The Cows Come Home… from summer in the mountains to their winter pastures

Something I have always wanted to see, yet never been in the right place at the right time, is the Swiss traditional arcade of the cows being brought down from the summer months on the mountains, to the lower pastures for the wintertime.

How lucky were we today to be just in the right place, at the right time, not just once but twice!

We made our way into Lauterbrunnen from the camp in plenty of time and had just started our way up the hill to the area where the parade was to start when we heard the cow bells clanging very close.

Jumping out of the way quickly and up a couple of steps to a decent vantage point it was exhilarating to watch the cows,

oldest and biggest first,

decorated in floral headdresses

and carrying their huge bells around there necks cantering down the hill

accompanied by the cowherds and their families.

On this occasion I think the pictures should tell their own story….

Later, having gone back to camp for lunch, we set off to walk along the valley

following the path of the river which was babbling and gushing its way along towards to lake Thun way below us in Interlaken.

The path then leaves the river to head back to the road, and just as we reached the crossroads we could hear the cow bells again!

Sure enough, they were being brought home along the route we were taking.

So we watched as they passed, and then followed them along the road.

Every now and again a small group obviously had reached there destination and they veered off to their winter fields, and the rest continued.

The parade was watched by lots of walkers along the road, as well as the cow all on its own in a field mooing loudly as they passed. A daddy goat up on a small hill, wagged his tail excitedly as they passed which was truly hilarious to watch and reminded us of our dog Alex when he was pleased to see us home!

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