An Interesting Day in SwitzerlandSeptember 19, 2017 in Switzerland
Where - Still in the Swiss Alps
Weather - some showers
From Brienz we drove further east into Switzerland and out was an interesting drive to say the least. In one small village the traffic came to a standstill and nobody was going anywhere for about an hour or so. Being the end of summer, it was time bring the cows down for the winter. The ceremonies, known as Alpabzug, Alpabfahrt or the Desalpe (depending on what part of Switzerland you are in - French, German or perhaps Italian influenced) and the farmers and cowherders often dress up in traditional dress and the cows are decorated with flower garlands and a great big cowbell is strapped around their necks. The bigger the bell is a bit of a status symbol and would possibly indicate a wealthier farmer. They walk the cows down through the village and all traffic stops until it is done. It all seemed a bit strange but it was a spectacle. I think the huge bells are only for the ceremony and I would hope they are removed when they arrive at their winter home as these constantly clanging bells would be very annoying to the cows. In fact, many cows do wear bells while they are up in the mountains (so they can be found when it comes to herding?), because you could always hear cowbells wherever you went.
After our encounter with the cow parade, we drove through a mountain pass called Furkerstrasse which had an incredible number of twists and turns and hairpin bends we have ever been on. Brad said he enjoyed driving along this road. (Check the photo)
We stopped beside the road for a bite to eat and would you believe it - there was a Heilan Coo (Highland Cow) that we saw in Scotland but could not get a photo of. Here was one in Switzerland - sporting a large cowbell which I don't think the Scottish highland cows wear bells but we will pretend this is one from Scotland.
Our Airbnb accommodation had fantastic views and lovely gardens complete with a large fish pond filled with Koi carp. They also had 3 boisterous Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs that would just about knock you over if you were not careful. From Switzerland we will make our way back to Paris.Read more