across the valley to get chased by cows!

Gryon Travel Blog

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Thursday. We are in the clouds now, with a small promise of clearing? Breakfast downstairs confirmed no other guests here, J sitting under the mounted head of a steinboch with 2 large, dark pointed antlers. A framed picture of a group staying here in Sept '06 planning the route for the Tour de France is there as well, which is of great interest to J. There is a big resevoir above us featuring the worlds steepest grade funicular 87%. Closed until 30 May. No bus up there, and French rail strike makes us think hike here for a while, then head over to the hostel in Gryon, says you can check in starting at 9am! Swiss-Australian hosts. Sun is out, and day looks very promising weatherwise! So we walk around, J is outlining his movie idea about gnomes and scared students.... a fair amount of blue skies and great mountain views change when increasing fog comes flying up from below and is all cloudy now. The 11 something train doesn't run until next month, so our driver takes us to the station at 12 noon, and we are off back down the mountain to Martigny, and as luck would have it J has the video going just as the train appears to be ready to fly off a curve down the ravine! So cool! At Martigny station, we head for a snack/grocery place and get a salad and wurst and just as we finished, our train arrives and takes us along the valley floor to Bex, where we make a perfect connection to the rack railway, thru town, 2 downhill bikers in full gear on board with their bikes, up and up and up to Gryon. We hike up the road and up a path to our hostel. Silent. It does turn out that Kevin from Guelph, Ontario is there, just hiding, checks us in, and with shoes off, go upstairs to a room with 3 bunks and it turns out we have it all to ourselves for the night! With a balcony!! So sweet, the view is magnificent and getting better. K says it's been overcast for 2 weeks, I love to hear these things! It becomes nearly all blue sky when we head out on the hike to Villars. It's so very green, shady, and cool. Love it!! Had to go around a mini-washout, and go thru a turnstyle to get across a meadow. Some "sweet cows" came out to stare at us. We stared back, against the barbed wire fence. J says to me "You know one time I got chased by a cow....if I have to, I can hop this fence. The cow stares at me, and I begin to walk away towards the exit turnstyle... then it starts walking to me, then as I run, it's charging after me. The rest of them follow! I run as fast as my legs will carry me!!! Judge leaps over the wire fence clipping only slightly his leg, but still cutting it. He says that first cow was within 15 feet of me when I got on the other side! When I was safe I quickly turned around at them and yelled loudly to all 3 chasing me! Godddd! That was exciting! We are really laughing... then J has to get back into the meadow and thru the turnstyle, but the 3 of them are bouncing all around, their cow bells clanging loudly. Then they stop and stare at me. I come back into the meadow with a white hanker-chief and taunt them. The one charges me, but race safely again away. Then the 3 stare at me, and I stomped the ground with my 2 feet and this sent the cows into a scare and ran away, so J could exit safely. This was absolutely hysterical. Continued the hike up into town. Found a big hotel with the perfect outdoor terrace that buddy David Tuck and I stopped at years ago. Had a 2 sprites for more than $9.-- oh well, the place was great. We went to a mini-grocery store and loaded up for the train ride back to Gryon. Laughed as we saw the field and cows below! Ate our 'dinner' of ham and cheeses and crackers and wine on our private patio overlooking this magnificent valley below. Cows and sheep look like dots. When no cars were moving as was often the case, only robins, a magpie and the rushing river were heard from far away. Snow-capped mountains across the way. Awesome. I drank some wine, J talks with a gal from Chicago downstairs. I get on the wireless, J uses and open one across the street until he got too cold in his shorts. A full and happy day indeed. Church bells ring. Thank Goodness for Switzerland, my all time favorite #1 country in the world.
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Gryon