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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Kade

Yes, that's snow I see outside my window

We had rain last night in Unterseen but that meant snow at the higher levels. Temps today will only reach a high of 10 C (50 F). Always nice to see snow.

This is looking out toward the Lauterbrunnen Valley from the bedroom.

Do you see the lady (ladies)? I can but Michael can't. Which team are you on?

This is the view of Schynige Platte.

This is looking in the other direction

Autumn in Switzerland begins with Swiss cow parades, the annual tradition of 350,000 cows coming down the mountains around the Alps. Swiss cows, having spent a long summer high up in the mountains, come down to the valleys for the cold winter months. Farmers and their cows come down from the mountains to great celebrations. The cows have floral crowns and their biggest, fanciest bells around their necks.

Switzerland is the country of origin of the Braunvieh,“brown cattle”. The original Braunvieh still is an original Swiss dual-purpose cow breed. This means that it is suitable for both milk and meat production. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Switzerland exported Braunvieh to the US.

As a whole, Switzerland has 1.59 million cows, or one for every five people. “Cows in Switzerland are treated better than most cows in the world, they are happy!” That was the conclusion of someone, a resident of the country known for its beautiful mountains, wide pastures and the pleasant ringing of bells announcing the whereabouts of its charismatic cows. The cow is an integral part of the Swiss landscape and an important part of its economy. Their milk goes into making Swiss chocolate and cheese and they are a tourist attraction unto themselves. I just love to hear the ringing of the bells as we hike.

Today is the day of the Alpabzug, the cows are coming down from Stechelberg to Unterseen. When the Alpine farmers leave the Alpine pastures, it becomes quite a unique experience! The cows, which are lead by their owners in traditional dress of the area, parade for 35 minutes from the Heimwehfluhbahn to the train station at Interlaken West and then through part of the small village of Unterseen and eventually to a farmer's barn at the end of Seestrasse. It is a total of about 4 kilometers or two and a half miles. There will be approximately 70 cows parading through.

Such pretty eyes and lashes.

For dinner, Michael and I met up with Fränzi and Marcel. They live in Bern but we decided to meet halfway in Thun at the Burehuus. Met Fränzi years ago when she taught a biscuit making class for all the staff and us from Sunny Days at Kambly.

The Burehuus, in the Hohmad neighborhood, dates back to 1810. They grow their own vegetables and herbs in their garden that is used at the restaurant.They believe in seasonal offerings.

"Experience top-quality Swiss cuisine in typical farmhouse surroundings. What would a farmhouse be without a farm cat? Moritz is an important part of our well-established team. His contribution is very important - he likes to greet our guests, or occupy a sunny spot on the garden bench in the afternoon." Unfortunately, there were too many people at the restaurant so the cat stayed away.

As we looked over the menu, we tried whipped guacamole in beet cups. Warm little rolls herb butter.

For starters, Marcel had the mixed salad.

Michael had the nut salad with baby spinach garnished with bacon and egg.

I had the cream of pumpkin soup with hazelnut foam.

For the main, Michael and I had the pepper venison with pearl onions. It is served with Brussel sprouts, red cabbage with chestnuts, turmeric braised apple with cranberry sauce. Spaetzli is served on the side. The venison tasted like beef.

Marcel and Fränzi had the vegetarian version with a wine poached pear and spaetzli.

Nice bottle of red wine. We had the white wine from this winery as we waited for our table.

We were too full for desserts. Of course, we forgot to take a picture of the four of us.

Another wonderful day comes to a close.

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