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TST 4: Bern – Langnau

    The weather forecast was horrible. Snowfall, no sun, minus 3 degrees Celsius. Had a look at the profile of the hike: It will go up to 1000 m. There will be snow up there. Got new shoes on Friday, it is funny, nobody in the city of Zurich has Hokas. By now I know what to expect from them as this is my third pair already. I seriously run the other two pairs down in no time.

    My now tried and trust gloves are a must. By now I also now the ritual: Get up at four o’clock in the morning, not making too much noise. Apparently, the neighbors hit a new low with the mother demanding the daughter to disappear out of her life and giving her extremely bad names. Then she locked her daughter out, so my host had to reopen the door. Next time they smash the doors I will go down and ask all of them not to do so.

    This time in the city somebody tries to sneak up to me. He is just too slow, he can’t reach me. He thinks I could not hear him so every time I turn my head he tries to run. He can hardly stand as he is clearly overdosed. If he reaches me I will take a jump upwards and then I will kick him as hard as I can and with as much swing as I can. If I hit him right, I will break him a bone. And soon he has another problem. I go over the bridge towards the main police head quarters. Apparently, he does not like the police.

    Road cleaning teams are working hard, they polish our city 24/7. The usual McDonalds trail and 1 hour later I arrive in Bern. Where it snows. I have to cross the old city of Bern to the Bear pit and then I can make my way down to the river Aar. I put my headlamp on, but it is not necessary.

    There is snow, just enough to paint everything white. By the time I reach the local zoo, the Dählhölzli mainly famous for being flooded, it is bright enough. Last time they were flooded they thought a wolf had escaped. They found him later in his cage, being well. But they have lost some Otter. They are believed to live now on the Aar. I even spot an Otter in his cage, something rare as they hide inside their cage during the day.

    The landscape along the river Aar is spectacular. Although you walk on a dam, you have the feeling of untouched nature. Although there is an airport on the other side where they warm up their jet-engines. Lots of joggers some thinner than others. One of them is wearing the same shoes as I have. He is on the thinner side and he is the fastest I see during the entire day.

    Unfortunately, I have to leave the Aar soon as I move towards the Emmenthal. Yes, that’s where the cheese comes from. Incredibly old houses along the way, Fendt is the Mercedes around here. The weather is not as bad as predicted I can even spot some blue sky sometimes. Through Worb where they have an old castle which earlier belonged to the von Grafenried family. The mayor of Bern is a von Grafenried. Although he was in the same political party as I was a lot of my friends hated him. He is not as progressive as many had hopped.

    The trail turns again to just boring. And I make a big navigational error. The trail is marked in the app with red dots. I am used to my phone being too slow to show them. So, coming out of the forest I go straight instead of left. I lose at least 400 m in height and I come by a house with a tiny cage which holds birds of prey. They can hardly spread their wings. I realize my error down at the station. So, it is up again.

    The snow doesn’t bother me as much as the road walking. Sometimes I have to stop because farmers are still clearing their land from the blowdowns. Finally, I reach the river Emme. The color of the water touches me. Where I grew up, the Emme was just black. There is a steel production facility. They released their used water into the river for more than one century. It is downstream from where I am now.

    However, it would be possible to follow the Emme close to the tiny town where I grew up. I reach the town of Lützelflüh. Mr Bitzius lived here. He wrote some books about morality. His main work is the black spider, a gruesome book about the power of evil and the good. Although he was a Christian priest and wove in a lot of opiate for the people, the book itself is still world literature. There are even feminist aspects in this book. If you have seen Lützelflüh you will be surprised.

    From Lützelflüh to Langnau it is no longer spectacular. Like many other rivers, the Emme has been canalized. Real ugly new houses and busy roads. I did plan to put some more miles down, but it was just boring the entire day. The trail was either snow, asphalt or mud. I am tired and take the train home.