I was in Berne on 30nd of December and I planned to stay there few days with Benno.
Of course we had sightseeing, lots of talk and walks around the town and for the new year we were invited to Benno’s friend for dinner.
Berne is capital of Switzerland what I didn’t know before I came to Switzerland, I always have been thinking that Zurich is capital city as I have always heard just about Zurich.
I actually didn’t have much to do in Berne a part of staying with Benno and fixing my bike. The rear carrier was not fit with the panniers and always my panniers were falling and it was not so pleasant at all. Even once it caused me falling down in Winterthur.
There is a kind of bicycle shop in Berne which they collect old bicycles and make them apart and use the gears to make another one which could be used for longer time and they send them to Africa. The idea was great actually and I liked it very much.
we went there to get another carrier and also I needed some other parts to improve the bike.
after I changed some parts I was feeling actually quite good as even changing some little thing could make a big change on feeling while riding.
days were passing one after another and I was quite happy for my visa. In fact after I went to Immigration office in Zurich the guy there made a little chance for me what I didn’t expect. Usually it is almost impossible to extend the visa in Schengen area but that man told me it is just an exception and he asked me to follow a guide line which caused me to have an appointment on Jan 15, means 11 days after the last day of my visa and it was good enough to provide me enough time to travel around the country and meet my friends and do my work but still I was a bit worried about it.
now when I look back to see the foot print, I see that I lost some moments which could be much nicer if I wouldn’t have any expectation on my visa extension. I already had some extra days which was good enough, but the fear I had for not being extended was a reason I lost some moments. This is what I am learning how to cope and comprehend with any condition and circumstance. Such a hard work to learn, to understand and live all these lessons is, but it is in fact what I live and what I am traveling for. A 24/7 school to learn, study and practice what I have been learning is my life.
still I am far away from living at the moment and in present and still sometimes I have plan for the future and I think about it and I get upset when it sudden changes, still I have fear and sorrow sometimes and I need lots of practices.
I was going to leave Berne but Benno’s friend who had invited us for new year party was going to open a new restaurant, a kind of literature restaurant where people could read and eat. The opening was on Friday evening and a big party with lots of nice music and people as well.
I postponed my departure to have chance to be there for the party and enjoy it.
But I was a bit down those days, after I have met so many people, so much talk and not having any time on my own, not camping for a long time and not having lonely time in my tent, I felt that I need some time on my own.
It was the thing I needed the most in that time. It was great staying with Benno that I could be on my own anytime I wanted but I also liked to spend more time with him as it was a great chance to be with him after long time.
on Friday we went to the party but I went a bit late as I was doing to have some quiet time on my own. Benno went earlier and I fired some woods in front of it listening to a kind of light music. I needed that kind of silence time and I joined him around 9 pm. It was around 11:30 which I left and Benno decided to stay longer. I came back home to have some more silence time on my own.
next day I began to pack early in the morning and it was time to leave Berne for Lausanne.
Benno was going to cycle with me to Freiburg and we had a coffee there.
we were supposed to meet Manuel who was my guest few years ago in Iran to have coffee together but I called him few times and I didn’t get answer. So we arrived to Freiburg and were searching for a coffee shop.
after changing our mind for few times finally one on the corner attracted us and went in to have a coffee.
we were there for about 40min and talking. At last when we left the shop I asked Benno to have a picture. It was funny how we could take a picture. I asked a guy who was passing to take a picture but he replied he can’t as he is in hurry and he walked off!! We were looking at the guy who was walking so slow. We asked another girl!! She came and took a picture but almost we were not in tot in the picture. We were still waiting to find someone who could take a picture eagerly, so he would look at the camera and try to take a good one. Meantime I took of my rain jacket and after we had our picture the girl from the café came out and said “salam !” which is Persian world for greeting like Hello in English.
Ok!! She was Iranian working there and she invited us to have another coffee…we were laughing with Benno a lot and he would say “Hey..You know more people here in Switzerland than I do!!!” as always there were someone calling me on the road.
Anyway it was over and I left Benno and began to cycle alone toward Lausanne, where I could meet Tamara who I met last year while cycling in Iran.
She was on vacation and just came back a day earlier to meet me and of course host me. Her arrival time was around 8pm and I had to spend time till then. It was cold and last few km or ride was downhill to the downtown and I was feeling cold. I also had to entertain myself for 2-3 hours before she comes. After I entered the town I just followed any road which was downhill. I knew that they will take me to the lake and I can spend sometimes there to wait. After few streets I saw a Christmas market which was kind of surprising as they usually finish before New Year but this one still was working. I went through the market and on the last kiosk I heard someone speaking Persian. I stopped and we began to talk. He was farmer Iranian national team of cycling.
I stopped to talk but it was cold and I was shivering, they were quite busy but one of them joined me and actually invited me to have a coffee in Starbucs café which was the best place to wait and pass the time.
I met Tamara at 8pm in front of train station and after I got direction to her house I began to cycle toward her place.
As always it was so nice to meet a friend again, share sometimes and thoughts with her/him and talk.
I was not planning to stay long in Lausanne and I had just a full Sunday to stay there.
It was great to have chance to share some thoughts with her and of course more about Switzerland and people there.
We decided to visit some places for Sunday and renting a car was the way we ended to do so.
after we decided to go outside I offered her to make a picnic outside and we took some foods, stove and what we would need for it.
we walked a long a little river to an old church and after that we were looking for a place for our picnic. I chose the hill on the right side where we could have sun and began to climb it. At the top there was a vast field which was just great to sit. I asked her” could we make a fire? “gladly she is a kind of nature person too, so she agreed and we set a fire, what I was missing a lot. It was just great and in a very short time all my clothes smelled of smoke. I was too happy to be by the fire again, what I feel myself very close to it.
I remembered all those days I have been by the fire alone in the mountain, desert …I have spend so much time of my life in nature, but while cycling in winter I usually didn’t have a chance of making fire and now again I had it.
For lunch we made my favorite food which is fried eggs on the fire.
while we were there occasionally people were passing by and all of them enjoyed the fire and I was glad to have it, we broke some rules to feel the nature. Honestly I am not such a person who follows all the rules, I cant be limited, I am a wild nomad!!
a couple were passing and I was going to make a coffee, I smiled and invited them to have a coffee with us. And there was another friendship building up!!! So simple and easy!! To make a friendship we actually don’t need to do so much, we just need to be enough open for people. Of course the coffee is not that good as you make it at home with a machine but it smelled fire and it served with love for human being, for a person we didn’t know but now we know.
Next day I had to cycle to Aigle, where I was planning to visit UCI ( Cycling International Union ).
I couldn’t find any place to stay around Aigle, so I decided to come back again to Lausanne at night. Tamara told me to leave some of my stuff there but I preferred to take everything with me, even she offered me to keep the key with me but still it was too much, I told her” I like I come back on my own decision not because of the key!!! I don’t like to be in hesitation because of a promise or a key!”
in fact I knew if I take the key with me then I have to come back and I should ignore any chance which I might have. I always try to leave!!! And I don’t think of any return as well as I am always ready to return too and to refresh my meeting with beloved friends.
so I left there around 10am and I didn’t have much to cycle to Aigle, just around 45km and I had to be there around 2pm.
I arrived almost on time ( just 10min delay ) and welcomed by Paul-Henry Rey who is manager of world cycling center.
in our very first conversation he asked me where are you going to stay tonight? And I replied: “ still I don’t have a place, let see ..” and he kindly invited me to stay in his place over night.
and then he began to show me around the center and I had a tour around UCI.
Honestly I was kind of drooling while I was passing through so many wonderful bicycles, gears, track..it was like a dream to see all those things.
after visiting the UCI and also an interview with media correspondence of UCI I had some hours to wait, outside was cold and having internet connection inside could be great.
sat in a room sipping my coffee and checking my emails till around 5:30 and then I left to Vivie where Paul lives.
he was waiting for me on the road when I arrived and we walked home together which was just 2 min walk from the main road.
At night with Paul and Sarah we had a lovely conversation about mostly traveling and my coming project with Rick.
It was so funny that I was talking to him with lots of passion about learning Spanish and that I want to spend 2 years in S America cycling and he just looked at me and said “ I hate you !!!” and we began to laugh. He said why I invited you to our house? just to make me feel jealous?
Next day I left around 10am when Paul and Sarah already had left the house. So I didn’t meet them in the morning.
I began to cycle toward Geneva, but my body was not working quite well. It was a bit cold and I had head wind as well.
I was tired, not actually tired but very heavy and cold. My legs were not obeying my mind and I was cycling very slow. That not really nice when I am not fresh and weather is cold, my body does not work and hard condition last longer!!
I couldn’t continue at all and I really like to stop there. Finally after few hours I gave up and decided to have a break. So I stopped by a café to have a coffee and something to eat and of course to warm up.
after half an hour I was fine again and I began to cycle quite faster.
I arrived to Geneva around 5 pm but I had to wait for Loredan to come and pick me. Again a café could be the best place to wait and keep warm.
he came at around 6:30pm and after having a drink together we cycled home. On the way he asked me “ which way do you like to take? Fast one which goes through traffic or quiet one but a bit longer?” my answer was very clear..!! fast one.
I was there and after dinner I could have a place to sleep on my own and get warm and recover myself.
January 27, 2013