European Dream Show: On two feet…
August 26, 2009 by alexnberra
Which way? Fortunately sign posts like this guide you on the right path, telling you your elevation, direction of path, and one very cool bit of info, the estimated walking time to that specific destination, pretty cool.
Some of you who know me well are aware that hiking is not my preferred activity. In the right places, with the right people, I actually really enjoy it, though I usually don’t seek out “hiking”. It seems so slow, especially after riding a bike most of the time, why walk when you can ride… However, I do enjoy walking, especially walking in nature. To me walking is a slower, more mindful gait, taking in the surroundings with all five senses, no desired mileage, time, or route. There is plenty of good walking and hiking, which could also be terrain for trail running. In all there are over 400 kilometers of well marked, networked trails connected by alpine mountain huts where you can get five star meals and lodging.
In Switzerland they build the trails like they build the castles, to last and endure.
Big trees grow big roots to hold on to big rocks to keep everything together.
Hubert just visible crossing the bridge. Watch for Trolls! The structure to the right is a cable lift system that allows farmers and cheese makers to transport heavy loads to and from the valley floor and the high alps.
The words on this one go, "Through the woods and over the meadow to the little mountain cheese hut we go..."
We came upon this herd of cows grazing after hiking a couple hours up into the mountains. These cows get more exercise, fresh air, pure water, and organic greens than probably 80% of Americans living in the U.S. Now you see why Swiss cheese, milk, and chocolate is world famous. Cows and their bells are an icon of Switzerland. A few things to know: big cows have big bells, this means even from a distance you can tell how many Big Pappas, Big Mammas, and Little Ones there are, the bells also help farmers find cows who have wandered too far into the hills and can't find there way home; the cows are herded into the mountains at the start if summer, then brought down in a massive parade one day in September adorned with wreaths made of flowers around their necks. The sound of the bells all jangling is amazing! I have an excellent video but having trouble getting it on the site.
Views that seem like a cousin to the Cascades in the Pacific Northwest.
Lunch stop. We enjoyed a simple meal that we packed in with us, and I started to see how traditional ways of eating are still present here, boiled potatoes, hard boiled egg, a bit of fruit and some chocolate. Goes well with the rich simplicity of the mountains.
This waterfall cascaded down to some nice swimming holes where my legs found rejuventation in the icy cold water.
Some afternoon clouds wanted to join us for the last part of the hike, not to worry, the sun-spot on the hill is a subtle reminder that even the sun and the clouds know to share.
One of the steeper sections of the hike as we climb up and over a small pass, a glassy alp lake view awaits...
Green, blue, and all that's true.
Take a deep breath.
For some a hiking trail, for me it's a walking path. Dolomite stream and the sunset on my final night in Italy.