And in just one innocent, harmless, typical day, we just broke our high peak record: that of the Brocken, at 1142m, was surpassed by a wild and secluded mountain pass, that of the contrabandists, up to 1246m; we could have probably been a metre higher, but the quicksand-mud buried our wheels for long. But no worries, for quite a while, we’ll have a constant record-breaking habit.
Most of Europe usually takes the stereotype of a German as the epitome of meticulosity, efficiency, punctuality and cleanliness; but they, Germans, say that of the Swiss. You must listen to Leon repeatedly pointing out that Swiss people do vacuum their forests. There was not a single needle there. That pure green colour. There’s no wonder how they created Absinthe here, they just took the greenest of all the greenery around and threw it into spiritus.
Prior to arrival, we had no idea what to do. But in Pontarlier, a city characterised by having all of its businesses closed when you need them the most – could you imagine all kebabs and bakeries closed at midday every day? –, a series of serendipitous events gave us an offer we could not reject. A perfect alignment of places provided by acquaintances of my uncle Beto –crackpot, we owe him a big hangover now – and my friend Luca – a cyclist I had the pleasure to host in Kraków (mom, if he cycles through Spain, fed him until he explodes) – turned up, a perfect route that will not be too long to kill our budget due to a lack of affordable kebabs, but neither so short that feels like rushing through the country without seeing anything. A perfect tour through authentic villages and people, a relaxed plan to eat and drink and enjoy the climbs with no hurries.
Mountains are filled with un-photographable views. Ups and downs are delicious, cows reign the lands, and clouds are supported by windmill-columns. Colours are quite strong here: how was that thing about the RGB in computer screens? Take the red clouds, the green lands, and the blue sky, and you get a flag of colours Claudio de Lorena would have seen himself in trouble to paint. Take a sunset, add a lake, deep green pines, shiny green grass, the clouds close to you, quickly moving, shaded by the sunshine’s palette, and suddenly add a slowly approaching rain. Gaze at that grain in the sky, synchronised with the blurry sound of the drops pouring over the lake’s surface, quickly overtaking you. Let yourself be speechless, reckon the words to explain such an event, a mélange of incidents that no blog, no postcard, no talk, could possibly illustrate.