Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Bears of New Bern

New Bern, North Carolina home to church spires, bears and the original Pepsi.
New Bern North Carolina is a historic town in the Crystal Coast region of North Carolina. When you walk around town you can see architectural details that remind you that New Bern was settled by colonists of German and Swiss descent.
This is a river town that has a vibrant riverfront park. We took a long walk passing a variety of restaurants, coffee shops and stores.
New Bern is the birthplace of Pepsi Cola.  Caleb Bradham's old corner pharmacy is there, where he invented Brad's drink and later patented it as Pepsi Cola.  We enjoyed Pepsi floats and purchased cans of the latest product being marketed by Pepsi the 1893 brand in original cola and ginger flavors.

Here's the recipe if you want to make a batch
They even have the original recipe hanging on the wall in the pharmacy.  We calculated that it would take a firetruck tanker to provide a large enough vessel to mix the solution in.
Fred was happy to cross Pepsi off his bucket list having visited the Coke Museum in Atlanta, Georgia and the Dr. Pepper museum in Waco, Texas in the past.

New Bern is home to many churches with beautiful spires
Our walking tour passed many churches with beautiful spires as well as a clock tower. Many of the storefronts were open on this Sunday afternoon. We stopped at one that was having a sale on outdoor athletic wear to browse and Fred ended up with a new pair of Teva's.  It was a nice find as his old ones were rubbing blisters on the side of his foot.
Another interesting thing we discovered about New Bern is that author Nicholas Sparks makes his home in the area. His novels are set in this area of North Carolina and many people recognize the places he writes about.
Many of the buildings in New Bern exhibit German and Swiss architectural details.
The thing we liked most about New Bern though was it's bears. Bears are an important symbol here and bear sculptures can be found all over the city. Bern is a German word for bear. It seems that New Bern has embraced it's namesake as well as it's Swiss and German heritage in celebration of them.

Bearon deGraffenreid at Union Point Park

Capt Black Bear'd on East Front St
There were bears outside of stores and doctors offices, bears with historic significance, bears for the police department, and bears with a message. We didn't find them all, some had been moved to different locations and some we got too tired to walk to.

This fishing bear was carved from a single log

Spirit 2: a Bear with a message
The bear walking tour was a great way to see the downtown area of New Bern. We only had an afternoon to explore the historic city and it was an enjoyable way to cover a lot of ground.

Flag Bearer at City Hall

This bear was in a window facing a pocket park in town

Mitchell Bear at Mitchell Hardware on Craven St

Sailor Bear on South Front St

Bear-ly Legal at Stubbs and Perdue Law Firm on Craven St

Greenzly in Union Point Park