Posting before I fall asleep… Climbing Niesen!

Bonjour all! It’s only around 6:30pm here, but I thought I had better make a post while my body was still more or less functional, and I’m not sure how much longer exactly that will last. Currently relying on the random outbursts from the TV (watching some FIFA) to keep me up.

SO! Woke up nice and early today, around 6:30am, only rolled out of bed around 6:45am or so after Jana poked her head in on her way out. I was tired. Got myself ready, probably didn’t do a superstar job – I wore my Canada shirt, but if I was using my brain I would have remembered I have a running shirt here. And I wore jeans, which really did wind up working out well, but I probably could have done running sweats too. It wasn’t bad, just could have done better.

ANYWAY, set off for the train station, it’s about a 15 min walk away, made it in fine time. Met Nina at the station, we went to find our track and…. it’s cancelled. Sadly, someone jumped in front of a train today, which obviously caused many problems including the cancelation of the train we wanted to take. She took to her phone and found us another train through Thun, we hopped on that – it was absolutely packed. It was about a 40 minute trip out there, just one stop past Thun. From there we had to transfer, which would take a bit of time, so we went for a coffee and grabbed some food etc to have on our way up.

We wanted to start out super early to avoid any possible bad weather later in the day, but we wound up being lucky and didn’t have any issues, so it didn’t really impact us.

DSCN4935We arrived at the right station in good time, about an hour later than we wanted to but not too bad. The entrance to the tram ride up the mountain was almost right by the train station, but obviously we’re too cool for that – we set off directly past the tram, which contains, interestingly enough, the longest staircase in the world (11,674) alongside the tram, and started our ascent.

Nina is a extremely experienced climber, and I am a…. not so experienced climber, but it worked out well! I don’t think I slowed her down – too much. For sure a few more breaks than she’s used to though 😛

The climb was pretty awesome. The start and finish are both very steep, the middle lasted probably about 1.5hr, the other 2.5 or so hours were fun. It was pretty stunning to just stop for 30 seconds and look around though – talk about a view. My strategy wound up being just looking directly at the ground in front of me, instead of trying to look up to DSCN4947the peak… that could be a bit depressing. We stopped a few times, probably like… 15 – 20 in total. Water breaks for the most part, Nina snacked, I had a stop for food as we were getting closer to the summit. It was super tiring, my legs got used to it pretty quickly though, and time really did fly by. We’d alternate between chatting and huffing and puffing… well… probably just me huffing and puffing 😉 but it was really a lot of fun.

This mountain is a pretty famous one so I’m thrilled I got to go up it, it’s the “pyramid”, and if you look at pictures of it you can see why.

DSCN4962Once we got to the top – finally – it was super foggy so you really couldn’t see the scenery unfortunately, but it was a pretty spectacular feeling. We grabbed a hot chocolate at the little restaurant, walked around the summit a bit before eventually grabbing the tram down (not going to hike in the other direction, though it would have been much easier!). Nice ride down – crazy to think that it takes about 30 mins to go up or down, and near 5 hours to climb lol. But the climb is 50x better than the ride, and it feels fantastic to have done it. Again this is one of those times I could look around and just go… wow. I’m here!

So that was more or less my day, so far. I think Patrick is coming over and we’re doing dinner, I’ve got FIFA on – the Brazil / Mexico match is tonight so that should be good, maybe we’ll head out to watch that somewhere. Tomorrow I’m off pretty early (well not crazy early) to catch the train to Zurich, it’s been an awesome trip – Jana and her family have been so sweet and wonderful in hosting me and keeping me super busy! It’s so nice to stay with people and get the non-tourist version of a country – though with my camera, I’m still pretty clearly a tourist.

Still gotta book the hostel for tomorrow night, I will be in Lisbon just for the day, then off to Marrakech, which I’m sure will be very interesting. After that I’ve got a flight to Amsterdam, and I will actually be there for a Dutch match, so I’m excited about that – I’ve heard a lot about the Dutch fans, apparently it’s just a sea of Orange. Very cool. Looking forward to that, as well as possibly spending some time with Laura before heading home on the 25th.

That’s all for now, ciao!