From snow to pollen

Amid getting back from the Southern Hemisphere and moving house, Tanya and I took the slightly inadvisable step of going skiing for a weekend at Saas Fee. It was the last weekend that the pistes were open and there was a huge street party in the village on the Saturday night. We gave the party a wide berth, but it seems like it was a big event: early in the evening passers by were already drunkenly singing at us, and the next day the streets smelled of beer and the ski slopes were much quieter than normal.

Eww.

While there is still lots of snow in the mountains, spring has definitely arrived in Switzerland. In Bern it’s pleasantly warm and we have started to explore the region by bike, which is a lovely way to see what’s around. What’s around turns out to be — surprise! — super pretty countryside with the Bernese Alps towering above. We rode from Bern out across small hills to Riggisberg, and also out to Worb.

Bern station at sunset.
Climbing to Riggisberg.
Eiger, Mönch, Jungfrau above Thun and the Thunersee.

Moving to Bern hasn’t kept us away from the familiar wonders of Lac Léman: we went to the Cully Jazz festival for an evening, and went for a Saturday ride across Lavaux.

Then we went for a bigger ride from Thun to Interlaken along the north side of the Thunersee. After climbing steeply up to a balcony area, the route followed small rolling roads high above the lake. At one point the road was closed due to rockfall, so we had to drop to the lake level, but were saved by a convenient funicular which whisked us back up to the path after the blockage.

There is so much pollen around this spring that after these rides around Bern we would return to the house painted yellow by the stuff, and the lake at Thun has so much pollen floating on the surface that it is forming interesting clouds at the shore and large streaks that can be seen from a great distance. Spring has definitely come to Europe.

May 13, 2018

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