The night was restless. Rain hammered against the windows and strong winds were busy displacing various pieces of outdoor furniture. Six years ago, in a yurt on a hill in Bavaria, a similar storm had forced open the yurt’s doors and fearful that the neighbouring cows might join me in my shelter, I frantically wrestled the doors back shut. Last night I dreamt of the yurt and my sleep was tainted with the feeling that at any moment a herd of alpine cows would be swept into the room by the gales of wind.
In the morning I drove with Anna and Vali up to Grindelwald where they would commence day two of skiing. With sore legs from yesterday’s alpine antics, which any alpineer would dub a rookie mistake, I hobbled through the town and witnessed the sun rising over the Jungfrau, Mönch and Eiger. I met a person with impressive hiking gear and her St. Bernard companion. She wandered ahead of me towards Grosse Scheidegg. This time I took note of the yellow signs. A four and a half hour hike. “Perhaps not for today”, hinted my weary quads and calfs. I wandered for about an hour and then turned back towards Grindelwald where I later went with Bob (the Berner Oberland Bahn) back to Wilderswil.
In the afternoon I explored Interlaken, which lies on the Bödeli, the finger of land between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. Etymology: Boden is German for ground and the umlaut (the two dots above the o) and the suffix li give it its diminutive form. In High-German, the diminutive form is used instead with the suffix chen, e.g. Hahn (chicken) becomes Hähnchen (little chicken). An English example would be pig and piglet, the suffix et(te) having French routes.
I sauntered about the town and came across the Höhematte, a beautiful high mountain meadow above which dozens of colourful paragliding-wings turn, meander and float against the backdrop of the Bernese alps. I sat here for a while and watched them dance.