Above the clouds for lunch

I’ve never been one for sitting around at lunchtime. Give me time to do nothing, either during the day or in the evening, and I’ll end up dozing off. I like to use the midday hour for something productive; whether spending time with team colleagues, working on personal projects, catching up on email, walking the streets for fitness, going shopping, or (rarely) reading a book.

I am grateful for the flexibility in my job which allows me to take a longer lunch break on occasion. It gives me the opportunity to do more than many, for whom an active lunchtime means getting the bus into the city centre and going to a shop or cafe. Such was a day yesterday, when webcams on the hills at Gurten and Bantigen showed that the grey, foggy weather in Bern only reached so far.

A cool, damp dawn followed by warm sunshine later in the morning often leads to cloud inversions, although they’re rare in cities. But the hills were clear of the murk and so I elected to race to the parking place at the top of the public road on the way to the huge Bantiger television mast. From there, a twenty minute  puff up the remainder of the hill took me to the base of the mast, from which a vertigo-inducing metal staircase takes visitors to a viewing platform. As the low cloud was still relatively high, and because the view from the base of the mast is partially obscured by trees, I gathered my breath and made the final effort.

Once at the top, a 360° view to the Bernese Alps and to Jura rewarded my efforts. All but the hills and mountains lay below the blinding fluff of sunlit cloud, and the few visitors respected each other by remaining quiet, so that we could all enjoy the views in peace. I had the foresight to bring the Canon 6D from work, so that I could take some photos, then sat for a few minutes before the much less taxing return to the car and to the office. Once back at my desk, looking at the photos, it was almost unreal to think that just 45 minutes earlier, I’d been walking in a hilltop forest to such a view.

Cloud inversion over Bern, photographed from the Bantiger television transmission tower.

Cloud inversion over Bern, photographed from the Bantiger television transmission tower.

Cloud inversion over Bern, photographed from the Bantiger television transmission tower.

Cloud inversion over Bern, photographed from the Bantiger television transmission tower.

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