swiss.crossing - Stage 8/12

Stage 8 – Lüdernalp-Bern – 42.3km (total 255.6km) / +942D+ (6'850m) – bridges 4 (55) – stones in the shoe 2 (5).

The one where I saw llamas, a deer and a bear, and where I learned that I was an uncle for the 5th time.

All you want to know about the swiss.crossing Lake2Lake adventure, is here.

Departure in the fog again. It is so thick that I cannot determine if it is raining or if it is the humidity of the fog.

It is not Peru, but from the first kilometer I cross a herd of llamas. I tell myself that it is a good sign.

Just after, I learn that I am an uncle for the 5th time: it really looks like a special day.

I start by going up through the forest, then down through soggy meadows, alpine pastures and forests, until about km 7, which is a bit hilly. From there, I run on a forest road for 3–4 km, before starting the descent to Emmenmatt, at the bottom of the valley.

At km 11, it’s up again to the other side of the valley, it’s raining, I’m sure, and the wind has picked up. The climb is steep, in the forest, between roots and mud, the pace is not very high.

It takes me 6 km to reach the summit of Blaseflue (alt. 1'118m) in the middle of a forest of high fir trees, drowned in the fog. I see a deer furtively. And at the same time I thought that if someone is afraid of spirits, elves, witches, ghosts, animals, noises, the forest, or anything else, I strongly advise him not to come here with this weather.

I run down to the other side through the forest which quickly gives way to mountain pastures. A few cows emerge from the fog with a valley in the background that opens up a bit more, and the weather seems to be getting a bit warmer.

It’s a steep descent, and I think that having run a lot in the wet meadows this morning is causing my feet to itch, it’s very annoying. In the village of Arni by chance I find a fountain which allows me to quench my thirst, and to dip my feet in it, to wash them as well as the bottom of my legs, which makes me feel very good.

I continue on a slightly downhill country road towards the village of Biglen, where I had spent 3 weeks in the army 25 years ago. The restaurant Bären where I was hoping to take a break, as I used to then, is unfortunately closed today. So I continue a little bit and find a shelter at the shooting range, at the exit of the village, to picnic in the dry and without wind, after 24km.

After a 30 minutes break, I start again. There is 17km left, but the big difficulties of the day are behind me.

And indeed, from then on, I run mainly on a “flat” downhill, through small villages, then small towns that constitute the eastern outskirts of Bern. 

The weather has dried up, but not really uncovered, and I’m going pretty well considering the kilometers and the difference in altitude already covered.

I have a little slack around the 35–36th km, but fortunately it’s still slightly downhill (the one who imagined this route is a smart guy… hihi it’s me)…

After a last steep descent by a staircase, I can see the bell tower of the Berne cathedral. 39 km, I am almost there. 

I arrive by the side of the bear pit, and I go down to the edge of the Aare to try to see some. And I’m lucky, I see a beautiful brown bear.

I go up the stairs to the bridge, it’s hard… I cross, and I enter the Old Town of Bern, all paved, with its streets in an arcade, it is absolutely magnificent. 

I went up Gerechtigkeitstrasse (Street of Justice), lined with beautiful fountains topped by colored statues, which contrast with the beige facades of the buildings. The Old Town of Bern is one of the largest preserved medieval architectural town in Europe, with nearly 6km of streets, most of them with arcades. I continue to the Zytglogge, the Clock Tower, whose medieval mechanism still works, then I reach the front of the Federal Palace, house of the Swiss Parliament and Government.

I walk around it to reach the esplanade, which offers a beautiful view on the Marzili district, and the Aar River. A few last pictures, but I’m not done yet.

Indeed, I notice that I’m at 41,2 km, and as my legs seem to be still going pretty well, surprisingly, I decide to make a little detour to add this 1 km that would allow me to have run the marathon distance today, distance that I reach almost exactly when I arrive in front of the hotel. It’s pretty well organized.

I meet my lover, we go out to eat a delicious pizza at the Marzilibrücke restaurant.

Tomorrow rest, that will not be bad…


Lodging : Youth hostel, Bern, at the foot of the Federal Palace, view on the Aar…


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To look at the planned route (zoom-in) for this stage, on the national swiss map, click here or on the map

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