On the fourth day

September 18th, 2008

Wednesday night at dinner we decided to cancel the yoga sessions for Thursday so that we could start out early on the hike that would turn out to be the highlight of the week: a five hour (walking time) hike from Arosa to Medergen to Sapuen Dorfli (which, may I say, is the cutest Dorfli in. the. world.) to Langwies. From Langwies we would take the train back to Arosa.

Our path took us past the Stauensee

and up through the wooded hillside on the other side of the See.

Once out of the trees, we passed by an Alp. In English, when we speak of “the Alps,” we’re thinking of the of the Swiss Alps, the French Alps, the Austrain Alps. We mean the whole horizon-swallowing mountain range. In Swiss, an “Alp” refers to the summer home of sheep and cattle and the small cluster of buildings, the Alpenhutte, required for their care. So we passed by eine Alp: one woman tending one hundred and twenty eight cattle through the summer.

The cattle were friendly – a hiking trail passed through their grazing grounds, they were accustomed to people – and well-cared for and remarkably clean. It is these cattle and sheep, these summer grazing ranges, that make the Swiss mountain meadows – the Wiese – so beautiful. The cattle graze down the grasses and scrub which then allows the meadow flowers to bloom.

Our path leveled out as we headed towards the moutain village of Medergen where we ate lunch – crisp green salads from the local gardens and Bergkaese (mountain cheese) – from the cows we had just walked past.

We sat outside in the sun. We ate mountain cheese and hand-made bread and drank coffee topped with whipped cream.

We lingered too long, because it was all too perfect, and finally tightened our laces and continued on our hike with a backward glance at Medergen that had fed us so well.

Between Medergen and Sapuen we passed through Alpine meadows and saw, at a distance not worth photographing, a cluster of elk.

And then we crossed a river, passed through a field, and entered the tiny village – the Dorfli – of Sapuen. There were four children playing in front of the school when we passed through and refilled our water bottles at the village fountain though the school was closed; Sapuen is not inhabited year-round anymore.

And two minutes later we had passed through the entire village and Sapuen was behind us.

We rested one last time at the edge of a meadow, drinking our mountain water and crunching fresh sweet apples. We were about to start the climb down to Langwies, back through the woodlands, out of these high meadows and unobstructed views of the mountains. We knew we had to press on to make the train in Langwies but we were all reluctant to rise. Reluctant to say goodbye to this view.

4 Responses to “On the fourth day”

  1. kristen on September 19, 2008 12:54 am

    I love the way you are sharing this time away. The photos are stunning, and your trip sounds lovely. Enjoy!

  2. durable pigments on September 21, 2008 12:08 pm

    WOW! Absolutely gorgeous. Just love this. Sounds like an absolutely amazing day. Your photographs are beautiful!

  3. Rest at Magpie Days on February 27, 2009 12:19 pm

    […] off for a week vacation in my favorite place in Switzerland. Don’t know if I’ll be posting or not (probaby not), but stories and pictures when we […]

  4. Clara on June 21, 2011 2:59 am

    Those are wonderful picture & place I ever seen.
    several days ago I got a novel named HEIDI (popular classics)
    It explain all about the situation in Dorfli and others.
    I really interested, and today I decide to search the pictures of Dorfli, then I get this page,
    All my imagine about Dorfli like these pictures.

    <3 Thank you so much <3

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