2012-12-07 47 7
An a field near Willisau.
Catch train at 6.57pm to Langenthal, then go on to Willisau. Then have a stroll through town.
Hasty decisions are almost never a good thing, and Calamus knew. But this didn't keep him from deciding a semi-spontaneous expedition after work. The hashpoint lay remarkably far east, and an inspection of Basel, the western neighbour graticule, showed the point had almost hit a town there. Against better judgement, Calamus decided to give it a shot.
The first danger to the expedition's success already appeared on the way to Langenthal, where Calamus was supposed to change the train. The nervous voice of the train driver announced that the train had experienced trouble with the intense cold and snowfall and was running two minutes late. Most of the passengers reacted reasonably irate, most of them probably never having experienced a procrastination before. The consequence for Calamus was that the leisurly three minutes he had calculated for changing train would be reduced to one minute, which meant he might miss his connection. Fortunately, the other train had be informed and waited. This, however, was where the luck ended.
Calamus arrived in Willisau as planned. Willisau is a town in the canton of Lucerne, best known for a distinctive kind of cookie called Willisauer Ringli and having fallen victim to a flooding a few years ago. Calamus had actually visited the town before when he'd been on holiday in the next town, but he'd been about eight years old. After he had stocked up on chocolate at the station (no snowy expeditions without chocolate - but obviously the edible kind, which doesn't get exported), he went into the centre of the town. And that was when the problems started.
The people of Willisau hadn't been told about graticules, so most of them spoke Bernese rather than Bâlois. Obviously they also hadn't been told that last Christmas had passed, since they had built up a light-intensive market. Maybe it was already prepared for next Christmas, and the people practised for operating it in two weeks' time. They also had invited what had to be the canton's worst music box player, who played inadvertedly off-rhythmed versions of songs nobody had liked since the 17th century. When Calamus looked at his GPS receiver to find the fastest way out, he found that it had taken the course of action most reasonable in this situation. It had died. He felt a little mean as he inserted new batteries, but he needed to escape.
The hashpoint was shown to be located next to a brook, so Calamus followed it. When he came close to the point, he discovered that he was on the wrong side of the brook. So he jumped. Then he discovered that there was a dark forest around it. So he took out his lamp. Then he discovered that the forest was located on a steep mountainside. So he tried to climb it and was happy that it was to dark for anybody to witness his pitiful try. As he could imagine some cooler ways to die than breaking his neck falling down a mountain in the dark in Lucerne and landing in a brook (although this was a rather creative one), he decided to call it a try and go back home. After all, he wasn't exactly sure when the last train was leaving this town and a quick look on the GPS confirmed that an approach from the other side wasn't going to help, either. Google maps had shown a meadowy terrain, so Calamus made a mental note to abandon it for OSM.
He solaced himself with a cup of punch from one of the stands back in town. For some reason, multiple friends of his had - independently of each other - come to Willisau because they had "heard there was a nice market here", so Calamus had at least some funny dialogues. Unfortunately, none of them lived in Zurich, so he had to go back alone.
| Calamus earned the Cliffs of Despair consolation prize