer, combined with clocks, thermometers, hygrometers etc, and all the major types -Vidie/Dent, Bourdon, and Paulin were well represented. We were fascinated by an unusual null reading type invented in Zurich.

M. Dubuis had bought out a barometer factory some time back and handed out aneroid capsules. I got a couple of good ones in case the one in the Murday Microbarometer needs replacing. I showed M. Dubuis some pictures of it and he said I was lucky he did not see it on eBay.

After our creme brulees we had to reboard the bus in the rain and hurry back to Bern before our driver exceeded his 12 hour limit.