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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Kade


Cows and other farm animals are often brought to the alp in the summer months to graze on the lush pastures. The reason for this is that the forage on the alpine pastures is richer and more nutritious than the grass on the lower pastures. Many herbs, grasses and flowers grow up there, which the cows like to eat and play an important role in milk production. By eating fresh grass on the alp, the cows also produce milk with a special flavor that varies depending on the region and is sold as "Alpkäse" or "Alpmilch".

After the cows pass by, some people follow to the festival. There is music, cheese for sale, and food to eat.

When the weather gets worse in autumn and the grass on the Alpine pastures becomes sparser, the farmers or shepherdesses bring the animals back to the valley. The movement of cows in autumn is known as the “Alpabzug” and is often accompanied by a festival.

Alpine descents are traditional and often very celebratory events that take place every autumn in many mountain regions of Switzerland. The dairymen return with their cows and other farm animals from the alp to the valley. The animals are decorated and people often wear traditional clothing. For families, visiting an Alpabzug can be an exciting and interesting experience for several reasons:

  • Culture and tradition : Alpine descents are part of the regional culture and tradition in many Alpine regions. Visitors can gain an insight into local culture, music and history.

  • Animals: Many children find it fascinating to watch animals. When going to the Alps there are not only cows but also often other animals such as goats, sheep and pigs.

  • Colorful: The animals and people are often festively decorated, which creates a colorful and picturesque picture.

  • Culinary offer: Alpine retreats are often accompanied by festivals and markets where regional products such as cheese and sausage are offered. It is a wonderful opportunity to get to know the region's culinary specialties.

Sixty cows decorated with flowers moved from Wilderswil through Interlaken to the Wydihof in Unterseen. A farm festival and cheese sale took place there.

From 12 p.m. Alpine departure festival at the Wydihof with festival restaurant and cheese sale

Cows marching times:

1.30 p.m. Heimwehfluhbahn

1.40 p.m. Interlaken West train station

1.50 p.m. Seestrasse Unterseen

2.05 p.m. Arrival at Wydihof, Seestrasse 101 Unterseen

It started to rain but the cows didn't seem to mind.

Could that be a rainbow on the ground?

You can buy cheese, milk, and eggs.

There are so many bee hives! Without bees, the availability and diversity of fresh produce would decline substantially, and human nutrition would likely suffer. Crops that would not be cost-effective to hand- or robot-pollinate would likely be lost or persist only with the dedication of human hobbyists.

New snow at the higher elevations. Happy we only had a passing shower. It is going to be a cold night!

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