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Wednesday, June 12: Day 51 – The Happy Hiker

We learned that there are easy hiking trails marked in yellow with the word Wanderweg. It means Hiking Trail. These yellow signs, affectionately called the Granny Trails by the locals, often lists how many minutes to the destination. Unfortunately, these did not.

Together with the Wanderweg signs, this trail map and Google maps on our smart phones, we can use triangulation to confirm that we are…LOST!

Can you find Rob in the picture below?

But there is so much to see and with no deadlines, we just go with it and here is what we see.

Flora

Fauna

Cows

This animal need a special heading as Switzerland has a huge population of cows.

Please note the “orthodontic” work on the horns. We saw many versions of this. Apparently, you would not want the cow to grow up with unattractive crooked horns.

When we had arrived in Schwarzenburg, we found a park bench in order to sit down and eat our packed lunch. We saw several elderly people sitting outside as well. It turns out that we were at the Alzheimer’s unit. They didn’t seem to mind our presence but they didn’t talk much either. I tried to say goodbye but I couldn’t quite remember the words (now who is having memory issues?). I said “Auf Weiderstein” which was the name of my grade school principal. I didn’t get a response but more a puzzled look. I consulted Google Translate and learned that it translated as “on a stone”.

When out on a hike, there is always a weird sign or ironic request. Rob and I are out in the middle of nowhere and there is a green receptacle with plastic bags requesting that dog poop is to be removed, put in the bag, and tossed into the receptacle. No dogs around. But I asked, “What about all this cow poop?”

The Wonderful People of Switzerland

The Swiss love bells.

They come in all shapes and sizes.

Small bells are for the calves.

Here is a musical group: The Bovine Five

And, if course, there is the five minutes of the church bell ringing at 5am to let the farmers know that it is time to milk the cows and then again, another five minutes at 11:00 to let them know that it is lunchtime.

(I humbly ask: Aren’t the Swiss known for their watches??)

The Swiss are very neat and orderly.

At mealtimes, our place setting is simply and beautifully designed with great attention to detail. If you are having this dish, you are given this utensil and the other non-essential utensil is removed. This continues throughout the meal and includes China and glassware.

We are welcomed and a candle is lit. We are then given a small bite as a greeting from the kitchen.

The houses closely resemble gingerbread houses.

The farms are so tidy.

We came across a cemetery and noted that the dead are buried in chronological order.

Language

The Swiss are very smart!

They speak four languages in Switzterland and none of them are English! The official languages are German, French, Italian and Romansh.

Romansh is spoken in the southwest region of Switzerland and is known as the language closest to spoken Latin. My daughter, Elle Correll, is a linguist. Her husband took Latin in school. She teases him that he learned a useless language for communicating today.

William Correll, I have found your people. Romansh language is for you!

Final thought: When you go to rural anywhere, you don’t see hoards of tourists. It is quiet, peaceful, and restful.

Goodbye, Guggisberg! We will miss you!

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