Yesterday when I was in Bern, the best part of the trip (for me anyways) was certainly the Münster Cathedral. It was massive, ornate, and breathtaking. We were given a few hours of free time, to go shopping, or to explore the city. I wanted to visit the Cathedral. It’s so cool to be walking around in something older than the name of your own country. It’s construction began in 1421. It was amazing. To all of you who have never stepped inside a European Cathedral, you don’t know what you’re missing. It’s amazing. There was an option to climb one of the towers. My heights-afraid friends didn’t want to. They went and did some shopping and let me climb to the belfries for over an hour. It was 200 steps, I was told. The tower is 330 feet tall, and I climbed it. Oui Monsieur! I climbed her myself. It was the day after I had snowshoed up and down a mountain in 6 hours, and I still wasn’t vertically deterred. Now I can say I’ve climbed the tallest Cathedral in Switzerland! It was beautiful.
I am so glad I took European History last semester in school, it gave me a bunch of background about what I’m living in now. I went and read up on the history of Bern during the Protestant Reformation. It really intrigued me. Apparently when the bubonic plage hit Bern in 1526 it converted more and more people to the Reformation, so much so that in 1528 they threw out all the icons and stopped all masses. That didn’t last forever. Social mood is a pendulum.
It was fun climbing the stone spiral staircases, having no awareness of what altitude I was at. Once I was a few stories above every other rooftop in the city, I lost my points of reference. All I knew is I was getting higher and higher. There were windows, (without glass. literally wall-absences) which were almost the same height as me, going from ankle level to above my head. My only consolation was that they were too small for me to fit through. It’s unnerving, having open air between you and a few hundred feet. I’m getting better psychological control. I believe you can miss out on some of life’s experiences if you let fear creep into your mind. Yep, it certainly was frightening to keep going up and up the tower. I was wondering if the top would ever come, or if you’d just walk up until the walls around you stopped ascending also. It feels good to have 330 feet under my belt. (I just realised that if someone was translating that through google translate, it wouldn’t be a very smooth translation. You like the feeling of having 330 feet under your belt why?)
At the different landings, on the way up the tower, there were different things on the walls like this.
The belfries were amazing! There were two levels of belfries, the upper and lower belfries. The height in between both layers was probably the same as two floors. The bells were MASSIVE. The upper belfries had 9 bells, and the lower belfries had 3. The big white bell at the top was probably 8 feet in diameter. It’s intense. It’s no wonder why you can hear them all through the city. This one had a diameter of about two armslengths, and it was so intricate. It’s really quite stunning.
I had a great time at the Münster Cathedral. I loved it.
I rode the train back from Bern to Sion, going through a 20 minute tunnel through a mountain. My ears popped because of the air pressure difference on the inside of a mountain. It was so neat.
My dad came and picked me up from the train station on his motorcycle. As I sat on the back, my hair was flying from beneath my helmet, and we were whizzing through the little streets of Europe, and I was asking myself, “Could my life get any better right about now?” I told you my day was epic. My smile was legitimately as wide as it was the day I saw Owl City live. It’s the only time since then which has paralleled that day in it’s sheer exhilaration. I could have been getting mosquitos stuck in my teeth for all I cared, but they don’t have those here. I can still close my eyes and remember hanging on to my dad as we whizzed up the little winding roads to my house on the mountainside. My life is awesome.
We did rock-wall climbing today in gym class again. This time, I pulled my courage from the other half of the room, (by the ear) and made myself climb it again. This time, instead of only getting 5 feet up, I climbed to the very top.
Sometimes I make myself lists of things to think through. I was in the middle of doing that today when I realised the irony of it all. While it doesn’t surprise me that I’m thinking a year ahead, it’s still a little excessive.
Tonight my family lit three candles on our balcony, which will burn all through the night. Everyone here is doing that tonight, because there was a horrible bus accident in this village two days ago. Twenty-four 12 yr olds died. One candle is for the children who died. One is for the children who are in the hospital. One is for the people who are working, the caregivers, doctors and paramedics. I can’t help but wonder why life is tragic. I mean, there’s now a bunch more families dealing with what mine is. Why do that many more people have to lose a sister? A brother?