The last sunrises …

Our old home put on a magical show for us before we left. It felt like every sunrise was a winner. It felt like every day was clear and bright. I’m sure it was nature’s way of saying remember this view! remember this place! in the best way possible.

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Taking in the whole view from the left …

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… into the middle … (I’ll miss the white house making this scene “pop”)

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… and to the right … crisp and clean

We certainly had a grand view of the Swiss Alps.

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Gold! The view from the bedroom window (with the eave of the roof on the left)

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Foggy but inviting

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Layers

Ahhhh, those lovely last few days …

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Sunrise with stars still shining

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Winner, winner!

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On the walk down the hill to collect the keys for the new apartment

We’ve moved into the village of Wohlen bei Bern from the outskirts. Leo went to work before our appointment to collect the new house keys, then straight to the apartment, but I stayed home and walked the walk for old time’s sake. It felt fitting to say goodbye to that walk in that way. As much as I loved it (most of the time!), I’m glad, overall, that we’re down in the thick of the “action” now. And the church bells aren’t as bad as I thought they would be, clanging every 15 minutes, all through the night!

Here is the view from our new bedroom window …

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We can live with this!

Yahoo! We still can see the Alps! I think seeing those mountains is more important to me than the size of the apartment or having a garden or how nice the floors are or whatever! It’s my way of waking up happy.

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The view from the bed looking south east

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Closer …

Closer ...

Closer …

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With the windows open

I’m making the most of that view during winter, because I think come summertime we will only glimpse the mountains when all the leaves on those trees are back.

Photos of the apartment will be in the next post, promise.

Wishing you a wonderful day.

August 25-27: Nervous …

I have a few things on my plate at the moment and am feeling nervous. I talked about working methodically but slowly, but if all goes to plan, I’ll have to start doing things much faster! Hopefully I’ll have more information about this by the end of next week. Sorry more can’t be divulged now!

The past few days have been spent at work, catching up with my friend Sonja who’s about to go back to Ethiopia to continue being a doctor, meeting my friend Leonie who’s about to move to Norway, contacting chefs and working on the four stories for my friend’s magazine, and cleaning Liliane and Rene’s house.

Relying on other people to contact me for those stories, when I’m working to a deadline, is making me feel like I’m not in control of what’s going on! I need to take 10 deep breaths, keep plodding along and find some patience. The latter is the tough one.

Here are some photos from yesterday. It was a beautiful day! I met Sonja at the Marzili, the public swimming area right in the centre of Bern, and then came home about 5pm to a lovely mountain panorama.

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Quite a few people were swimming. It was 18.5 degrees in the water

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This lady found a lovely sunny spot. Must remember that!

We thought about going in ... Sonja thought it was ok! But the belly button is always the test!

We thought about going in … Sonja thought it was ok! But the belly button is always the test! No go!

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I managed up to my knees

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So we opted to laze in the sun. Good luck in Ethiopia again, Sonja!

Clear as a bell!

The view from home. Clear as a bell!

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Zoomed in a little bit. The mountain with the mostly black face is the Eiger, then the Mönch to the right, then the Jungfrau

We face south so we get plenty of sunshine. All the mountains that we see face north; the north side of the mountain is considered the coldest (in the northern hemisphere). Brrr …

I weighed myself at Liliane and Rene’s this morning. 65.6kg. I think that might be the lightest I’ve been for a while. Can’t say it’s because of all the exercise I’ve been doing (although walking around London must have helped. The beers not so much …) so I attribute it to the ‘summer diet’. Lots of salads and not much stodge.

One thing I’ve noticed when I come home after cleaning the neighbour’s house is I want to declutter even more at our place! They have many ornaments on display and small objects I have to clean around, and I feel thankful that our place isn’t overloaded with adornments. Just a few well-loved items. Happiness.

Wishing you a wonderful day.

May 31: The World’s Longest Staircase

In Berner Oberland, a region of the Canton of Bern in Switzerland, lies the Guinness Book of Records’ World’s Longest Staircase.

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Looking back at the terminus, heading straight up. The stairs are to the left of the track

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A glimpse of what’s to come

With 11,674 steps going steeply to the top of the Niesen mountain, you’d be a fool to consider a running race on them, wouldn’t you?! But on June 6, crazies of all ages will huff and puff their way up in the 14th Niesen Stairway Race. I wonder if they ever stop and have a look at the amazing view behind them?

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Somewhere around the middle I think

At all other times, people aren’t allowed to walk on the steps, because the funicular train goes up and down at 15-30 minute intervals – apparently it gets a bit tight in some sections. For any of my hardcore running fans, do you fancy entering in 2016? I’ll cheer you on at the start and have a cold drink waiting at the finish! 🙂

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A clear view on the way down

The funicular was built 1906-1910 and takes you to 2362m. The first section of 2111m takes 14 minutes to complete, with a steepest gradient of 66%. You switch to another train for the second section, which is 1388m long, takes 12 minutes, and has a gradient of 68%.

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Leaving the top station

The Niesen, also called the Swiss Pyramid because of its shape, is about a 45 minute drive south from Bern. We caught the funicular (no surprises there!) to have brunch on top today. It was Leo’s birthday present from our neighbours last year and we were shocked at how full it was! Sunday seems to be a popular day to sit and watch the clouds whiz by. It’s also popular with the paragliders who constantly fly past the viewing platforms and over the restaurant.

Below is a gallery of our photos and here’s a link to the Niesen official photos (some lovely shots in there in clearer weather).

Wishing you a wonderful day.

May 28: Caving for a craving

Another beautiful sunny day meant more outdoor work, and outdoor work without breakfast or lunch meant one hungry beast come dinner time.

Rene went to hospital this afternoon for a scheduled visit – he’s having an operation on his neck tomorrow afternoon. This is his sixth hospital visit/operation since I’ve lived here (three and a half years). The first four were for his hip – what a debacle that was. This operation will hopefully alleviate some headache problems he’s been having.

So before he left, there were things to do. (Hopefully he’ll be back by the middle of next week, touch wood). I spent four hours with the jet hose cleaning the stone tiles around the pool. Four hours – on one ‘small’ job! But it was needed to get rid of three years worth of grime. I’ll do our terrace and the back of the big farmhouse on Saturday.

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You can see where I’ve cleaned – the two and a half rows on the right

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And this is what it looks like now. Cream stones rather than green

I was soaked and covered in black grot by the end. I had little stones up my nose and in my ears and my glasses were smeared grey. My arms are also slightly sunburnt. Slightly …

That’s not the only thing hurting my arms. Have you ever used a Kärcher jet spray machine? Those things pump out some serious water and the nozzle weighs quite a bit when in action. My arms were still sore from scooping and snipping yesterday so they are going to weigh a tonne tomorrow! How will I get over that? By cleaning Liliane’s house, of course!

And now to caving for a craving … I called Leo at about 5pm and asked if we could drive straight to McDonald’s when he got home from work. He was shocked – that’s not part of the fitfor15in15 plan! This is the first time I’ve had McDonald’s this year. It could possibly be the first time I’ve had fast hamburger food for an entire year. But he didn’t put up a fight and boy did we enjoy those babies! I was so hungry, I could have eaten my arm (if it wasn’t so burnt! 🙂 )

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Hello Alps! You’ve been hiding behind the clouds for too long! Taken by Leo at 6.30pm

Leo cracked me up when he took the photo, above, for me. My substitute iPhone4 is very, very, very slow and we’re still waiting to hear what’s happening with my iPhone5, which was sent for repairs last week following the black screen of death. Leo asked why I wanted him to take photos with his phone, and I explained the quality would be better. He then said, “You’re suffering from a bad case of missyourphoneia!” I told him that joke, in a language that is still sometimes foreign to him, deserved a hug (I suffer from misophonia). Very clever boy!

Wishing you a wonderful day.

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Missyourphoneia! Burgers! Yeah baby!

April 6: Walking the favourite new path again

A very late post – again – because we binge-watched more episodes of ‘The Killing’ TV series on Netflix – again. My eyes are popping out of my head as I type this, but we’ve finished season one! Yay. (Where’s the bed?!)

It turned out to be another sunny, cold and windy day today, so we decided to walk the new path behind the property again. The first time we walked, and ‘discovered’, this path, there was still plenty of snow, but now it’s all gone and the grass is a sweet green.

A well-decorated house made our jaws drop. Last time it had Christmas decorations everywhere, but we didn’t have a look at the actual exhibition. Today, we checked out the Easter offering, and I’m glad we did, because I won’t forget it in a hurry. Wow. How many years would it have taken to collect it all?

The round trip took just over an hour, I think. Our favourite restaurant wasn’t open, so we didn’t stop for a soft drink on the way home. Three men were playing boules in the gravel pit and kids were using the swings, so despite being closed, it still felt alive.

Here are a few photos.

We’re off on a driving holiday to the Alsace region (the capital is Strasbourg where we went for my birthday) on the border of France and Germany. We liked it so much we thought we’d spend a few more days there, exploring and walking. I hope to have time to write a post or two. Never fear, I’ll be doing my exercises too!

Wishing you a wonderful day … and maybe a wonderful few days.