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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Kade

Rain, rain, please go away...have to change our plans again today!

Plans today were to take us to the "Chästeilet" in the Justistal. Each year in September the farmers of the Justistal gather together on the day of the cattle drive when the cows descend from the summer mountain pastures. In the idyllic valley above Sigriswil, they divide up and distribute the mountain cheese according to a centuries-old custom. I love this event but I wasn't going to stand in the rain and cold.

The sun did come out for a little while so we decided to walk the main street area of Interlaken. Luckily, we made it back before the storm came. We have noticed most of the storms come from the direction of Thun.

Michael and I decided to stop at the Woodpecker and see if Gabriela and Felix were there. We learned something new about the Harder Kulm we never noticed or knew about: the Harder Man and Harder Woman. Can you find them?

Gabriela also carved these smaller masks of the man and the woman. The large masks are worn at the beginning of the new year to ward off bad spirits. Look at the two smaller carvings of the Harder Man and the Harder Woman, then go back and look at the stone of the Harder Kulm. Gabriela showed us a book about these mask carvings. Her father had carved many of these marks, too.

If you look closely, you can spot two women. I could see the two women when Gabriela pointed them out.

Information about the Woodpecker shop.

The Woodpecker has "sculptures and figures, clocks, boards and Stabellen (chairs) with ornaments/inscriptions. You can find all this and much more in the studio/sales shop on Marktgasse in Interlaken."

Michael and I have purchased two large angels and a Madonna with child that Gabriela has carved. We love the pieces!!!

"We would also be happy to advise you if you would like an exclusively carved piece according to an individual design or if you have a tree in your own garden that you would like to have transformed into a work of art instead of felling. Just give us a call or drop by."

Michael and I had a commissioned piece of a fox for my sister and her husband. Beautiful piece!!

Here is Gabriela's career information.

"Inspired by the work of her father, the wood sculptor Alfred Schild, Gabriela began her training at the Schnitzlerschule in Brienz in 1987, which she completed in 1991. Immediately afterwards, she had the opportunity to gain experience as an ice sculptor at Odermatt Enterprise in Houston, Texas for two years. Immediately after her return from the United States in 1993, Gabriela Schild took over her father's business in Interlaken. Since then she has created countless works and further developed her own personal style.

From 1998, the company Woodpecker Holzschnitzereien was strengthened by Felix Schweizer. As a career changer, he took on work in the administrative area (purchasing/sales and the Internet) and specialized in freelance turning and laser engraving."

So many spider webs here. Love how the designs show in the sunlight and in the rain.

One big spider!

For all the years we have been in this house, there has always been a spiderweb hanging from the lamp post in front. Even the heavy rain right now hasn't disturbed the web.

This came up on Michael's Facebook page today so I thought I would share it. It came complete with music and everything. I laughed and I can't wait to hear back comments.

Tonight, Michael and I had dinner with Käthi at her apartment. We had such a lovely time. It was a perfect evening!!

I forgot to take pictures of the appetizers and the cream of pumpkin soup. I asked for this recipe!!!! This soup is a favorite of ours. Michael and I were very happy to have a roll to get every drop from the bowl.

We had a typical Swiss meal. Delicious!!!

Monthly cheese assortment from the region.

Käthi explains how you eat the cheese and the potatoes along with the salad, egg, etc. The garlic sauce was so very tasty!!!!! Asked how to make the sauce, too. It would go so well with many things. It is made from natural plain yoghurt, pressed garlic, a little mustard, and chives. Delicious over the potatoes. The salad greens were from her sister's garden.

Wonderful assortment of both hard and soft cheese.

Carrot cake and tea for dessert.

Käthi and me in front of a picture of Wengen in the snow. It means something to us as this was where we met many years ago.

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