I am on holiday, hurrah. However, there is the stress of maximising my time because I still have so many things to do during my very short break (only a week) and as there are so many interesting places here in Switzerland I would like to visit for the first time or see for a second or even third time. The problem is that it is so hot here that I do not dare go away too long for fear of not being able to taste upon my return all these vegetables I have been watering for the past month. What a conundrum, no?

So why not keep it simple and go somewhere very near? Especially since I am dying to see the sun set over Lake Léman from some good vantage point, say from the Alpes vaudoises:

DSCN390026th July 2013, at the top of Tour de Mayen

By the way, that picture was shot only half a metre from the edge, so no way I would have survived had I slipped and fallen over that ridge (and thus gone into free fall for at least two hundred metres). Probably because I was nervous about getting off that mountain before it was dark, I slipped on my way down, almost right here (picture taken on my way up):

DSCN3890Fortunately, the (digital) watch I used for recording my running data bore the brunt of the shock; it was left kaputt as a result – dear reader, please note that it was made in China, not in this country. Yet I was still able to go back home with a ‘badge of honour’ because the area around my left elbow was nevertheless hit quite hard even though my watch had cushioned much of the blow:

DSCN3946Three weeks earlier, I had had a nasty fall not far from this part of the glacier of Aletsch as I was running whilst trying to adjust one of my poles as well as turning back to check whether somebody I had just run past was indeed a guy I knew from Geneva (I had slept very little that night in anticipation of my run):

Lake Märjelen_Aletsch region_21 July 2013Lake Märjelen, Aletsch region, 21 July 2013  [click on the picture to view the panorama full screen]

A week after my run at Sierre-Zinal two years ago, I went back to the valley of Zinal as I wanted to see this from the vantage point of an alpine hut (situated on the left part of the picture):

DSCN4481[click to enlarge!]

Once on the glacier however, I did not really feel safe, seeing the crevasses… DSCN4469…and seeing/hearing the ice being transformed into strong gushes of water:

DSCN4480The gushes must be much, much wider this year given the heatwaves we are having… It must be so impressive. It really makes me want to go back there, a valley of incredible beauty that of Zinal.

On my way back, I foolishly checked my watch while running downhill without stopping (which I did all the time when I was training here in Lausanne that year) and this is what happened:

DSCN4502I was lucky because not even two centimetres below and I would have damaged my kneecap, which takes a hell of a long time to heal.

So wherever I go running next week, there is one word I shall make mine: ‘caution’.

Especially since last year’s ‘summer running season’ was marred by this (in early June), whilst walking, not running!

DSCN6408A better pic of my bruised foot – should this be of any interest to you! – no bones were broken, but it was enough to keep me away from mountain running.

Link

Check out my other blog* for some places I am thinking of going to (article not published yet though)  😉

* There are plenty of hyperlinks to this other blog scattered here and there over the past five to eight posts on this blog…

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