Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Swiss Diaries - III


Train to Delamont Via Biel - 11:00; 1 December


It is snowing heavily right now. Heading out of Bern for the day; maybe a good while. Perhaps forever.

Last night was a nightmare. So stressed, so afraid and so wishing to be home, in my own room. For now, it's a little better. But I'm quite biPolar today. Took a great many long walks, and tried sleeping in a shelter. Lasted an hour and a half. Succumbed, at last, to a hostel. Tossed and turned for days - minutes it was, days it seemed anyway. Fell asleep, woke at 7:45. Ate as much as I could, and went to Parliament. After a walk around, I went out into the snow and did another pile of walking. Jumped on the first bus I saw; surprisingly, it took me to a train station. Then I decided to go to Delemont. St. Ursanne to be precise; I change trains soon here, at Biel.

We're passing some cows; everything is bright, brilliant white. The loneliness I feel is incomprehensibly acute. I might go mad. Very soon. I'll try to hold out. I want to stop writing and just watch. But I don't know when else I'll get a chance. I want my memories of this place to be good ones. I'm afraid they'll haunt me for a long time. I never understood how alone it feels - being actually alone. I've taken the opportunity to draw as near as I can to God.

My lips are chapped, my eyes haggard. I look like an animal. A wild, frightened animal. I see an Aldi at Lyss. I wonder what the prices are like. No time to check, though. Tonight, I might stay in Geneva. I don't know. Anywhere cheap, and safe. I just want to be safe. It's the alone thing. What if I died? God's here - but I'm trying to do this on my own. Help me, to let go.

Again. 1 December.


It's so blasted snowy here! I like snow, but it makes it hard to see things, and there must be over a foot of it. Everywhere; and it grows by the minute. Plans change on this trip like the wind. Missed the Delemont train because mine was late, so I hopped on one to Lausanne.

In Lausanne, I went to the Cathedral; very impressive. In fact, it was quite a pleasant time spent altogether. Wandered around for quite some time, till I stumbled into the Museum of Lausanne History. Ordinarily, I wouldn't have parted with the 9 francs it costs. But mine was covered by my pass, so I took a peek. I got to lose the pack for a bit, not the worst of it anyway, and the Museum was quaint, interesting, and full of windows for picture opportunities.

The Metro is like a Subway, but less frequent and less extensive. I used it to get from the Train Station to Cathedral, and then Lac LĂ©man - Lake Geneva. It is like an ocean. I can't be sure but with the fog, cold, snow, and clouds it reminded me of Loch Ness.

It goes on and on. Even now, heading toward Sion, I am amazed to see it leering at every opening from the buildings or trees. Black water in winter; black and beautiful. It ripples and waves crash and the clouds descend. Astonishing. Swans, ducks, crows - they were everywhere when I walked across the pier. A boy and girl, 17 or so, were building a snow man. It looked pretty good. Earlier, trying to get to the Cathedral, I had to ask some non-English speakers for directions. We worked it out. They were very nice & friendly. The people are generally pretty helpful. It's funny, though; I listen to them talk and laugh, but I don't know what they're saying. I do pick up a lot more French than German, however.

Got on the wrong train. Or rather, I got on but didn't change at Montreux as I should have. So now I'm waiting to go back. I'd like the B&B to be available. Honestly, it might not be open. Les Simples it is. If only this were simple. I like being by myself, 25%-50% of the time, sleeping not included. Other than that, people would be nice - to talk to, to see things with. I thank God for Nelly even more, as perhaps I would already be mad without her.

Next step, if I can find a room, is to walk, without my pack. I need an ATM, and I'd like a beer or a pizza in a pub - or both. Preferably both. The accommodation is a deciding factor in where I go. For now, Sion - as I was let to believe there's something there. We will see.

J. William English


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