Archive for July, 2014

Day 3: St. Maurice to Martigny

After a nice breakfast in the monastery with my fellow pilgrims Mery and Günther, another German who stayed there, we take off to Martigny. Despite my Achilles’ tendon being inflamed, it worked quite well for about four and a half hours. Which I personally think is pretty great.

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The landscape we walked through was very diverse and always absolutely beautiful. There were rivers to cross, donkeys and alpacas to meet, waterfalls and magical forests waiting to be discovered. The beauty of nature simply can’t hide in a pilgrimage. And Switzerland has lots of it to show.

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After being given some apricots by very nice Swiss people picking them from their trees, I cooled down my swollen foot in a ice-cold fountain so I managed to walk another one and a half hours to today’s destination Martigny. Believe me, my feet were hurting badly and one of my toes is strangely swollen. I also have bad marks on my shoulders and hip bones not to mention the general limp that gives my walk the personal edge. But in the end you ignore all the pain, well, kind of, and just keep walking. Basically because stopping and standing us not an option since you won’t be able to sleep in a nice bed if you don’t reach it. So here I am again with Mery and Günther, having pizza for dinner and a glass of red. Tomorrow the ascension begins. From now on its forwards and upwards (and down and up and down and up again) until we eventually reach the top of Grand St. Bernard and thereby the Italian border…

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Very best thing of today was the constant sunshine during all of the nearly 18 kilometers. Proud to be a pilgrim. No pain no glory they say. Fighting on then…


Day 2: La Tour de Peilz to Saint Maurice

There is one word for today. Inflamed tendent. So I’d love to tell you about the beautiful landscape – which it really was, mountains in the distance covered in magical clouds mainly – but mostly I was trying to ignore the pain in my right foot. It also rained pretty much all day. I ran into a Spanish pilgrim who had lost her way so we walked on together. She spoke Spanish while I was speaking French and we communicated without any problems. One reason why I love travelling and speaking different languages. Many kilometres in the rain later we met an Italian guy who lives here and gave us a lift to St. Maurice after inviting us to coffee, water and biscuits with his family. Don’t judge me. It was just the last bit of the way and I really wouldn’t have made it to the bed on foot. I’m supposed to rest for a few days. But after a nice supper with the padre of the monastery including their own wine and cherries, I feel that the 17km tomorrow are doable. We’ll see. Rest well.

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Day 1: Lausanne to La Tour de Peilz

Today was the first day of hiking and I have to admit it was too long. I ended up walking about 33km which was not intended. But first things first.

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In Lausanne I made my way up to the cathedral, which was quite exhausting to begin with since it is at the top of the city, only to find it closed. I then walked down to the harbour Ouchy, all in pretty nasty rain, I should mention.

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Took my first coffee break down by another harbour. I pretty much walked alongside Lake Genever. Before the way took a turn up the vineyards. They are famous and a UNESCO world heritage.

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I walked on forever. All up and down. It looked beautiful. And then there was a red fox running over the old grey stairs in between the green vines above the blue lake. Perfect. And the foot I broke last summer and was worried about didn’t hurt. However, the other one did. Very early on the Achilles started aching and I remembered having had the same thing on my way to Spain. It lasted a while and eventually wore off. Hoping i does the same again. After a couple more villages I was looking for a campground but couldn’t find it. So decided to walk on to the next one. Shame Bly the guide didn’t say it wasn’t at the beginning of the town it said, but pretty much at the end of it.
However, I saw mermaids, Charlie Chaplin and a fork. Wouldn’t dare to complain!

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So here is my place for tonight.

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Lausanne

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Ok. After a ten hour train ride with the usual lateness and nearly missing connecting trains I made it to Lausanne. The weather is pretty miserable to be honest. But I’m still looking forward to starting to walk tomorrow. It’s going to be good to be outside and alone for a while to calm down. Well, ask me again after a rainy day… Onwards.

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One More Sleep

This is the last night before I’m starting my two months journey for Peace, for humanitarian aid in the Middle East. I would like to share some wise words, but really I’m just tired after driving up three hours to Hamburg to store my stuff in my attic, seeing a friend for lunch who is moving to Portugal so won’t be here when I return and going on a motorbike trip with another friend who’s providing me with a bed for tonight. A perfect last city day before spending two months surrounded by nature. I’m grateful for my friends, the shelter I’m given and the fact that I have enough to eat and not to worry about tomorrow. Join me in providing the people in the Middle East with the same necessities for a more peaceful life. I’ll be getting some rest now for the ten hour train ride tomorrow. See you in Lausanne.


Test Walking / Test Hurting

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Today’s test walk went well. Except for maybe getting lost about a thousand times. But at least it was a good hike. Felt my legs burning, my feet swelling and my neck aching. This very specific all over pain of being on the road. Can’t wait for more of the same. Only about 1200km to go. It’s not that far, is it?! Very excited still! Outfit is ready, at least…

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Into the wild

My ultra light mini tent has arrived. Can’t wait to set it up. Looking forward to a lot of nights out in the field…

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Credenziale del Pellegrino

I received my pilgrim’s pass today. May the journey begin soon…

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