What a strange day it has been. Me – with no plan, no to-do list, no destination…
Me just hanging around. I know, weird. So, of course it was bound to be strange.
Honestly, if my reasonable mind (I do have one to a very tiny extent) had not told me to rest because my body was crying for a day off, I would have been better off dashing up the next pass.
And it might have been a good idea. The weather has turned as we speak and the sunny, clear blue skies you see in this photo are now black with storm clouds. According to local weather (which, I am sad to say, tends to be amazingly accurate), the next two days could be iffy. And this coming when I have to cross my two highest, wildest and most challenging passes.
Oh well, as I’ve said before, better just suck it up and do it.
But back to this morning. Instead of walking the very tedious forest trail up to Murren, I took the cable car! I could have gotten a late start but I truly wanted to get out of Lauterbrunnen. I don’t know what makes the village so different from the others. Maybe because it’s low in the valley and the others sit on sunny shelves, but Lauterbrunnen does not have charm and it’s hotels are a tad seedy – or at least as seedy as things get in Switzerland.
So I escaped and arrived at my “usual” hotel in Murren at about 9. Much too early but I had the use of the lounge and I could stash my backpack and wander until 2.
What I really wanted to do was sleep all morning. But I put on my “camp” shoes and walked as slowly as an impaired gramma all over the village. This, by the way, does not take long. Really not long.
But it was warm and sunny and I took some “village” photos:
I walked by the apartment that Julie and Ellen and I rented 3 years ago. I stood and stared at it. I can’t quite describe the feeling it evoked. Nostalgia? Not quite? At any rate, I felt close to tears and I don’t know why.
I walked by the chalet containing the apartment I’d almost moved to some 35 years ago when I had decided to spend 6 months living here. Stared at that for a while too. And then time got all wonky. In what other parallel universe did I move to Murren? And what about that life?
And then time really got screwed up for me. I could look up and around the trails and see myself walking there – having lunch on that particular knoll – but it was all in the past. But it felt like I could actually see myself – that I was meeting the past me and the past and the present all merged into something that was neither past nor present – something that just was.
And I wasn’t sure how to feel about that. Mostly, I think I just accepted it all as it was without trying to delve.
The little bakery has become a coffee shop that sells really yummy sandwiches – expensive though. And the lattes are about $8 Cdn.
I found myself, in my very slow ambling, feeling guilty about taking a day off – and worried about the pass tomorrow if the weather gets bad. I finally managed to mostly let go of that. My feet are grateful. I’ve showered and rebandaged and I think there’s a tad of improvement. And my back thanks me. And I hope my left leg sorts itself out by tomorrow. It’s not bad – just feels a bit wonky.
Looking at the black clouds out there – boy I’m glad I’m inside. I have never seen weather change faster than in this part of the world. I have learned in the many times I have been here never to trust it.
So, I am going to hole up for the rest of the day – read and nap and laze around. Still can’t find great chocolate. Who would ever have thought that the best I could do in Switzerland is Lindt and Coop? Really? Sheesh!
It’s good to be here. It’s surreal to be here. I’ve done 10 stages with 8 to go. I feel ready to set out tomorrow no matter the conditions. I’ll be in a mountain hut so no report until the next day.
And here is the quintessential photo from Murren: the Eiger with the Swiss flag. Yes, the Swiss do like to fly their flag.
They also like to paraglide.
And two more photos taken from my lunch spot:
One last note: I just heard my first thunder clap. It was mighty. We are in for a monster storm.