Sunday, 11 August 2013

Via Jacobi (August 11, 2013) - Day 11Thun to Riggisberg

First wanted to let you know that I uploaded a number of pictures to Flickr yesterday (top right hand link to blog)...will likely wait to Geneva to upload others.

Today was simply a peaceful day walking...little did I know that the most peaceful part of the day awaited me at my final destination at the Sleep in Straw farm in Riggisberg...more later.

Day started off very well with Alfred drawing a map of how I would rejoin the Via Jacobi from their B&B...without his help I might still be wandering around Thun at this point...thanks Alfred!

Leaving - photographic excellence with my shadow!
I walked about 7 hours today likely in the high 20 km range under partly cloudy skies and mid 20's. Perfect walking weather on maybe 80% small country roads with a mixture of forest paths. While there were a couple of step ascents that got the heart pumping today just seemed to fly by. A few pictures of the countryside today...

Cycling in Switzerland

While I haven't met another pilgrim in 2 days I have seen countless cyclists...seems like everyone in Switzerland is geared up fashionably and cycling the roads. Today the roads were great for cycling with their rolling nature and very sparse traffic. Scott you have to make it out here sometime in your cycling career!

One cyclist flying by

With today being Sunday I wasn't sure whether anything would be open. Around 11:30 I came across a backeria...

Something to drink and a cookie at backeria

I forget what the menu item was called however it was the best thing I have eaten in a long time. It had a shortbread texture with fruit jams...weighed a ton and was so filling...once again so many Canada Food Guide groups covered off in one go!

Later in Riggisberg I had a real meal of Spaghetti in a local restaurant...that with iced tea sure made the walk worthwhile.

Dangerous animal update 

I really thought that the day would pass without incident...believe the dangerous part do Switzerland is behind me! As the day progressed some pictures:

Swan (hidden) with young - not dangerous

Cute cows - not dangerous

Black cat or black panther?

Huh! - was on my guard for next hour

Then it happened with the trail taking an almost ridiculous uphill shortcut through a cow pasture...see cow had horns picture!

Cow had horns - no protective fence!

Now here I am maybe 10 feet away with a RED backpack with only walking I am supposed to be a matador? I just thought if it's my time then that's fate...quickly moved on and all was good.

One minor incident walking over wooden bridges...noted that one trekking pole was making a metal sound...note picture! Well I used my well honed home handyman skills plus the spare in my bag and on I went.

Missing rubber foot

Upon arrival at the Bohler farm I was warmly greeted by Christine and later the same by her husband Rudolf. Before I knew it I was provided with fruit tea to relax, shown what was needed from a sleeping, shower etc. standpoint.

The neatest thing though was when Christine showed me her special walking garden.

Special walking garden

You start at one end and walk toward the middle under a fruit tree. The idea is to massage your feet by walking very slowly through 20 different textures ranging from grass, mud, rocks, wood chips towards the middle and then back out. As you are going through this the idea is to think about your day. I did this three times and then you soak your feet in a bucket of warm water with flowers from the garden...then you dry your feet and apply a special cream.

Feet were very happy...they haven't been too happy lately with many a blister! Oh and Christine speaks French! 

Tomorrow a longer day in the low 30 km range to Fribourg which is recognized as the starting point of French in Switzerland.

This is my last sleep in straw farm and the best was reserved for last! Plus I am all alone tonight!

Future pilgrims

The best of the 6 sleep in straw farms I have stayed in so far! It is 2.5 kms off the Via Jacobi however I am told that I do not need to backtrack in the morning and a path rejoins the Via Jacobi by going forward. As I finish this I am having a great meal of salad and a lentil mixture. Go for it!


  1. Hi Guy,

    I am glad that you have finally discovered the chocolate.

    Re: Dangerous animals ... see my previous comment on the swans. I also did a Google search for dangerous animals in Switzerland and apparently the only bear was killed last year. There was no mention of any Panthers.

    Greg A.

  2. Thanks Guy,

    I can imagine the pins are a real hit !!

    Keep writing, look forward to checking in on your blog everyday !
    I really like the "what I ate " pics, keep them coming.