Mammut on the run with Mr Muscle

Mammut on the run with Mr Muscle

In the sad dawn of dirty cities
full of merciless winds
flashes sometimes your face
as uncertain moment of spring.
Into the bus stop’s crumpled crowd
as if someone threw like a joke
white lilac bouquet or
only happiest cards.
/Jan Pietrzak, Hope/

My adventure with Mr Muscle, WC Duck and Kiwi bird (“which shoe will revive”) was as short as “uncertain moment of Spring” from the song of Jan Pietrzak. It looked completely different in the previous corporation – I worked there until seventeen moments (years).

Since I made a reference to the famous Soviet TV series from the seventies of the 20th century entitled “Seventeen Moments of Spring”, it behooves to write more about it and give you some jokes about the main character, who was Chuck Norris of that time (of course, behind the poorer side of the Iron Curtain).

Colonel Maksym Maksymowicz Isaev works in Berlin as a secret agent of Soviet intelligence Standartenfuhrer Max Otto von Stirlitz. He infiltrated the ranks of the SS and works in Reich Security Main Office. The theme of the movie is the realization of the task that Stirlitz receives from headquarter in Moscow – to find out which of the leaders of the Third Reich, is trying to establish negotiations with Western Allies in… Switzerland. He has to obtained evidence that such discussions are ongoing to prevent the conclusion of a separate peace between the Nazis and the Western powers. Isayev thanks to his incredible intelligence, calmness and good luck, of course, executes the task. This, however, has not been done without problems. He has to tackle with the head of the Reich Security Main Office – Kaltenbruner who having suspicions against him ordered his observation, and with the head of the Gestapo – Müller.

Stirlitz has walked through the streets of Berlin, but something betrayed him as a spy: maybe hat with ear flaps, maybe felt-boots or maybe a parachute pulling behind him?

Stirlitz sauntered approached the the place of contact. He knocked the agreed 127 times. No one answered. After some thought, he went out to the street and looked to the window. Yes, he was right. On the windowsill 63 irons were standing – a sign of a bummer.

Stirlitz’s house was surrounded by Gestapo.
- Open the door! – Müller shouted.
- Stirlitz is not at home! – Stirlitz said.
In this here’s clever way Stirlitz outsmarted Gestapo for the fifth time.

Gestapo guarded all the exits, but Stirlitz outsmarted them. He escaped through the entrance.

Stirlitz thought. He liked it, so he thought again.

End of kidding, I go back to the main topic.

Since the beginning of the recruitment process S.C. Johnson made it clear that this is a temporary work. They needed someone with experience, who quickly embrace the situation in the difficult period of change and restructuring, but unfortunately it will not be employed on a permanent basis. It was expected that the contract will last for 6 months. Finally, it turned out that I was needed a bit longer, and the contract was extended to 24 months. With regret I leave the company and the people, because it was… different than previously.

Calmer atmosphere and less deadllines result from company size and ownership structure, since SC Johnson is not listed on the stock exchange. I am not a psychologist and I did not conduct a research, so I can not say for sure, but with a simple observation I deduced that it has a soothing effect on the behavior of employees and their superiors.

The excerpts of the next paragraph have been censored by the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, due to the critical significance of the issues I dealt with to the vital interests of this American family-owned company, founded in 1886, in Racine, Wisconsin.

In addition to the structured process of month end closing, █████████████████████, transparent deviations reporting, ███████████████████████████████████████████████████, regular costs monitoring of the implementation of the European CLP project (Classification, Labeling and Packaging), and █████████████ █████████████████████ ██████████████, I wanted to leave something else, but directly related to the atmosphere in the office (though perhaps more accurate is to write – out of the office).

***

Employees of companies located in the ZA La Pièce (ZA – artisanale zone) are very privileged. 20 meters from the most westerly building B1, beyond  the road Route de l’Etraz, farmland begins, stretching further to the west in the direction of Nyon and Geneva. According to the principles of crop rotation, local farmers plant there different plants: corn, sunflower, colza, beets, carrots and corn.

Colza-blossom

Colza-blossom

 

Colza just before harvest

Colza just before harvest

From time to time appear also fruit orchards.

Once the child carried the water jug
Old grey-haired man met her on the road,
And said to her with a polite expression:
Let me drink, little child! -
Child willingly bends the jug,
And gave to drink the water to the old man.

Once, the child walked nearby the orchard,
She looks… the tree bends full of fruits:
How nice would be to eat a few pears!
And the gray-haired old man comes out:
He has recognised this good child
And the most beautiful pears gave.
/Stanislaw Jachowicz, The child and the old man/

Through the scenic and well-maintained fields stretch concrete paths, equal as a table, through which farmers can get to their land and take care to make them even more scenic and well-maintained.

These paths are ideal also for running and I am glad to say that I was using them for this purpose on a regular basis! I didn’t do this alone. It appeared that my colleagues from SC Johnson and neighboring companies were very sporty. Importantly, higher levels of management were also running regularly and gave blessings for the disappearance of 1 – 1.5 hours during the working day. Of course, the duties and responsibilities needed to be done with the utmost care, and length of stay in the office properly extended. Although, not always… I have already mentioned that Friday afternoons in the summer were intended for cycling for volunteers; uninterested could just went back home earlier.

***

Running out from the premises of S.C. Johnson (building B3), whether via the main exit (south) or the rear one (north), I am heading west. After about 200 meters, beyond the last building B1, I run a little up on Route de l’Etraz, turn to the right and immediately left (as indicating cycling road signs) and continue by concrete path further to the West…

Go West...

Go West…

(Go West) Life is peaceful there
(Go West) In the open air
(Go West) Baby you and me
(Go West) This is our destiny
(Go West) Sun in wintertime
(Go West) We will do just fine
(Go West) Where the skies are blue
(Go West, this is what we’re gonna do)
/Pet Shop Boys/

The path runs initially parallelly to the highway Lausanne – Geneva, under the high voltage wires. After 650 meters I run slightly up to the Route de Gilly and turn right toward the nearby hills. After 100 meters turn left, again onto a concrete agricultural road Sur la Dolle. The name probably derives from the summit of La Dolle, which can be seen straight in the not too distant Jura mountains.

Sur la Dolle

Sur la Dolle

I run as the crow flies. I pass on the left side the garden store and behind a farm for horses I turn right into Chemin du Bois de Beaulieu. Those who do not agree with Biff Tannen from Back to the Future, who hated manure (“Je deteste fumier”), may take a fertilizer for their own purposes…

Manure to take

Manure to take

After 160 meters I reach the important point on the route, because here I have to decide whether to continue the training on flat or hilly ground.

Decision point

Decision point

A flat itinerary (with several variations) is well known to all the runners from ZA La Pièce. I will describe the route less used, more difficult and wild. I hope that this will encourage my running partners from the office to the new sporting challenges in mountainous terrain…

- But why uphill?! – wailed duck Disaster.
- Because we’re in the mountains and in the mountains it is not possible all the time to go downhill. Sometimes it is needed to go uphill but later going back is downhill – with one breath breathed dog Pypeć.
/Wojciech Widłak, Mr Ball – book for children/

So I leave the bike road and I turn to the right slightly uphill. I cross the main road Route de l’Etraz and continue ascent having on the right side the narrow stream bed and the bushes of the grapes on the left. Behind the corner of the vineyard I turn left and run stright untill the street Les Truits, where I turn right, then right again, uphill, in the direction of Vincy, as shown by the road sign.

Vincy direction

Vincy direction

At the end of Route Sous-Vincy, on the left side there is a church, which I pass and crossing Route de Tartegnin, I run further up the Route de Vincy. Finally, I run into Vincy. Bend of the road turns right at a stately mansion – this is Château de Vincy. Further, at the intersection I turn left and immediately right towards the hospital. I pass fountain on the right side and then another impressive building on the left. After a while, before the stream, I leave the main road and turn left, into a steep asphalt route through the forest (Chemin des Vaux).

To the left and up the hill

To the left and up the hill

Now, just me and the way up… Silence… interrupted by the sound of cowbells in the meadow on the right… Peace… (during 9 months of regular running, passed me on the way up only 5 cars of locals). Me and the way up… Steadily I climb higher and higher. On the right side murmurs the brook Gillière. Do not deviate into the paths departing from the main road to the right and left (although they are possible route options for the curious). After about 600 meters from the beginning of this road I pass on the left side the water supply station (Service des Eaux).

Fresh water good for health

Fresh water good for health

Behind the building from 1980 I continue straight ahead, up to the point at the first kilometer from the beginning of the climb (approximately 4 km from the start).

Changing of the surface from asphalt to gravel

Changing of the surface from asphalt to gravel

From here, it is possible to run further up on the asphalt (what I was doing sometimes) but today I have chosen path to the right. I cross the brook and on gravel path (gravel – finely crushed stones used, inter alia, to pour pavement), swinging by a gentle curve to the right, I climb. All the time it is needed to regularly climb higher and higher. The path winds its way through the wooded slopes once to the north, once to the south.

Once due north, once due south, but still uphill…

Once due north, once due south, but still uphill…

Finally, after about a kilometer from crossing the stream (5 km from the start in ZA La Pièce), I reach the highest point of the route (760 m). It offers a wonderful view to the east. In the foreground seen the opposite slope and the path on which runs some guy in green Mammut Kento DRY Tech Premium jacket, MTR 201 3/4 Tights pants, Stollen beanie and MTR 201 Pro Low shoes.

We are waving to each other! Strange, this guy reminded me someone…

Strange, guy reminded me of someone...

Strange, guy reminded me of someone…

Further seen Lake Geneva and finally alpine mountain peaks from Rochers de Naye to Dent d’Oche.

Perspective

Perspective

I run a few meters down and turn right, more down (the path straight up leading finally to some farm). Running down I approach to the wooden barrier… Sudden vortex of space-time continuum shifts me to its other side and dents to the ground. I quickly get up, swallow saliva to unclog ears after a sudden jump in pressure and move on down. I look to the right and see some guy in green Mammut Kento DRY Tech Premium jacket, MTR 201 3/4 Tights pants, Stollen beanie and MTR 201 Pro Low shoes, apperaring on the highest point of the route, on which I ran up a moment ago.

We are waving to each other! Strange, this guy reminded me someone…

Strange, guy reminded me of someone...

Strange, guy reminded me of someone…

The path this time steadily decreases towards the east-south-east. After the rain needs to be careful, because can be very slippery. After some time, at wooden benches covered by the roof, the road turns 180° to the right, toward the west-north-west.

180 degrees to the right

180 degrees to the right

Behind a wooden barrier path turns again to the east-southeast and it appears that this fragment was once asphalt. Running in the autumn and winter, below on the right seen the roof of Hôpital de Gilly. In the end, the path runs out of the woods. Running to the right I would get to the hospital. No thanks. I do not recommend either option to the left, back to the forest. I checked. Have to wade through the raspberry bushes, hurting calf, climb a steep ravine and then go through the barbed-wire fence and across a pasture finally get to Route de Châtel leading down to Tartegnin. Therefore, I run straight down alongside the vineyard to the road La Bossenaz and turn left. The path leads steeply down and therefore is carpeted with corrugated concrete slabs so that cars do not slip in the rain or in winter.

Traction control system

Traction control system

Behind the bend to the right, I pass on the left side the garbage dump (déchetterie). A dozen or so meters below, I turn right into the Route de Beauregard and after further 200 meters to the left, heading to Rolle.

Direction - Rolle

Direction – Rolle

Rue des Pressoirs leads all the way down through Tartegnin (called Pays du bon vin) and then through the vineyards to the main road Route de l’Etraz. I reach the building B3 after about 8.2 kilometers. Running this route takes me approximately 50 minutes, then yet shower and full of energy I sit at the computer again. I mean… I was sitting.

And yet I leave behind me this fateful power,
Useless while I live… it just graces my temples;
But when I die, it will, unseen, press you ever,
Till it remakes you, bread eaters – into angels.
/Juliusz Słowacki, My testament/

Pożegnanie jesieni

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.
/Seneca/

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)
  • Haute-Savoie (France)
  • Franche-Comté (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/

____________________________________________________________

Answers:

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?

Księżyc i limba

Aim for the moon

Aim for the moon, because even if you miss, you will be among the stars.
/Patrick Süskind, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer/

This quote is obviously not astronomically correct, because if you pass the moon, to the nearest star (not counting the Sun), will be still about 40 billion kilometers. However, it captures the spirit of adventure, exploration and constant trying…

Continuing my interest in mountain running, I took part in the Trail Dents du Midi, this time on a distance of 57 km. Before I will describe my adventures on the race, I have to mention that this time I was not in the “gray mass” of runners in the middle of the field, but I was the only one of its kind – I was the last one! Despite the fact that I rather missed the Moon, the joy of the completion of the race within the time limit was like landing among the stars.

Start was located in Champéry at 1050 meters above sea level. After receiving the start number, after the required control of equipment (torch, water supply, cup, thermal foil, hooded jacket, whistle) and briefing, I aligned on the starting line. It was still dark and the light was definitely needed. Starting time for amateur runners was set for 6:00 a.m. The gun fired and we moved on. Running through Rue Centrale due south we left the town.

And here is the interesting fact. The torch illuminated the darkness so that I remembered that I have been here a long time ago, when my younger daughter still rode in the pram. The route Le chemin des poussettes was quiet and safe idea for a nice family walk in the nature. Distance from Champéry to Grand-Paradis is about 2 km of gentle paths through the forest. On the spot there are great views to the majestic peaks of Dents du Midi and the possibility of dining in a covered place for a picnic. Return to Champéry by the same route.

A view to the massif of Dents du Midi from Grand-Paradis

A view to the massif of Dents du Midi from Grand-Paradis

This time I did not see the peaks and to the finish line in Champéry I still had about 55 kilometers through the mountains.

From Grand-Paradis I ran lightly up the valley, through the Forêt de la Lui, up to a height of 1200 meters. Here the climbing began by the slope of the Dent de Rossétan to a height of about 1600 meters. Then, there was more or less flat terrain, suitable for running and rippling peacefully in the range of 400 meters up and down.

“To the dawn, dears to the dawn! The sun is coming inexorably from above the Pacific” /fragment from Polish song by Jan Pietrzak/

“To the dawn, dears to the dawn! The sun is coming inexorably from above the Pacific” /fragment from Polish song by Jan Pietrzak/

It started to get light about 7:30 a.m. and soon the rising sun illuminated the mountain peaks.

Cool dawn in the mountains

Cool dawn in the mountains

Gilded sun peaks
Are already burning rosy overhead
And blue sky shines cheerful
Over bent rock crown.

In the bottom – forests hidden in the shadow
Drown yet in the frosted mist
Which in the morning light
Speeding up slowly by gorges.

Mist in the valley

Mist in the valley

But now the breeze dispel the mist,
And it tears into the cloud sherds…
Like a spider’s soft yarn
Settles on the rocks edges.

And form under this grey-blue veil
The world looks more widely,
From the night, peaceful dreams awakened,
Such bright, fragrant, fresh.
/Adam Asnyk, Morning in the mountains/

The first checkpoint was at the foot of the Haute Cime, which is the highest “tooth” (3,257 m asl) in the group of seven peaks of Dents du Midi. Then a long section of several kilometres around the height of 2,000 meters, up to Signal de Soi, which was the first nutrition point (stocked like a 5 star hotel – bread, cheese, chocolate, fruits, tea, Coca-Cola, water).

Energized, I moved forward and continued enjoying the path rising and falling gently, still on the north side of the “teeth”.

Grandma, why you have such big teeth?

Grandma, why you have such big teeth?

From Chindonne (1604 m asl) a steep downslope toVérossaz (811 m asl) began. In this village there was a change of runners in the relay race. Myself, not boasting about, also the second half ofthe route planned to overcome personally. First, however, I ate something and rested a bit.

Around 11:30 a.m. I departed for further journey and after five minutes overtookme the first of the professional athletes, who started the run at 9:00 am, means three hours after me!

For a long time I ran roughly at an altitude of 1100 – 1200 meters, encircling the massif of Dents du Midi and heading more and more to the south.

Break on Through (To the Other Side)

Break on Through (To the Other Side)

I ran across Mex and further by the dam (where was another checkpoint), I got across to the other side of the Torrent de St. Barthélemy creek. Here, at an altitude of 1182 meters above sea level, I began the arduous climb, which ended only over a kilometre above, on the Col du Jorat (2323 m asl).

In the Dark Spruce Forest’s rock goaf,
Where peacock colour ponds lie dormant,
The bush of wild rose its bloody crimson
Throws on spots of grey quarry.

At its foot lush grasses grow,
Aside the crag slippery rises,
Mountain pine tangled
Embroidered stone benches…

Lonely, sleepy, pensive,
Cuddles temple to the cold wall,
As though it afraid the breath of the storm.
Silence… The wind doesn’t jog the leaves,

And just rotting stone pine
Rests next to arosebush.
/Jan Kasprowicz, The bush of wild rose in the Dark Spruce Forest/

I must also mention that this timeI took with me the poles and it was a very good decision. Indeed, it is a big relief for the feet and on such a long route with so many hilly climbs, simply indispensable piece of equipment.

During the run down on the other side of the pass, the weather suddenly broke down and to the shelter at the lake Lac de Salanfe (1942 m) I came in the heavy rain. Fortunately, there was another nutrition point. I was welcomed with bread, cheese,dried ham and hot tea. I also completed the supply of water in the tank in my backpack Mammut Lithium Z 20, from which I occasionally have been drinking, through a tube without interrupting the run. It also turned out to bea a fantastic solution. As you can see, I drew conclusions from the mistakes committed in the previous race in Davos. But I made new ones: I hadn’t watch with GPS, so I couldn’t monitor the distance travelled and I hadn’t cloth for glasses, which were flooded with a sweat every now and again.

– Marilla, isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?
– I’ll warrant you’ll make plenty in it – said Marilla. – I never saw your beat for making mistakes, Anne.
– Yes, and well I know it – admitted Anne mournfully. – But have you ever noticed one encouraging thing about me, Marilla? I never make the same mistake twice.
– I don’t know as that’s much benefit when you’re always making new ones.
– Oh, don’t you see, Marilla? There must be a limit to the mistakes one person can make, and when I get to the end of them, then I’ll be through with them. That’s a very comforting thought.
/Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables/

The rain had stopped and from behind the clouds beautiful sun came out. I was now exactly on the south side of Dents du Midi, which from this perspective looked even more menacing and mysterious. Initially I ran off the shore of the lake and then bounced to the right and through the lunar landscape I have begun another climb.

This one was, however, a bit different from the previous ones, because at some point the route led over 200 meter high cliffs. Chains railings helped somewhat climbing higher, but previous efforts and respect for falling down few hundred meters, intensified tremors of legs muscle when stuck to the rock walls I was passing over the chasms.

High on the rocks frame
Stone pine her needle crown
Suspended above dark depths,
Where fliesthe foamed water.

Grows lonely on a rock,
Almostthe lastfrom the tribe…
And does not care that simmering waves
Undercut rock from the bottom.

With the mourning full of dignity
Declines over a cliff
And sees at the bottom
A crowd of low-growing spruce.

These easily emerging dwarfs,
Walking in compressed row,
Displaced her from ancient premises
Into the land of eternal snow.

Let a rampant newcomers
Continue crawling all over again!
She sways in the clouds -
And has free sky overhead!

She will never lower to them,
Will not struggle for life -
Still only rises above
On the sloping edges of rocks.

Looks contemptuously from summit
On the triumph of horizontal crowd…
She prefers alone from sky-blue
To plummet crashed by the thunders.
/Adam Asnyk, Stone pine/

Through the Colde Susanfe (2494) and another checkpoint, I get into an impressive Susanfe valley, leading down towards Champery.

Frazzled Mammut

Frazzled Mammut

It started to get dark, and to the target there was still far away, which is why the organizers have set more checkpoints on this section of the run. Well done, a fantastic organization. So, through Cabane de Susanfe (2102), Pas d’Encel (1808) and Bonavau (1550) I returned to the Grand-Paradis, where at dawn, also in the dark and with the torch turned on, I have been overcoming first kilometers of run. The circle has been closed, the serpent Ouroboros ate its own tail but I still had about 2 kilometers to the finish. I already knew that I will fit within the time limit, so there was no panic. Shuffling, I have been systematically approaching Champéry

I crossed the finish line as the last one, 17 ​​minutes before the designated time limit, beating 57 kilometers and 4733 meters of positive height difference.

Man is incapable not being capable of anything.
/Waldemar Lysiak, The Conquest/

Swiss Iron Trail Finisher

Mammut in the Heidiland

Consistency of behavior with the presented vision is one of the most important factors in business. It is not well perceived by the public and legislators, when a company says that it does not advertise its products among minors while sponsoring the concert, of which the audience is mostly teenagers. But that’s another story. I decided to show that in the real world I’m consistent with what I write on the blog and I took part in the mountain run aptly named “Swiss Irontrail”, and whose main sponsor was the company… Mammut.

This time I went to the east where, as Jerzy Stuhr stated in the movie “Sexmission”, “must be some kind of civilization”. He meant of course The Soviet Union. I landed on the eastern edge of Switzerland, in the Canton of Grisons, in Davos, which hosts the annual World Economic Forum. However, with reference to the aforementioned Soviet Union, I have to add, that a frequent visitor to this resort is a former member of the Polish United Workers’ Party (PZPR) and minister in the socialist government, Aleksander Kwasniewski. This behavior did not have consistency at all – eulogist and activist of socialism fell in love with one of the most luxurious resorts in the world (the symbol of rotten capitalism).

Well, we are chit-chatting here but there is a time to start having fun.

From the old and pleasantly situated village of Mayenfeld, a footpath winds through green and shady meadows to the foot of the mountains, which on this side look down from their stern and lofty heights upon the valley below. The land grows gradually wilder as the path ascends, and the climber has not gone far before he begins to inhale the fragrance of the short grass and sturdy mountain-plants, for the way is steep and leads directly up to the summits above.
/Johanna Spyri, Heidi/

Start for the 42.7 kilometers had its beginning in Lenzerheide at an altitude of about 1500 m above sea level. Firstly, 4 kilometers warm-up around the lake Heidsee and then sharply up to 2000 m. After about 15 kilometers, at an altitude of over 2500 meters there was first regeneration point in the cable car station. Then calmly down by the broad road, which in winter is the ski slope and re-climbing to the highest point of the trail, which was Weisshorn peak with the height of 2653 m above sea level.

On Alpine route

On Alpine route

Almost at the end of the climb, when I ran from behind the rocks, I saw a tall man in a black coat standing close to my path. When I ran closer, I saw that he has leaned on the valyrian steel sword – then I recognised him. Eddard Stark, Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North, pointed with a blade to the summit, said, “winter is coming,” and vanished in the first flakes of snow. With this warning obtained in the last minute, I quickly put on the hood of my green Mammut DRYTECH Premium jacket and with confidence came to the top.

Winter is coming

Winter is coming

There was a snowstorm raging there. Thick snowflakes were whirling in a mad dance and coated the glasses, the wind howled like a bunshee and on the limit of visibility, mysterious characters with blue eyes were running around. Fortunately, the storm did not last longer than 10 minutes, and after a moment beautiful sun looked out from beyond the clouds. I run down in the sunrays through the Rainbow Bridge to Arosa.

Rainbow Bridge Bifrost - the only way to Asgard

Rainbow Bridge Bifrost – the only way to Asgard

There, in the atomic shelter I ate pasta with bolognese sauce and drank Coca-Cola. After about 20 minutes I moved on. Initially down, which did not bother so much to digest, and then up through alpine meadows where alpine cows grazed.

Swiss cows

Swiss cows

Fatigue gave itself felt. I knew that for the next course I will take poles which relieve foot and help climbing. Also, in terms of fluid intake, I had  bottles with water in my backpack, which turned out not to be very convenient, because each time I had to pull off the backpack, draw the bottle, unscrew and drink. So another learning resulting from the practice – for next time – backpack with water tank and tube. Meanwhile, it was necessary to support differently to run further forward, gain new meters and kilometers. It reminded me then very instructive joke, just in a topic of gaining kilometers:

Young camel asks his dad:
- Daddy, why gazelles have such beautiful and graceful hoofs, and we have such a big splayed hooves?
- You see my son, our hooves are adapted to to go thousands of kilometers through the desert, shuffle step by step, constantly forward and not sink into the sand.
- Aha. And why antelopes have such a smooth and shiny coat, and we have awful hanging lints?
- You see my son, our skin is adapted to to go thousands of kilometers through the desert, still forward, where during the day is extremely hot and at  the night the temperature drops below zero.
- Aha. And why zebras have such a beautiful and graceful line back, and we have such terrible humps?
- You see my son, our humps are necessary for this to go thousands of kilometers through the desert, still ahead, and when other animals have to die of hunger, we can go further by taking food from our humps.
- Aha. But why do we need it all, as we though live in the zoo?

The last, short stop was in Jatz, after 35 kilometers, at the height of 1831 m above sea level and then 500 meters up on a distance of 2 km. After reaching the Strelapass, where there was a checkpoint, it has been only the long descent to Davos.

Strelapass

Strelapass

In Davos, at the finish line my family was waiting for me and also the remnants of fans who were still not bored, despite the fact that they were greeting the winners of the trail more than five hours earlier. At the end of the run through Grisons could not miss Heidi, the honorary resident of the canton.

Mammut already after the the run and Heidi

Mammut already after the the run and Heidi

Heidi ran to the far edge of the slope and continued to wave her hand to Clara until the last glimpse of horse and rider had disappeared.
/Johanna Spyri, Heidi/

Castelmola błyszczy jeszcze wyżej...

Castelmola glitters even highier…

After warming up on Corso Umberto I departed outside the city. Running around Taormina was a wild pleasure, and not just figuratively, but literally. Within a week, I visited many interesting places, but I have not met too many people. In contrary, the animals were with me at every step.

"It exists somewhere, but nobody knows where. The world in which this fairy tale is happening..." /fragment of intro song from children's cartoon "Maya the Bee"/

“It exists somewhere, but nobody knows where. The world in which this fairy tale is happening…” /fragment of intro song from children’s cartoon “Maya the Bee”/

My Sicilian cross-country trails I always began with the dawn, that later, during normal business hours explore the city, the Greek theater and other tourist attractions together with family and friends. “When the morning auroras have arisen“, I was leaving the Residence Schuler on Piazza Padre Pio and by Via Otto Geleng I was running up to the intersection with Vico Tauro.

It seems that the cult of Padre Pio is very much alive in Sicily, because in each of the visited churches I saw a painting or a sculpture of his likeness. On the square of Padre Pio there was of course his monument. For Poles, particularly interesting are his relationships with Karol Wojtyła. As results from preserved correspondence and witnesses accounts, Padre Pio knew that young Polish priest in the future will become the Pope. When stigmatic from San Giovanni Rotondo received from Karol Wojtyla a letter of request to pray for the cancer patient Wanda Półtawska, the mother of four children, he said him we cannot refuse”. After a week, she inexplicably recovered. After receiving a second letter from Wojtyła, this time with thanks for his prayers, Father Pio told to his secretary to keep both letters, because one day they will be “very important”

Father Pio

Father Pio

Being still faithful to the principle “teaching through playing”, I have to mention how the street I was running and walking each day got its name. Otto Geleng was a German painter, specializing in the creation of landscapes. He moved from Berlin to Taormina searching for landscapes for his paintings and hit in a perfect location. He began to paint everything what Taormina could offer – sea, mountains, ruins and snow-covered Mount Etna, none of which was known to the public in European cities. When his paintings were shown at exhibitions in Berlin and Paris, many critics accused him of “active imagination”. Then the young artist took offence (we know already this behavior) and invited doubters to Taormina, promising that he will pay all costs if these magical views are not true. Landscapes appeared to be true and critics were impressed by the city. Otto turned out to be a good entrepreneur and visionary. After the reactions of his colleagues, he sensed the oncoming wave of interest in the region and founded the first hotel in the city, becoming the forerunner of tourism in Taormina.

 

Otto Geleng, Taormina, 1872

Otto Geleng, Taormina, 1872

Returning to the run. From the intersection I head up by the stone steps between the houses to the road SP10 otherwise known as Rotabile Castelmola.

Castelo Saraceno and Castelmola

Castelo Saraceno and Castelmola

Later through two pedestrian crossings to the next stairways. I run up those stairways to the “hairpin bend” of aforementioned road SP10. This street leads with such zigzags to Castelmola which was destination of my run. However, I resigned from inhalation of fumes from many Vespa scooters speeding up the hill – this pleasure I leave myself for “Roman Holiday” – and I have chosen the route for pedestrians.

"Roman Holiday"

“Roman Holiday”

White signpost with the inscription Castelmola signalizes a narrow road guides to the left, where I run into. After about 70 meters I pass small street leading to the left to some property and after another 70 meters I run onto the stone steps departing right up from the road. They are marked Castelmola Porta dei Saraceni 902 D.C. on the yellow board. From this point begins the trail which is beautiful, wild and… neglected.

Somewhere there is a path

Somewhere there is a path

Among the stone steps grows the grass and wooden railings are broken. It can be seen that the heyday of this boardwalk is long behind it. Nevertheless, I climb this way up the slope of the hill on which stands Castelmola. I have to be very careful and watch my steps, because from time to time even sunken surface happens and it would not be safe to fall in roadside thicket. The route through the woods, in the north-west, ends up after a while and run out into the open area under a large rock on the right side of the path. After about 100 meters I run through the ruins of the gate through which in the year 902 Emir Ibrahim Ahmed stepped in to Taormina, the last Byzantine stronghold in Sicily and destroyed the city.

Porta dei Saraceni

Porta dei Saraceni

Arabs used the weakness of the Byzantine Empire and from 7th century were organizing attacks on the southern coast of Sicily, which were continued without much success in next centuries. In the year 827 landed in Mazara with more than 10 thousand warriors, with the specific aim to get the whole island. Taormina, with its location long resisted the attacks of invaders, until the Emir entered the city from the north, through the Cuseni Gate, then called Saracen Gate (Porta dei Saraceni), to remember this tragic event. The city was plundered and destroyed, the inhabitants murdered and only young girls were spared, but… sent to harems in Baghdad.

Path leads from the gate “west by southwest”. On the road there is gravel from minor volcanic rocks which hurts shoes with its sharp edges. After 90 meters, the path follows the north, in the direction of Castelmola and climbing with zigzags up the slope. From time to time accompany me nice but destroyed lanterns, imitating the style of “Belle Epoque”.

Railing for renovation to be paid by Swiss Confederation

Railing for renovation to be paid by Swiss Confederation

I run further up the hill, ignoring the technical difficulties, and even enjoying the situation that I’m alone and not barging into other people like in Tatra Mountains, where even climbing Rysy, the highest peak in Poland (2499 m), I have to stand in a queue.

"I am the Lizard King I can do anything"

“I am the Lizard King I can do anything”

At the end of climbing to Castelmola, there is more vegetation again. After a moment, small path leaves down to the right and leads to the chapel Chiesa San Biagio from I century.

There's still time to change the road you're on

There’s still time to change the road you’re on

Chiesa San Biagio

Chiesa San Biagio

In the summary, the route heyday is behind us and definitely could use its renovation. I’m sure, that when Sardinia will join the Swiss Confederation as 27 Canton (Canton Marittimo), Sicily will take after it and funding of tourism will be one of the main points of the investment plan for the overseas dominions of Switzerland.

Into Castelmola I run from the south through of Via Luigi Pirandello. Now it is important to improvise, because the amount of narrow and winding streets is so large to keep the exact route. To follow exactly my way could be stressful and stress should be avoided. Generally, need to head up, to the north-north-east until the big square and the observation deck. With curiosity, I climb up to the castle and… I found the gate closed for renovations.

From the observation deck I run down by already known road SP10 and after about 100 meters I turned right, down the stairs to the parking lot leading to the boardwalk descending with zigzags down towards Taormina. Following this route I run again (phew!) to the road SP10. For a moment, I’m running down the street and after 250 meters, turned left diagonally, in Via Madonna Rocca leading up the hill to the Sanctuary of Our Lady on the Rock.

Santuario Madonna della Rocca

Santuario Madonna della Rocca

I would not be myself if I did not run even higher, to Castello Saraceno through the destroyed stairs no longer protected even with broken railings. And here again, unfortunately unpleasant surprise – closed for refurbishment. Switzerland, please come!

So, I went back to the shrine and started running down the Way of the Cross (passione strada), from which a beautiful view of the bay and Piazza IX Aprile expands.

A view to Piazza IX Aprile from Santuario Madonna della Rocca

A view to Piazza IX Aprile from Santuario Madonna della Rocca

After a few minutes I found myself in the center of Taormina and again on… Corso Umberto – is this enchantment? Actually, it is a good idea and I will buy a few lemons for tea…

Sicilian lemon

Sicilian lemon

Taormina błyszczy w górze

Taormina glitters overhead

As other great artists, actors, celebrities and writers, I came to Taormina to to admire wonderful nature, architecture and atmosphere of elegance and good style. Contrary to them, I had however another purpose – running uphill.

On the perpendicular cliff,
On the rock-cut marble,
Over deep blue seas mirror
Taormina glitters overhead.
/Adam Asnyk, Taormina/

Taormina, known as the “pearl of Sicily”, is one of the most visited cities of the island. The city is situated on the slopes of The Peloritani mountains (Monti Peloritani), on top of the hill of Monte Tauro. Below stretches the Ionian Sea, which separates the island from Greece, from where originate the first colonizers of Sicily.

Reversed toward the east
Looking deep into the Ionian Sea,
Catches the first gleams of dawn,
Which Greeks aurora sends.
/Adam Asnyk, Taormina/

Hellenic aurora (although it is Calabria on the horizon)

Hellenic aurora (although it is Calabria on the horizon)

Due to its strategic location in the center of the Mediterranean, the island was exposed to attacks from the Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans and Arabs. Also, the Spaniards and the French fought to subjugate Sicily. Today, the remains of the architecture of each of the conquerors represent a unique attractiveness of the place.

This is the greatest work of art and nature!
/Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Italian Journey/

The most famous and oldest monument of Taormina are the ruins of Greek Theater (teatro greco). It is the second largest facility of its kind in Sicily, after the theater in Syracuse. It was carved in the rocky slope in the third century BC, utilizing the natural landform.

On the blue paintings
Dreams of days gone by:
Raised on her wing
Greek theater sat on guard.
/Adam Asnyk, Taormina/

Greek theater from the path to Santuario Madonna della Rocca

Greek theater from the path to Santuario Madonna della Rocca

Although he was later rebuilt by the Romans and used for gladiatorial combat, its layout is consistent with the canons of Greek architecture. It has a central square (orchestra), audience (theatron) and stage (skene). From the preserved fragments of decoration can be assumed that the theater was built in the Corinthian order – the heads of the columns were shaped as basket formed of two rows of acanthus leaves.

Corinthian columns in Greek Theater in Taormina

Corinthian columns in Greek Theater in Taormina

The head of the column shaped as basket formed of two rows of acanthus leaves

The head of the column shaped as basket formed of two rows of acanthus leaves

Because acanthus growing in Sicily, for the first time I could actually see spiritus movens of one of the basic architectural orders.

Acanthus in the natural environment

Acanthus in the natural environment

By the way, I could practice my financial skills and check the income statement of the theater, which is presented in a small museum in the area of the monument. After a thorough audit, I found that the theater was probably the laundry of dirty money, as additional millions of drachmas passed through it from an ancient (oldest?) organization named “Daughters of Corinth”…

Ancient accounting

Ancient accounting

Finally, let me add that the theater is fantastically located and uses the sky, the surrounding hills and snowy silhouette of Mount Etna, as the natural scenery. Ancient building has retained to this day excellent acoustics and provides the perfect backdrop for cultural events. Today, the theater hosts concerts, performances and festivals. The most famous event is the “Taormina Filmfest”, the oldest film festival in Italy. The first event took place in 1955, and in 1971, has been permanently moved to Taormina. Over the years hosted many stars of world cinema, including Elizabeth Taylor, Marlene Dietrich, Sophia Loren, Robert De Niro, Marlon Brando, Audrey Hepburn, Gregory Peck and Matt Dillon playing Hank Chinaski, the alter-ego of the cult writer Charles Bukowski in the film “Factotum”.

Life’s as kind as you let it be.
/Charles Bukowski/

Sorry, I had to write though about running. And for running the time will come, I promise. However I am convinced, that some information about “such beautiful circumstances of the nature… and unique” must be given.

So the next item on the agenda is a public park (Villa Comunale), where you can admire the colorful Mediterranean vegetation and English garden, designed by Florence Trevelyan, a cousin of Queen Victoria, who lived in Taormina at the end of the nineteenth century. Garden is located on the terrace of rock below the Greek Theatre. In the park there are Mediterranean plants, hedges, flower beds and paths with views of the sea, mountains and of course Mount Etna.

A view to Etna from city park

A view to Etna from city park

Most tourists run in the shops on the main street, Corso Umberto. It is indeed a nice activity, but you can spend more time (and money) than to complete the marathon.

Marathon on Corso Umberto

Marathon on Corso Umberto

From the north and from the south the city is closed by the gates. Porta Messina is the northern entrance, and the southern entrance is Porta Catania. Between them leads Corso Umberto, which is the axis of the city. About half the length of the Corso at Piazza IX Aprile stands the third gate – Porta di Mezzo, also known as the Clock Tower. The square offers another breathtaking view towards Mount Etna.

When I hear the word Taormina, I see with the eyes of imagination a high hill, low spread silky sea, Mount Etna melting in the sun like a crystal and finally, the whole magical scenery of the Greco-Roman theater. It is the only such scenery in the world.
/Jaroslaw Iwaszkiewicz, The book about Sicily/

Corso Umberto is closed for car traffic, so it is safe to visit shops, restaurants, bars, cafes and hang out nicely. I, along with my family and friends, was hanging out very nicely, among others in Gambero Rosso on Via Naumachie 11, cross-street of Corso Umberto.

We were delighting there in magnificient, tasty Italian cuisine together with well-chosen wine and appreciated committed and efficient service. This combination caused that we were visiting this place still few times during our stay in Taormina.

In Gambero Rosso

In Gambero Rosso

Wandering about Corso Umberto brought another positive effect. We met and became friends with the owner of the travel agency SAT (Sicilian Airbus Travel), who pointed us interesting places and events in Taormina and offered a large discount on tours in the area, among other things, to Mount Etna, Siracusa and to Baroque town of Noto.

Trip planning (observant will notice a photo of Audrey Hepburn visiting Taormina)

Trip planning (observant will notice a photo of Audrey Hepburn visiting Taormina)

With her advise we participated in the traditional Easter procession held on Good Friday. The route goes, as you probably guessed, via Corso Umberto. Men and women dressed in black bear sculpture showing the Passion of Christ and among them go children just after First Communion in white clothes. Street and shops lightings are switched off and only the candles of procession participants give a dim light on the unfolding events.

Our guide Giovanna in different role

Our guide Giovanna in different role

As soon as the procession ends, the owners of the shops switch on the lights again and go back to doing business.

So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.
/Mt 22, 15-21/

That’s all in the context of prelude. In the next article there will be much more about running…

The cave

Exit from the cave

I have not written.

I admit that I have not written for quite a while but so much important and interesting things have happen that I decided to take care of them and go back to writing at a convenient time because, as Sophocles said:

Every thing is good in its time.

I found a new job. My younger daughter wrote in a school elaboration to celebrate Father’s Day that “dad is doing something for the toilet”.

Daddy does something for toillets

Daddy does something for toillets

There is a lot of truth in it, because one of the products of my new company is a Toilet Duck. Not about product, however, I will be writing after such a long break, not about the components and not about the machines, but about the people and the atmosphere at work. People are the most valuable asset of any company.

Bang, bang, thud, thud, viva president of our club.
/“Teddy Bear”, a 1980 cult Polish film directed by Stanisław Bareja/

As you already know very well, I spent 17 years in one company and did not know that outside the cave there is another world. I saw only the shadows projected on the wall. The real world, the real things were beyond the reach of my sight.

I have been however released and left outside.

The Choice is Yours (SMOKING FORBIDDEN)

The Choice is Yours (SMOKING FORBIDDEN)

At first moment I was surprised and then I got the idea to start writing a blog.

Nature hates emptiness.
/Aristotle/

From books but now also from own experience, I know that it is good to do something in a situation like loss of a job. Here in Switzerland, what could look impossible, unemployment impacts more and more people, therefore it is good to have an idea or project  which will help to focus, relax and find new challenges.

It was interesting  looking for space on server, searching programs for blogging and finally write, especially write about things which are beloved.

I have chosen subject  about running. Fashionable and very pleasant subject but difficult to go through to first places in rankings. That was not the objective (for the time being). During the breaks in writing CV, motivation letters and sending them to  different enterprises, I had a moment to write about pleasures.

Finally blog appeared as fantastic, soft transition from old work, unemployment and new company. In the meantime I have visited magnificent city of Taormina on Sicily, have trained running up hill to Castelmola and Monte Venere and driven up by jeep to the top of Etna. It was so wonderful, therefore I will write about it in separate post.

Etna and Altocumulus lenticularis

Etna and Altocumulus lenticularis

The day after the return from Sicily I have started new job.

I have found it relatively quick for the current Swiss conditions and full of energy I moved to learn new things, new naming convention and products to cost. Of course constant element remains, he, he… deviations.

A Mad Tea Party

A Mad Tea Party

In new position I was taking the knowledge from a person who returnes to affiliate in a home country. I had only about three weeks for this process, blog was postponed and I focused on job – it is important to set prioritaties, or something like that.

And it reminds me thrilling joke:

A man comes to the hospital and requests:
– Doctor, I want to be castrated.
– But sir, maybe you will think again, this type of decision should not be taken without consideration.
But the guy insists on this:
– Please castrate me!
The doctor finally gave up and performed surgery.
After surgery, the patient wakes up and asks:
– Doctor, whether the operation was a success?
– Yes, everything went well, no complications. But just out of curiosity, why you wanted to be castrated?
– Doctor, I’m getting married soon to a Jewish woman and they have a habit that you need to be castrated.
– I think circumcised?
– Well, something like that…

Coming back to the priorities, you have to know what is important at the moment. At each interview I have had, among other things, they always asked about priorities. This is due to the times in which we live, when 150 deadlines collapses on our heads and all the reports had to be done yesterday. So until you will mastered bending space-time continuum (as you know from my other article, I already know how), you have to PRIORITEEING, or something like that…

I slowly coming back to writing, as I already have knowledge to work effectively. Of course, I do not rest on the laurels, as I know very well from past experience that whatever you do, how strong you try, “there is still a room for improvement.”

Using this approach also in the running, I finished the run Lausanne 20KM in less than two hours. I am very proud of myself because that was my target but I train now even harder to finish the route in 1 hour and 45 minutes next year.

DSC_3127Running tripn under JungfrauDSC_3129

Well, I gotta go prepare the bike. In the new workplace, every summer Friday at 13:00, we switch off  computers and some of us explore the area on two wheels and some return home.

Summer time

Summer time

Nothing like a good organization of work and leisure.

A lot of people do not know what to do with time. Time has not this issue with people.
/Magdalena Samozwaniec/

Summer Friday afternoon at work

Summer Friday afternoon at work

Śladami lisa

Fox traces

Once again, I completed the run 20 km de Lausanne and all this thanks to the systematic training preceding this sport event. During preparation period I got to know new, interesting places and routes, among other, “fox trail” along the river La Vuachère, which cuts into the limestone rocks surrounding Lausanne, creating a picturesque gorge in the middle of the city.

Red father, red grandfather,
Red tail – this is my inheritance,
And I’m the red fox.
Runaway from here, I’ll bite.
/Jan Brzechwa, The Zoo/

Sources of the river gushing in the vicinity of Epalinges at the height of 730 m above sea level and the mouth to the Lake Geneva is located at an altitude of 372 m above sea level. The length of the river is 7 kilometers, but the route is longer by one kilometer, as sometimes, for safety reasons is moving away from the riverbed. The gorge is an important enclave for many species of plants and animals about which can be read on the 130 information boards along the route. Indicators inform also about the geology, history, architecture and curiosities associated with the river. The route is marked with a silver trail of the fox and the orange-blue stakes, so in theory there should be no trouble finding the way, but sometimes you need a lot of looking around to find the next clue.

For people with children and hikers I recommend a downstream direction from Croisettes to Ouchy while for the athletes (especially those preparing for Lausanne 20km) mandatory direction is up. The route begins at the Gothic tower on the eastern edge of the boulevards of the Quai d’Ouchy. But the truth is that the tower does not have anything to do with the Middle Ages – it’s a fake. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, three wealthy inhabitants of Lausanne, William Haldimand, Vincent Perdonnet and Charles-Sigismond de Cerjat, threw an architectural challenge – the winner would be the one who would build the greatest fake ruin in their property. Such strange subject of the competition resulted from a romantic delight of the Middle Ages, longing for knightly virtues and moonlight on the castle walls…

He glanced: the moon is lighting
On Czatyrdah, and weakening the pupil
With huge circle, a bit of rose…
Like a new phenomenon, so big.
Welcome star! in that arbor,
Which I build from ghosts and knights,
I need your flashing silver;
Sometimes your radius as a sword will strike
And through the greenness will get to the nymphs
Of alabaster; even to the tower,
Where Danae is sleeping, eyes narrowing nice,
Even there with the rain of verse I will come.
Oh! shine, the moon!
/Juliusz Slowacki, Beniowski/

Caspar David Friedrich, Abbey in the oak forest

Caspar David Friedrich, Abbey in the oak forest

Vincent Perdonnet’s building can be seen in the Mon-Repos Park. The design of Charles-Sigismund de Cerjat in Rovéréaz unfortunately no longer exists. William Haldimand, the owner of the Denantou, won the competition and his tower we can see at the mouth of the river La Vuachère.

I started from the tower to the north by Avenue de la Tour Haldimand and after about 60 meters turn left into a narrow passage between the fences. I crossed the bridge and step into Denantou Park. Immediatelly turned right at the wooden catwalk. On the left side, behind the trees is a playground for children and Pavillon thaïlandais.

Pavillon royal thaïlandais

Pavillon royal thaïlandais

I ran further up until the Avenue de Denantou which I crossed, following fox traces and after a while I turned right into the alley along the river.

Sanitation Service (Le Service d’Assainissement)

Sanitation Service (Le Service d’Assainissement)

On the right I passed a large building of Sanitation Service (Le Service d’Assainissement) and after a while the Devil’s Bridge. It is a wooden, roofed structure that leads to the other side of La Vuachère and then to the Collège Champittet.

Devil's Bridge

Devil’s Bridge

I turn left, uphill to the wooden platform, which brings me to the Avenue de Montchoisi. I cross the street and find silver fox traces, which bring me through the hedge narrow passage into the blocks of flats. With the nose down I follow silver marks and reach the Chemin de Chandieu, which leads untill the railway viaduct under which I run. On the other side of the tracks I cross the bridge over La Vuachère and I turned right into Chemin du Trabandan.

Chemin du Trabandan

Chemin du Trabandan

Wending to the left I would reach the Office des poursuites du district de Lausanne at Chemin du Trabandan 28. This is the office that issues very important in Switzerland certificates that the person is not in arrears with payments and have no debts (attestation de non poursuite / attestation de solvabilité). Without such a document you cannot rent an apartment or business premises, you can not take the credit or set up the company.

I was moving all the time straight ahead between the buildings, until I reached directly the river and by very nice path along the riverbed I ran through the woods. I passed the basketball and football courts and further, between blocks of flats I ran out on the Avenue du Léman. I crossed the street and under the railway viaduct got on Chemin du Levant. Just behind Déchèterie de la Perraudettaz I turned left into a narrow gravel lane which after a while becomes a forest path spilled with sawdust.

The path behind the garbage dump

The path behind the garbage dump

I ran along the river up to the Chemin de la Vuachère, I turned left sharply and ran up to an intersection with Chemin du Levant and I turned into it right up (already ran this street earlier). Now real climbing started up to the orange-blue post, on which the arrow orders to turn right (chemin provisoire). I ran flat for a moment and then down through residential area until the path that climbs up switchbacks up the grassy slope. At the top is worth to climb a bit highier to Belvédère de la Gottettaz, which offers a view to the eastern part of Lake Geneva (Haut Lac) and the Rhone Valley.

Belvédère de la Gottettaz

Belvédère de la Gottettaz

From the Belvédère I ran down to the left to the Parc de la Gottettaz. On the right side I passed the wooden sculpture of fox and on the left a large shelter. Running ahead I back to the vicinity of the river and along a large residential block climbed up to the Avenue de Bethusy. Here La Vuachère hiding in the underground channel.

The gutter

The gutter

Following fox footsteps I run next to Chailly roundabout and turn left into Avenue de la Vallonnette. I run up and at the Maison de quartier de Chailly turn right. I cross the square in front of the community center and run in between the trees and I run down where meet again La Vuachère.

After crossing a wooden bridge, I run by the path along the river to the farm Aebi, where fruits, vegetables, flowers can be bought and before Christmas, Christmass tree. I circle flowerbeds and greenhouses, and get on the Avenue Victor-Ruffy, where I turn right and in a moment right again.

Sir Thaddeus - Book I: The Farm

Sir Thaddeus – Book I: The Farm

I run down Avenue du Templeturn right and just after a little while left, into Chemin de Champ-Rond, which will guide me for about 550 meters through the quiet residential area, again away from the river. When La Vuachère appears once more, I cross it over the bridge and climb by the stairs to the parking place at Route d’Oron. Silver marking of the route carry me to the other side of the street, then I cross Avenue de Valmont and turn left into the forest. I run next to the building where the residents organize different events, such as birthday for children. Note, I do not run stright but turn right onto the wooden bridge and just after it to the left.

A Bridge Too Far

A Bridge Too Far

I have been bitten by a dog, whose owner carelessly let it go without a leash. I loose the time to escort this lady to her apartment to see if the dog was vaccinated against rabies. Luckily it was! In addition, the lady pays me $123 million as a compensation for traumatic experiences. Oh, probably I have hallucinations caused by the shock – here are not the United States. The owner of the dog just apologize me and we split up.

Verification

Verification

Light climbing begins on the path covered with sawdust. In the ravine on the left, weakly flows La Vuachère. I run to the point where the brook hides again underground to flow under the highway Lausanne Nord.

The gutter II

The gutter II

Hence, further up and to the left, and continue alongside the schoolyard (not yet run up to the bridge over the ravine). Continue along the path close to the estate I reach an covered walkway, through which enter the other side of the highway. I turned diagonaly to the right, encircle large block of flats and turned left into Chemin de Praz-Séchaud and after 260 meters turn left again on Avenue de Valmont. I cross the bridge over the ditch, where theoretically our river leaks and reach the last information board sur les traces du renard.

From here, I run left down on the Avenue de Valmont next to large meadow. I pass the buildings of Lausanne Transport Company (tl) and via the tunnel under the highway run to a group of tall buildings. Before the first of them, I turn left towards the riverbed of La Vuachère. I cross the bridge suspended high above the gorge (which I did not previously crossed from the opposite side) and I close the loop.

Riverbed of La Vuachère near Avenue de Valmont

Riverbed of La Vuachère near Avenue de Valmont

Now, all the time I run down following fox and my footsteps until La Tour Haldimand. In the vicinity of the Belvedere, where as I said, there is a great view to the lake, I see on it’s bottom some buildings, towers and turrets as well as mysterious shadows sneaking below the surface. So finally it is true, that the ancient sunken city exists at the bottom of Lake Geneva

And the matter of Lake Geneva? Correspondents arrived from all over Europe! They began to speak, that the sunken city was founded in the times described in De bello galico when the lake was so narrow that it did not mix its waters with the waters of the Rhone flowing through it. The local carriers enriched themselves, transporting tourists by boat to the middle of the lake; oil was poured into the water to get a better view… A famous Polish archaeologist sent to the country an article in which he asserted that he saw at the bottom of the lake the intersection of streets and equestrian statue!
/Umberto Eco, The Prague Cemetery/

History repeats itself

History repeats itself

I was waiting long to describe the route that I was running during our Christmas stay in Poland, preparing for Cracow New Year’s Eve Run. It leads through the places that are not typical sports-recreational area or even area encouraging at first glance to explore. At second glance, however, begin to show their charm.

Alien stuff you praise,
Your own you do not recognize;
You do not know
What you have.
/Stanisław Jachowicz/

During those few days when I was training to 10th Cracow New Year’s Eve Run, I met on this route a dozen people running, a few cyclists and… one pheasant.

Colleague sportsman

Colleague sportsman

For the beginning of the route I chose Park and Palace of Erazm Jerzmanowski in Prokocim, southern district of Cracow.

Park of Jerzmanowski

Park of Jerzmanowski

Palace of Jerzmanowski

Palace of Jerzmanowski

The history of this area dates back to the XIII century, when probably the Bishop of Cracow founded the village Prokocim. For centuries, the property passed from hand to hand, until in 1895 it bought the Erazm Jerzmanowski. This outstanding inventor and entrepreneur earned a great deal of wealth in the United States, where he worked on the production and distribution of gas. He had several patents for devices used to produce and process gas, including a patent on a method that allows the use of gas for street lighting. Jerzmanowski overseas has been called “the man who lit up America”.

Erazm Jerzmanowski

Erazm Jerzmanowski

Erazm Jerzmanowski was one of the richest people of the XIX century, his fortune was compared with a fortune of John D. Rockefeller. His assets were for him a means to support the restoration of an independent Poland. In the United States he supported in particular educational, scientific and cultural activities of Polish community. In Switzerland provided financial assistance to the Polish Museum in Rapperswill, and passed for a museum of various objects and works of art. After returning home, he settled in Prokocim and took no active part in the social life of Krakow, but did not stop his charitable activities. He actively supported his friend Adam Chmielowski – Saint Brother Albert in helping the poorest.

Always go forward, even after bitter disappointment and raging waves of the sea, the divine care over us, before anything did not go back and be ready for anything, what God asks of us.
/St. Brother Albert/

Leon Wyczółkowski „"Brother Albert hugging a baby", oil on canvas, 1934. Albertine Brothers General House, Kraków

Leon Wyczółkowski „”Brother Albert hugging a baby”, oil on canvas, 1934. Albertine Brothers General House, Kraków

In his will he established the “Foundation of the Prizes of. Erazm and Anna spouses Jerzmanowski”, which was to manage by the Cracow Academy of Sciences. The Foundation was to pay an annual cash prize for outstanding achievement in the literary, scientific or humanitarian done for the benefit of native country. Therefore Jerzmanowski is often called the Polish Nobel. The winners of the awards were, among others, Prince Adam Stefan Cardinal Sapieha, Henryk Sienkiewicz and Jan Paderewski. The last two I mentioned already in my blog, because they were also associated with Switzerland. After the death of Erazm Jerzmanowski his wife Anna sold the estate to the Augustinians, who, after many twists of the history are again in the possession of the land and celebrate mass in the chapel in the park.

Chapel in Prokocim

Chapel in Prokocim

After leaving the palace grounds on the west side, I run right down Górników street. I pass historic water tower with a height of about 20 meters, which in its heyday delivered water to the palace and park fountains through water pipe.

Water tower

Water tower

Then via the street Na Wrzosach I bow my head before the monument of pilots from Prokocim fighting during World War II and run further down to the north.

In the tribute to the pilots from Prokocim

In the tribute to the pilots from Prokocim

I cross Snycerska street, then Biezanowska street and further through Morawiańskiego street under a railway bridge built in 1873 and after a while under the second bridge.

Closely Watched Trains

Closely Watched Trains

I turn right, following the road and under two railway viaducts I run out on the vast railway area with ban on traffic, which is good news for athletes training here. The road splits up. In the left leads to the footbridge over the railway tracks and to the Lake Bagry, which is a place of rest for local residents and the seat of water sports facilities.

I’m running right to the east. An asphalt road leads through meadows and railway tracks. Sometimes you have to run across the tracks, and though such places are few, it is better to look to the left and right! After about 3 kilometers from the start of the route I run alongside two strange structures on the left side of the road.

The Two Towers

The Two Towers

First, octagonal reinforced concrete construction is the water tower dating from World War II. Next there are the remains of a well from which water was pumped to the tower. Tower ensured a stable pressure in the water supply in case of a sudden increase in demand for water and for maintenance processes. Reservoir water was placed on top of the tower above the recipients as operated on the principle of communicating vessels. At the train station tower was used to power steam locomotives in the water.

Water tower at the station Kraków Prokocim

Water tower at the station Kraków Prokocim

The building standing a few dozen meters away fed locomotives in the coal. This tower was founded after World War II under the assistance of UNRRA for Poland (UNRRA – United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration).

Coaling tower for steam locomotives

Coaling tower for steam locomotives

Having coal and water, the locomotive standing at a station with forty wagons attached to it could finally hit the road:

From where does it, how does it, why does it rush?
And what is it, who is it, gives it a push?
That makes it go faster, all thrashing and hissing?
It’s steam’s scalding power that keeps the train moving.
It’s steam, piped from boiler to a piston that glides
Back and forth pushing rods that turn wheels on both sides,
They’re striving and driving, the train keeps on bumping,
‘Cause steam keeps the pistons a-pumping and pumping,
/Julian Tuwin, The Locomotive, Translation Michael Dembinski/

I keep on bumping and run up the footbridge over the railway tracks and turning right I run over the Krakow Bieżanów Passenger station. On the other side of the bridge is an old railway station building on the historic route through the Carpathians, which is in a state of total decay.
Railway station Kraków Bieżanów

Railway station Kraków Bieżanów

I turn left, into Stacyjna street and reach a large intersection where a monument Under The Eagle stands. This memorial was donated by former legionnaires and residents Bieżanów in honor of the soldiers killed in the years 1914-1920. After the Second World War appeared on it the names of people murdered by the Nazis in 1939-1945. Under the monument a small matzeva is set with a Star of David, dedicated to the Jews murdered by Nazis in the years 1942-1945.
Monument "Under The Egle" in Bieżanów

Monument “Under The Egle” in Bieżanów

I run through the intersection and via Jerzy Popieluszko street climb up to the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Biezanów. Behind the church I continue up and on the top of the hill turn right into Ferdynand Weigl street. Behind the yeast factory I turn right into… Yeast street (Drożdżowa). Then immediately left into Bogucicka street and after 350 meters turn right into Leon Ślusarczyk street. After 600 meters I reach the railroad tracks and turn left into Frederic Zoll street, which after 350 meters I turn right into Stanisław Proń street. I climb up, and when the road ends, continuing through meadows and fields to the top of the hill, which rises 265 meters above the sea level.
Monument on Kaim Hill

Monument on Kaim Hill

On the top of the hill stands a monument commemorating the repulse during World War I by the Austro-Hungarian army, the Russian army offensive, wanting to get to Krakow. It was unveiled on the first anniversary of the events – December 6, 1915. It has the form of an obelisk, on the eastern wall is the Hungarian royal crown in a laurel wreath, on the southern wall is the crest of the Habsburgs and underneath the plaque with an inscription in German:
HIER WURDEN AM 6 DEZEMBER 1914 DIE SOLDATEN DER RUSS ARMEE ENDGÜLTIG ZURÜCK GESCHOSSEN

HIER WURDEN AM 6 DEZEMBER 1914 DIE SOLDATEN DER RUSS ARMEE ENDGÜLTIG ZURÜCK GESCHOSSEN

On the western wall is the Austrian imperial crown in a laurel wreath and on the north wall plaque with the inscription in Polish:
Here were repulsed on December 6, 1914 the furthest forward troops of the Russian army

Here were repulsed on December 6, 1914 the furthest forward troops of the Russian army

After four years from the date shown on the monument were repulsed from the Polish lands armies of of all three invaders, Russia, Austria and Germany. On 11 November 1918 Poland regained its independence after 123 years of slavery. Unfortunately, only for 20 wonderful years…

The twenties, the thirties
Will come back with song, dress rustling
Blue shadow over a deck of cards
And laugh which confirm a joke
The twenties, the thirties,
Sometime will be a pretext for emotions
The smell of lilacs withered long time ago
Poetry hidden among ordinary words
When you look at it from the perspective
Which can given only the time
This slice of life was our own, was a real
Therefore, they will remember us…
/The twenties, the thirties, Ludmila Warzecha/

Already in 1939 Poland of was again invaded by Nazi Germany and the Communist Soviet Union and betrayed by allies France and Great Britain. Finally after 6 years of war and the millions of victims, Poland was theoretically among the winners. In practice, however, by another betrayal of the United Kingdom and the United States, were sold to the Soviet Union and spent the next 50 years on the wrong side of the Iron Curtain.

Nonsense and foolishness flourishes,
rudeness, meanness, deceit,
in this kingdom of vouchers
shoe determines consciousness.
Doubts gnawed by rust
head formerly opened.
Chewed conscience
overcrowded prison.
Pour another one?
But, my dear colleague,
unnecessary kickshaw -
and as soon as I drink!
Drown our faithful hearts in vodka,
before finally sudden blood will flood us:
generation of lost illusions,
generation of wasted opportunities.
/Jan Pietrzak, Generation/

It seems that history begins to repeat:

  • A referendum on the accession of the Crimea to Russia with the support of the residents at the level of 95.5%. And how it was in 1938 with Austria? Anschluss, means the incarnation of Austria into the Third Reich was also “sealed” in a referendum in which 99% of Austrians “happily” have cast into the arms of Hitler.
  • The seizure of the Sudetenland of Czechoslovakia by Nazi Germany was dictated by the “concern” of the German population residing in these areas. Do not resemble it coincidentally “the concern” about the Russian population in the Crimea?
  • Sudetenland were also important from an economic point of view, as the Donbas, the seizure is likely to be the next step of Putin.

And then what? Russia has already expressed another “concern” about the Russian-speaking minority in Estonia. This country is a member of NATO, but it is nothing, a comrade Putin does not pay attention to the little things. After Ukraine and Estonia will be the turn for Lithuania, Latvia and … Poland.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
/Edmund Burke/

The new world order /foto: economist.com/

The new world order /foto: economist.com/

And powerless European Union will look and frighten Russia with sanctions, not understanding that it repeats the mistake of France and the United Kingdom in September 1939. It was enough to help Poland fighting alone and a year later avoid the Wehrmacht parade on the Champs Elysees.

Spring oh it's you

Spring oh it’s you

I signed up for run Lausanne 20km, which will take place on 26 of April 2014.

During the course, apart from these 20 km, the large difference in height has to be overcome, so preparation must take into account the running uphill and downhill. Most people train on flat ground, because it’s easier, and conscience is calm that the New Year’s resolutions are kept. And it is good, better to practice a little than not at all. However, this has its consequences when the competition starts and then even a slight ascent on the route can cause big trouble. I found this the hard way during a marathon from Nice to Cannes. On this exceptionally flat route on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, is one ascent in the vicinity of the town of Antibes, which is “even” 34 meters high, and that forced me to temporarily move to march.

Running this marathon was a great source of pride for me. My first marathon I just wanted to… finish. I thought about time more than five hours, and succeeded in 4 hours and 27 minutes. I did not have particular training plan, just increased my running distance constantly. Certainly a great help was running with someone. There was a part of the competition and prove to each other that we can still run even if feets hurt terribly and lungs are missing the air, but can not show it to the second one – “what, I can not do it!?”. However, the most, joint running can defend against boredom. It is possible of course listen to the music and audio-books through headphones, but for long workouts is not comfortable and ears a little hurt. In addition, we need to respond to the ambient sounds if a crazy biker does not fall on us from around the bend. So a big thanks to Andrzej K., with whom I prepared and finished the Marathon des Alpes-Maritimes. I am sure that our discussions “political – religious – film – book – sports” contributed to the winning run of distance 42.195 km.

Blessed who in a moment of doubt
Does not loose the spirit, but he transforms
Into the eagle, which wields lightning,
Confident of victory, anywhere he strikes.
/Kornel Ujejski, Marathon/

Currently goes even long distance is not a problem for me. What I actually have to significantly improve is the speed. To move to a higher level of training and start getting better results I need to use the training plan in which, among the various exercises, there is always running uphill, which builds strength and endurance.

In Lausanne there is no problem with running up (and down of course), but I prefer to move off the main streets, where there is more green, more clean air and less cars.

In the center of Lausanne I recommend Parc de Milan and Montriond Hill along with a botanical garden, where the narrow, tangled paths give a large number of combinations of routes. It is also possible to meet interesting species of protected, medical and tropical plants and at the top of hill do stretching exercises with a view to the Alps.

Botanical garden

Botanical garden

Montriond Hill

Montriond Hill

To visit Parc de Milan I encourage everyone, not just runners. Children will have a lot of joy with football, playing on the playground or climbing into the wooden house by the leader. On hot days the large fountain will cool slightly the air. Parc de Milan is the final stage of the annual parade of primary schools (Cortege de la fête du Bois), who are marching here from Montbenon or Place de la Riponne through whole Lausanne. Each class dressed in the costume of own production, had been working for a long time. The march ends with a great fun at the amusement park prepared for this opportunity precisely in the Park Milan.

Fête du Bois

Fête du Bois

In the botanical garden, you can also look into the greenhouse with cactus and carnivorous plants, or simply walk through the alleys, and sometimes sit on a bench and enjoy the beauty of the surrounding vegetation.

Linum viscosum

Linum viscosum

Garden occupies an area of ​​1.7 hectares and is home to about 4,000 species of plants. Entrance to the garden is free, daily from 1 March to 31 October. Just after the opening in spring, exhibition is not yet fully available. Not all plants are presented, and most still do not bloom, but you have to be vigilant, because at any moment nature can explode with all the colors of the rainbow:

This morning suddenly she knocked at my door
Earlier than I expected these warmer days came
I took off from her a ​​wet coat, sat vis a vis
Smelled, shone forth, spring oh it’s you

Spring, spring, spring, oh it’s you
Spring, spring
Spring oh it’s you
/Marek Grechuta, Spring – oh it’s you/

The second place ideal for running up and down is the Vallée de la Jeunessese near the exit from Lausanne to the highway. There are three main avenues leading from the roundabout Maladiere up the park plus many lateral paths. As in the previous place there is a place to run and to exercise between beautiful flower beds among which roses dominate (another name for this area is “The Rosarium”). The location is also ideal for quiet walks and outings with children. There are several playgrounds, carousels, swings and slides, some in the tunnels inside the hill.

I highly recommend L’Espace des inventions, the place where the children themselves or with their parents can learn the secrets of science and technology through interactive exhibits and fun. In the program there are also workshops for children and adults, as well as the possibility to organize events, such as birthdays. Papcio Chmiel, father of Tytus, always said “to teach through playing.”

"- Caution! Kiel Canal below us. The length of 98.7 km, depth of 11.3 meters, built in 1895. - Why you give this data? - Because our little book should not only amuse, but also learn. Laughter for laughter is an unnecessary waste of giggles." H. J. Chmielewski, Tytus, Romek & A'Tomek, Volume V, Młodzieżowa Agencja Wydawnicza, 1978

“- Caution! Kiel Canal below us. The length of 98.7 km, depth of 11.3 meters, built in 1895. – Why you give this data? – Because our little book should not only amuse, but also learn. Laughter for laughter is an unnecessary waste of giggles.” H. J. Chmielewski, Tytus, Romek & A’Tomek, Volume V, Młodzieżowa Agencja Wydawnicza, 1978

Nearby is the the cemetery Bois de Vaud, whose quiet and empty alleys are the perfect link to the sports grounds near Olympic Committee. But the question arises whether or not to run in the cemetery. The same question probably wondered the creators of the series “House of Cards”. In one of the episodes, the wife of the main character, an amateur running, chose the cemetery lane for the route. Old woman she met between the graves strongly criticized her. A little embarrassed and full of doubt, she noticed after a while, a couple lying and kissing on the grass between the graves. The question whether to run (or kiss) in the cemetery remained unanswered. From my side – I advise you, as you think!

I will only add that at the cemetery Bois de Vaud, you can pray, among others, for the souls of:

  • Baron Pierre de Coubertin – the creator of the modern Olympic Games;
Grave of Baron Pierre de Coubertin

Grave of Baron Pierre de Coubertin

  • Coco Chanel – French fashion designer and probably the agent of Abwehra (according to the journalist Hal Vaughan, author of the biography “Sleeping with the Enemy, Coco Chanel’s secret war”). The grave is guarded by five stone lions, Leo was her sign of Zodiac, and five her lucky number;
Five lions guard grave of Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel, agent F-7124

Five lions guard grave of Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel, agent F-7124

  • Paul Robert – French author and publisher of dictionaries, known especially thanks to Dictionnaire alphabétique et analogique de la langue française, often called simply Le Robert, and his abbreviated version Petit Robert;
Le Robert

Le Robert

  • Zygmunt Milkowski (pseudonym Teodor Tomasz Jeż) – Polish writer and politician, author of several dozen of novels, including many historical ones. During his funeral in 1915, Henryk Sienkiewicz said over his grave:

I have no dates, mournful audience, to describe you exactly his life, his martial deeds and merits. But I have a will to notice a few words over the coffin of this patriot – fighter. A few words, I say, because his life in two can be closed: soldier and writer!

But in this double duty, if a man put in it all the forces of the body and soul, what magnitude of merit! How it meets esteemed Jeż, you know best, mournful listeners! Whenever cheered fight for his country, he carried in the sacrifice his life, when the battle finished, grabbed a pen and wrote great works, which often exceed Polish borders. Never lose faith in the future of the nation, never ceased to love the land and the people. And so, in the fire, at work, in poverty and wandering lived almost the whole century, able to speak and probably spoke often to God and the homeland: “Let your servant in peace, because here is very wearied and resting he deserves.”

After the tumult and thunders of battles – silence, after backbreaking work – perpetual peace, after wandering - grave, which will be scored with a radius of fame and which will be surrounded by ivies and human memory.

Soldier and writer!

Soldier and writer!

And peace and tranquility prevailing at the cemetery give the opportunity to meet various god’s creatures….

Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers, the snare is broken, and we are free, Ps 124, 7

Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers, the snare is broken, and we are free, Ps 124, 7