• Deborah Kade

Unterseen, Switzerland Alpabzug

Updated: Oct 14, 2019

Today is the Alpabzug in Interlaken and Unterseen. I always look forward to this event!!!!

The Alpabzug celebrates a tradition, that was at one point somewhat forgotten. It is an act of recognition to the herdsman for their untiring work during the summer. The sound of cowbells and the call of the alpine farmers are coming ever closer. The cows have had their fill of the lush alpine meadows throughout the summer. It's September and the time to return home. Beautifully decorated with flowers and big bells around their necks, the cows are driven down the mountain. The cleaning and decking out of the animals is work-intensive. The work is all the better rewarded if a cheering audience awaits the return of the cows and/or goats to the village. The spectators marvel at this unusual migration. The cows couldn't care less. Soon they are back home, and the sound of the cowbells is only a memory until next year.

The parade of cows starts at the Heimwehfluhbahn, a funicular that runs to the top of the nearby Heimwehfluh hill. It ends at a farmer's field down the road about a mile from Sunny Days. The cows eat their fill of grass while those attending the event can get something to eat and drink while listening to Swiss music. It makes for a fun afternoon.

I had to move out of the way.

She was running toward me.

Floral headdresses and big clanking bells. I could hear them long before I could see them.

I had to get out of her way!

A game of chicken. I moved!

They changed the location of the field the cows usually are put in once they reach the farmer's field. This year it was close to the road.

Year after year, this cow is my favorite. I love the way she rests her head on the bell.

Think she likes to rest and pose for the camera.

This is the first year I was in position to take the group picture. There are some familiar faces and some new ones.

People enjoyed the festivities after the cows arrived at the field. The event opened at 12:00 and ended at 17:00. The cows arrived at 14:30.

They had musical entertainment, food and drinks. I love these events!!!

I took the 16:10 train to the airport to meet Michael.

His plane was three and a half hours late taking off from Phoenix. On the way from London to Phoenix, the plane was struck by lightning. It is a law it had to be inspected before it could fly back to London. They did make up some time in the air. Luckily, he was scheduled to have a long layover in London. He made the connection with only a few minutes to spare. Surprisingly, his luggage made it, too.

While walking just before the train station platform at Interlaken West, I was pushed hard from the side and fell. I put my hands out in front to cushion the fall. I wasn't hurt. That's all I was concerned about. No, it wasn't an American or Brit or a Swiss whom pushed me. I'm just lucky they didn't step on or over me. I could dodge the cows but the not this person. Oh, well.


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