I travel 800 metres down in a service lift, then six kilometres on a rickety and noisy small train. I’m now in the belly of the mountain.
Upon arrival I receive a hard hat and special yellow jacket for journalists. A fellow journalist helps to lighten the mood. “At least you don’t have to put on boots,” he quips.
The track leading from the train stop to the cavern for the guests is muddy. Water drips down copiously. Heavy humidity and a temperature of almost 30 degrees Celsius ensure that I, too, soon have water dripping from me copiously.
The last preparations are being made in the cavern. There are wooden benches and tables, hangings and bar-style tables. It looks rather like a village party.
I walk towards the last wall that separates Amsteg from Bodio, the Sedrun miners from those of Faido – and Switzerland from its greatest feat. Then, suddenly, someone tells me off, it’s an off-limits area. I hurry away and let the workers finish their installations. I don’t want to be the one ruining the party.
Luigi Jorio, in the Sedrun tunnel, October 15, 2010