Farewell to Autumn

A fall was beautiful this year… and very intense when it comes to running. You already know about the Swiss Iron Trail (42.7 km) and the Trail Dents du Midi (57 km).

I have not mentioned yet about Morat-Fribourg (17.7km). This run has been organized since 1933 to commemorate the victory of Swiss Army over the Burgunds in 1476. The legend says that after winning the battle, one of the soldiers, like his famous predecessor from Marathon, traveled very fast the section from Morat to Fribourg (approximately 17 km). Upon reaching the city, he could only shout the words: Victory, victory!, then fell dead to the ground. Thanks to this triumph Swiss were closer to the end of the war with Burgundy, and they alone, due to the excellent infantry became a major military power in Europe. Big spoils gained in the enemies’ camp can be seen now in the Historical Museum in Bern.

Mist covered (LITERALLY!) was my run from Thyon to Grande Dixence dam (16.35 km). It began to operate in 1957 and still is the highest gravity dam in the world (285 meters). It collects water from 35 glaciers in the canton of Valais, from Mattertal (Zermatt region) to the Val d’Hérens.

Lac de Dix

Lac de Dix

Depending on the demand for the electricity, water accumulated by the dam can supply three underground power stations (in Nendaz, Fionnay and Bieudron) with a total capacity of 2,000 MW and a maximum annual production of over 2 billion kWh. After passing through the turbines, the water flows into the Rhône.

The dam can be visited inside, from mid June to late September. Together with a guide, visitors traverse a small part of 32 km long network of tunnels and control shafts. Trip takes about an hour.

One of the control tunnels inside the dam

One of the control tunnels inside the dam

Itinerary led by western slopes of Val d’Hérémence, at the foot of the peaks rising to over 3000 meters, untill the crown of the dam, where finish line was placed. From the beginning to the end of the race it was pouring with rain! Streams of water flooded the peaks, valleys and route. Luckily, I had my running jacket Mammut Kento DRYtech Premium. Thus, although the upper part of my body remains dry. DRYtech Premium membrane proved to be completely waterproof (according to specifications may retain 20,000 mm water column) and windproof. On the other hand, my body working at top speed, can easily get rid of the excess water vapor, that is to say prosaically sweat (water vapor permeability of the material DRYtech Premium is 20,000 g / m2 / 24 hours). I must also add that the jacket is very light (365 grams), and when folded occupies little space.

The summer passed, autumn and winter,

The summer passed, autumn and winter,
And spring, and some other summer,
and again the autumn in the mist like fumes.
/Konstatnty Ildefons Gałczyński/

I participated also in organized for the first time this year, Semi-marathon de la Côte (21.1 km), which guided from Allaman (where sports outlets and IKEA store are located) to Nyon (which is the seat of UEFA). The route led through Rolle, where my current company, SC Johnson has its premises. Therefore, I ran in furiously orange shirt with a logo of Mr Muscle on the back.

Since the white lab coat you may seem inconsistent with the “muscle” name of the product, I hasten to explain that Mr Muscle is a super scientist having a gift of combining power with… intelligence.

Strength and... intelligence (photo: Mauro Ferrari)

Power and… intelligence (photo: Mauro Ferrari)

One day, three men were locked in an elevator. A Boxer, a karateka and… a financial analyst.
Boxer said with confidence:
– Stand back, with one blow of my fist I will break down the elevator’s door and will save us.
With all his strenght he hit the door. Nothing has happened, he just broke his fingers.
Karateka then said:
– With one kick I will knock out this door and get us out. With shout on his mouth he performed mae-geri kick and… ended with a broken foot.
Then thin and hunched financial analyst, wearing on his nose the glasses like bottoms of the bottles, saying nothing hit with his head the door of the elevator which flew with a bang outside. He turned up to two broken fibroids and said:
– You need to have the power in the head, not in the muscles.

Therefore, as a rapid training of intelligence, I suggest a puzzle:

How to build a square by moving only one match?

How to build a square by moving only one match?

Answer at the end of the article.

The route of the half marathon I run in 1 hour and 54 minutes, setting my new record.

For the next course in the autumn calendar, namely Lausanne Marathon (42.195 km), I could not beat my previous result, when I ran my first marathon from Nice to Cannes in 2010. Never mind!

Even after a bad harvest there must be sowing.

After October 26, 2014, when I ran into the finish line at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne after 4 hours and 30 minutes, finally time has come to rest. What on earth it would be a pleasure if I would rest motionless.

Run, jump, fly, swim,
Rest in a dance and in a motion.
/Jan Brzechwa, Mr. Blot’s Academy/

Thus, already 3 days later I went on the road…

On the road again
Just can’t wait to get on the road again
/Willie Nelson, On The Road Again/

I ran to Ouchy to contemplate Lake Geneva and the “rows of rocks” on the opposite shore. By the way, not only Italian Sardinia wants to join the Swiss Confederation, whereof I wrote in the post Taormina glitters even higher… but also bordering by the Lac Leman, French department Haute-Savoie. In total there are many candidates who want to get into one of the best countries in the world. In the rankings of quality of life, carried out by various institutions, Switzerland always takes place in the elite.

Regions that wish to separate from the current homeland and join the Swiss Confederation:

  • Sardinia (Italy)
  • Lombardia (Italy)
  • South Tyrol (Italy)
  • HauteSavoie (France)
  • FrancheComté (France)
  • Vorarlberg (Austria)
  • Baden-Württemberg (Germany)

Residents of Switzerland, take advantage of fantastic transport infrastructure, lower taxes; enjoy the nature, purity and order. Number of playgrounds and sports facilities in one district is so large that it could be shared among large Polish city. There is a playground in every village, tennis court and a sport hall.

Above all, however, people feel here SAFELY!

From the harbor I ran boulevards to the east. In the vicinity of the Olympic Museum I have overtook two Muslim women in niqabs, which ran along with a fitness instructor. Teacher, unlike her clients, had the sport outfit which unveiled more than hide

Clothes do not make the runner (cartoon enclosed thanks to courtesy of Malcolm Evans)

Clothes do not make the runner (cartoon enclosed thanks to courtesy of Malcolm Evans)

When I was passing them, I heard that the instructor explained how hands should work during the run. I wonder if they could run so easily in Saudi Arabia, Iran or Afghanistan…

My visit to Davos due to the aforementioned Swiss Iron Trail, brought evidence how friendly and safe country Switzerland is also for the followers of the Law of Moses. At the same time as the trail, the meeting of Orthodox Jews was held in the resort and on the streets there were more of them than locals and tourists together. With black costumes and big round hats on their heads (resemble Swiss cheese circles) walked safely in the main street Promenade Strasse and not have to hide under the “Iron Dome(missile defense system of Israel).

With reference to military digression in this strongly peaceful article, I recommend another exercise of the brain how to place 10 soldiers in 5 rows of 4? As previously, the answer at the end of the article.

Swiss want to see their country remained quiet, safe and clean. This is very healthy and natural reaction. Everyone wants to protect the precious things. And this small, alpine paradise and quality of life in it are very valuable for its residents.

When Switzerland entered Schengen area, people from all over Europe and even from all over the world began to come and the quality of life began to slowly but steadily decline. You can not leave your bike in front of of the house because it will be stolen immediately and several years ago Swiss did not close their homes and cars! You can no longer, get across the street, being sure that the driver will stop before pedestrian crossing. You should also look at your feet, not to step in the dog’s poop. And at every corner there are litter bins with bags for dog droppings – adequate infrastructure exists throughout the country. It takes just a few seconds to take the bag, bend down and throw away what our pupil did. This, however, is not dependent on the infrastructure, nor the animals it depends on upbringing and culture of the country of origin.

Some people arrived, who do not want to cultivate all these positive elements occurring naturally in the landscape of Switzerland but bring here this “trash”, from which, after all, they fled from their countries. They are of course a minority in the whole group of immigrants, but as it happens with this type of “black sheep”, they are very visible. And because of those “black sheep” Swiss begin to fear

Election poster of the Swiss People's Party

Election poster of the Swiss People’s Party

Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Angers leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. I sense much fear in you.
/Master Yoda to young Anakin/

I left behind perfectly maintained Olympic Park, where you can enjoy a quite large collection of sculptures, including the statues of recently deceased (October 6, 2014) Polish artist Igor Mitoraj.

Porta Italica in Olympic Park in Lausanne

Porta Italica in Olympic Park in Lausanne

His works, often gigantic dimensions, stand in representative sections of many cities – including Paris, Rome, Milan, London, and also on the Market Square in Cracow.

Eros Bendato on Market Square in Cracow

Eros Bendato on Market Square in Cracow

Farther, behind the tower La Tour Haldimand I crossed La Vuachère. Fantastic path Sentier des Rives, suspended on platforms and breakwaters between the lake and the exclusive villas led me ultimately to Pully. The best is to run here early in the morning or late in the evening because during the day it gets crowded by walkers and runners.

In the port of Pully is a large playground with slides, swings, ladders and a climbing walls. The main attraction, however, is a “mini train”. Miniature trains pass 420 meters of narrow railroad around the hill on which the playground is located. Passengers embark and disembark on a miniature train station and on the route they travel through four miniature railway crossings and miniature tunnel. Next to the mini station booth with food and ice cream are located. Not a miniature for once.

Heading further to the east I passed the restaurant Le Restaurant du Port de Pully. From there, you can run in two ways. In summer, when the pool and payable beach are open, you have to run down the street Chemin des Bains. In winter, you can run at the shore of the lake. Both roads meet at the mouth of the river La Paudèze.

The route continues along the waterfront and just before Lutry turns left onto Rue CantonaleSeveral dozen meters you need to run down the sidewalk near the street and after a while, turn right to the port. After the harbor you will not believe sport fields, tennis courts, playgrounds and cafe under the chestnut tree.

I ran further to the right by the Quai Gustave Doret, until the public beach at the end of the village, which is located at Chemin des Bains. At that place, more wild part of the route began and for me the most beautiful one.

After about 750 meters, behind sewage treatment plant, the path on the shores of the lake ends and the road turns to the left and by stairs leading up to the Rue Cantonal. Left direction – to Lausanne, right – to Vevey and Montreux.

In front of me there is a magnificent view to the vineyards located on the steep slopes of Lavaux, the area entered in 2007 to World Heritage List. First vine stocks were planted here by the Romans, probably the inhabitants of the nearby village Lousonna. Cultivation on a larger scale and construction of terraces began in the XI century, when in these areas appeared Benedictines and Cistercians. Abbeys managed these fertile lands and shaped the landscape by building terraces and expanding the network of roads, most of which run as it was set out in the Middle Ages. Lavaux currently produces three appeals: Calamin AOC, Dézaley AOC and Lavaux AOC. This last appeal is divided into eight growing regions (Lutry, Villette, Epesses, St. Saphorin, Chardonne, Vevey, Dezaley and Calamine).

Lavaux, Lake Geneva and "rows of rocks"

Lavaux, Lake Geneva and “rows of rocks”

Landform, combined with the picturesque landscape give a possibility of intense running or biking workout with a view of the lake, opposite shore and mentioned many times Mickiewicz’s “rows of rocks”. But that’s another story and another route, which I cant wait

On the road again
Just can’t wait to get on the road again
Goin’ places that I’ve never been
Seein’ things that I may never see again
/Willie Nelson, On The Road Again/



Aanswer to the question: how to build a square by moving only one match?

Answer to the question: how to build a square by moving only one match?

Answer to the question: how to place 10 soldiers in 5 rows of 4?

Answer to the question: how to place 10 soldiers in 5 rows of 4?

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