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/

Lac Leman

From Ouchy to Saint-Sulpice

I am lucky enough to live in Lausanne at Lake Geneva, the largest lake in the Alps, which is also the largest lake in Western Europe. Western only, because the largest lakes in Europe are located in the eastern part of the continent and the list opens Lake Ladoga in Russia.

Lake Geneva, however, has the magic that charmed many prominent artists before me. Hmm, I think it sounded a little too pompous.

Lake Geneva

Lake Geneva

Anyway, on the shores of the lake “Lausanne lyrics” were written by Adam Mickiewicz, in the near Geneva, Juliusz Slowacki created “Kordian” and “Balladyna”. In Vevey Henryk Sienkiewicz and Charlie Chaplin lived the last years of their lifes and in Morges for about 40 years lived Ignacy Jan Paderewski. Lac Leman area impressed also Karol Szymanowski, Cooco Chanel, Audrey Hepburn and Yul Brynner.

And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters and inspired Baron Pierre de Coubertin to found the International Olympic Committee headquarter in Lausanne.

This time I started my trail in Ouchy, a popular place of entertainment and leisure for both residents and tourists. This small fishing port, after joining the borders of the city in the nineteenth century, transformed over the years into one of the most prestigious and recognizable places of Lausanne. Exclusive hotels were build here, like Beau-Rivage Palace, Château d’Ouchy and Mövenpick, numerous restaurants and… two grocery stores open daily until 22:00, which is a rarity in Switzerland. On the Avenue d’Ouchy, a street that runs from the lake up the city, the shop “Bazar d’Ouchy” is located, in which for more than 100 years, you can purchase all Swiss gadgets that you can dream of, and in particular the cuckoo clock, which is sometimes the object of malicious jokes:

In Italy, for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of democracy and peace – and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.
/The Third Man (1949), by Carol Reed/

I think it is just jealousy for the peace, order and prosperity, which over the years Switzerland has established using a direct democracy.

Start of the run I set up on Place de la Navigation, near the port and carousel for children, at four stone blocks. They are here not just for decoration. These monoliths symbolize the four winds blowing on Lake Geneva and are the part of an artistic project, which took first place in the competition for the redevelopment of Place de la Navigation in 1991. The second part of the sculpture is semicircular anemometer height of 20 meters, located 150 meters away, at the entrance to the port.

Eole

Eole

It rotates in response to the gusts of wind. Standing in front of each stone block, with the feet on the wheel with the name of the wind and looking through the cut in the monolith semicircle at anemometer, you can identify which of the four winds is blowing at the moment.

Blowing in the wind

Blowing in the wind

I’m moving right, to the west by the quay and after about 200 meters, turned left to be all the time near the water. I run between the port and the large building, where oriental restaurant and a curling hall are located. At the end of the port I turn to the right and run into huge industrial quay, under big cranes for handling sand, gravel and stones. On the left side, the other side of the harbor basin steamer “Italie” waiting with the hope for a major renovation to join the fleet of “belle epoque”.

M/S Italie (1908)

M/S Italie (1908)

Ships in a total of eight all were built between 1904 and 1927 in the plant of Sulzer Brothers in Winterthur. Currently belong to the “Compagnie Générale de Navigation” (CGN) from Geneva:

Montreux (1904)
Vevey (1907)
Italie (1908)
La Suisse (1910) – flagship of CGN
Savoie (1914)
Simplon (1920)
Helvetia (1926)
Rhone (1927)

I continue to run in a westerly direction and when reaching the fence separating beneath a paid beach Bellerive, I turn:

a) from October to May to the left – and through concrete embankment on the shores of the lake to the asphalt walking alley in front of Theatre de Vidy;

b) from June to September to the right (as during summer period, the promenade at the lake is closed and becomes part of a paid Bellerive beach) – and along the Avenue de Rhodanie reach the end of the fenced area, I turned left and I run towards the lake having Theatre de Vidy on the right hand side.

I continue run via the alley to the west, I reach the port of Vidy, I run on the shore and at the end I turn to the left, as in the port of Ouchy to run all the time close to the water, and when the port is over, I turn to the right. I pass the pyramid built for the Swiss National Exhibition in 1964, at high steel monument I turn to the right and reach the main pedestrian path. I turn to the west, to the left. After a few dozen meters, I turn right to the Pierre de Coubertin stadium. It is the site of many sports events, among others, here ends up Lausanne 20 km run. In 2013 the old red tartan surface of the track was replaced by the new blue one. I run the track to the right, like on the roundabout and exit on the opposite side. I cross Rue du Vidy and a parking and through the gap in the trees run to the meadow where you can see the remains of a Roman settlement Lousonna.

Ruines Romaines

Ruines Romaines

I run diagonally through the Ruines romaines and again find myself on Rue du Vidy, on which I turn left. I cross to the roundabout, where by turning to the right, under the highway, you can reach the Musée romain but I’m running to the left, under the windows of the International Olympic Committee.

Citius-Altius-Fortius

Citius-Altius-Fortius

I realize that I am not the fastest runner in Lausanne, but doesn’t matter. Baron de Coubertin said that the fight itself and the competition is more important than victory:

The important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle, the essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.

How easily the same sense expressed polish band Skaldowie in the song “The Bunny”:

Not the point to catch the bunny,
but to chase him,
but to chase him,
but to chase him!

Therefore I am chasing…

From the Olympic Committee there are three possible routes:

a) run to the lake and continue on the main promenade;

b) run straight the alley along the street and sewage treatment plants;

c) or run into the woods and for some time use the fitness trail.

Goal is one – to cross the river La Mèbre. Yes, this is the same river I already described before in the blog. I usually choose the fitness trial, because the sawdust substrate is gentler for the joints than asphalt. Parcoursvita leads me from station to station and on one of them I want to draw attention to the historical curiosity.

At stop number 4, behind the bushes you can see a stone obelisk on a small mound, surrounded by a hedge. It is clearly visible in autumn and winter, while in spring and summer, it is covered by the wall of greenery. I advice to go through the scrub and read the inscription on the monument. This is the place where major Davel, soldier and patriot of Suisse romande was beheaded. He wanted to bring an independence to the canton of Vaud, occupied at the time by the Bernese. He was arrested, tortured and beheaded in Vidy on April 24, 1723.

Place of execution of major Davel

Place of execution of major Davel

I’m running further on a fitness trial, until the asphalt alleys and river that I cross and through the sports premises of the university and the polytechnic, I join the main promenade of the lake. I run through the Petit Port of Saint-Sulpice, I pass the barrier, few meters further turn left and through the playground I reach the path over the lake. You can continue to run straight by the street, but I usually go via scenic area.

Path at the lake leads to the Beach of Pelican and further, up to the point where private properties come down close to the water. I turn then to the right in the gravel alley and in front of the restaurant L’Abordage join a main road and turn left.

Now the trail leads all the time by Avenue du Leman up to the Parc du Débarcadère in Saint-Sulpice. I run next to the playground and meadows, I follow the road which goes right behind the restaurant Le Débarcadère and reach the church of St. Mary Magdalene, which is the target of my trip. The church was founded by the Benedictines of Cluny in France at the turn of the eleventh and twelfth centuries. It became a Protestant church after the Reformation came into the canton of Vaud.

Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Saint-Sulpice

Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Saint-Sulpice

You can run forward towards Preveranges and Morges, but that’s a topic for another story…

I’m coming back more or less the same route to Ouchy, modifying a little, depending on the mood and comfort (variant a, b or c or … else). Planning is very important, but you have from time to time introduce deviations, break out of frames, improvise:

Do not go where the path leads, but where it does not exist and leave a trail.
/Ralph Waldo Emerson, American poet and essayist of nineteenth century/

Steps into the unknown

Steps into the unknown

Below the trail recorded by GPS:

2013-11-10 12.34.43

The Long Kiss Goodnight

After a humorous beginning, especially for people familiar with Polish cinematography, I will write more seriously where did I come from, who am I, where am I going and why I created blog Mammut On The Run.

My job contract was terminated after almost seventeen years of cooperation.

I fully understand, accept and support this decision. I am proud, really proud that I could contribute to the further smooth development of the organization. My current situation reminded me a fragment of the poem “My Testament” by Juliusz Slowacki:

But I beg you – let the living not lose hope ever
And bear the torch of learning before their compatriots;
And when called, go to their death one after another,
Like the stones tossed by die Lord onto the ramparts!…

Translated by Michael Mikos, author of:
“Juliusz Slowacki. This Fateful Power. Sesquicentennial Anthology 1809-1949″

Therefore full of proud I see myself as this stone tossed onto the ramparts of cost cutting and competitiveness increase. From company perspective, adapting to the changes caused by my dismissal will be challenging. It will take some time for new corporate structures to take shape and for everyone to adjust to them. However, I strongly  believe that the steps taken will put the organization in the best position to be competitive and successful in the future.

I don’t understand you – said Alice. – It’s dreadfully confusing!
That’s the effect of living backwards – the Queen said kindly. – It always makes one a little giddy at first.
/Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There by LewisCarroll/

Enough writing about this piece of… the past. Cut off from it with a thick line. Throw away the veil of silence. Put among the fairy tales.

Something ends, something begins …