Running of the Cows...Swiss Style

Gryon Travel Blog

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Finhaut to Gryon Switzerland: 5/22/08

            We headed back down the cliff edge railroad with our heads out the window looking down to the valley floor. Many times it appears as if the train is going to go straight off the tracks as it comes to a curve. After that fun ride down from Finhaut we grabbed a quick bite to eat at the Martigny rail station. Next stop was Bex where we jumped on to a narrow gauge rack train. On the train were two downhill mountain bikers with their bikes. The bikes were coated with nice fresh mud, the kind that gives optimal traction when downhilling. I was so envious of them; would have paid some good money to have had my bike there with all my gear. There were quite a few other downhillers that the train picked up along the way up to our stop, Gryon. Also along the way we passed four carts for peoples snowboards and skis; looks like this place gets a lot of people during the winter months. I wish we had a nice train system like this back in Utah up to all the resorts!

At Gryon we are staying in a nice hostel called the Chalet Martin; reminded me very much of Walters place in Gimmelwald. It is an old wooden building with creaky floors and lots of character. When walking in, one must leave their shoes/boots in a little room before entering the hostel. After seeing some of the boots of peoples once they have been out on hikes I can see why they require people to do this. Our room is a 6 bed room with bunks. Dave and I have it all to ourselves; we have a great balcony that looks right across the valley to some incredible mountains. Just as we were arriving the clouds were beginning to break and the sun was coming out. The guy at the hostel told us it has been nothing but clouds for the last few weeks. So far on this trip we have brought fairly good weather with us everywhere we have gone. I took a top bunk next to a small window so I could lie in bed and look out over the valley. What a view this would be on a cold winter night during a snowstorm. Every half hour the church bells from bellow us ring out.

It was now time for a good hike! We walked up the road parallel to the train tracks then headed off into the forest to take a trail to Villars. At one part during the trail we had to scamper around a landslide that had taken place recently. We then came across a meadow with three cows in it. To walk through the meadow we had to go through turnstiles near the gates. The view behind us was amazing so I pulled out my camera from my pack and snapped off a few shots. While doing this one of the cows slowly walked our way checking us out. All of them had cowbells on, so it was not too hard to hear that they were coming up to us. While I was taking the pictures I told Dave about a time that my buddy Beavis and I got chased by cows while we were biking down in BrianHead Utah . Right after telling Dave this he decided he would begin walking towards the gate at the other side of the meadow, I told him I was fine and would just jump the fence next to me if need be. No sooner did I say that, all three cows charged us. With my pack over one shoulder and camera in one hand I made a flying leap over the fence, landing on my feat I had enough time to turn around and watch Dave run for his life as the first cow charged him. The other two that came after me were now in hot pursuit of Dave. If there would have been 5 more yards for Dave to run he would not have made it; he crashed through the turnstile turning around in time to yell at the three cows as they came skidding to a halt. I made some mountain lion sounds and the cows ran off; Dave walked back into the meadow with his hanky out playing like a matador. Within a blink of an eye the head cow came charging back at Dave as he dove for the turnstile for the second time. I then headed back to the first turnstile and plotted my path around the cows and to the safety of the second turnstile. With the three cows eyeing me I made a mad dash for the turnstile just as they got up the nerve to make one final charge. I turned around stomping the ground yelling and sent them running. The rest of the hike was very calm compared to being chase by three cows! There was not much going on up at Villars; we stopped at a hotel and had a drink out on the back deck in the sun. We headed back to the hostel to have some dinner out on the balcony. I then headed up the road with my laptop to try to log on to an unsecured wireless network. The hostel had wifi, but was charging 10chf for an hour. Sure enough I was able to log on to the unsecured network and send some e-mails while getting caught up with things. While on the hike up to Villars we walked past this house which had a Tibet flag on the outside and I just had a hunch that they would have an unsecured network. I had checked with my wifi detector and I was correct. Sitting on some steps near the road I had a great view of the mountains, what a backdrop for doing some e-mailing! The road is very quiet during the day so as the sun set and dusk settled in I found myself all alone with not a soul around. I was talking with a friend on MSN messenger telling her about the cow chasing incident, when right behind me I heard what sounded like a dog walking down the road. I turned around to see what appeared to be a smaller dog but in fact it was a red fox!! He paid little attention to me since I was out of his sightline and making no movement or noise. I watched as he walked down the street then took a walking path down to the city; I was no more than 10 feet away from him.

Returning to the hostel I crawled into bed looking out over the city bellow from my perch, I said goodnight and fell fast asleep. There is no better sleep than a nice nights rest up in the mountains.  

Tomorrow we are off to Solothurn Switzerland .

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