I like looking at veggie gardens and had good scope for doing this in the Alps. In each village, Pralognan, Grindelwald and Zernez, the paths down to the shops, cable cars or station threaded through houses and their gardens. Nearly always there was a vegetable patch, often at the front if that’s where the best sun was.
In early June it had been hot and dry in Pralognan and the gardens seemed to be slow and suffering a bit – rows of tiny forlorn lettuces, thready onions and beans only just starting to clump up. The peonies in the borders were doing well though.
About a week later in Grindlwald, the vegetables were looking much better: beans and peas were starting to climb and lettuces starting to fill out. It had been wet there for weeks. The difference was enough for me to start noticing and take photographs.
But what a surprise Zernez, on the edge of the Swiss National Park, was a week further on. The gardens were luxuriant and thriving. A patch of lettuces full and shining in the corner of a front garden,beans climbing high in a small front garden and a larger garden mixed with borders of peonies and delphiniums..
I wondered if Zernez’s gardens did better because they were on a valley floor which had better soil than the other gardens which were on sloping valley sides.
I warned you that that this was a particularly thrilling blog.
Driving down from the Flüela Pass into Zernez, I spotted this braided river in the valley below the road. We found it today, parked above and walked down to a perfect flat bottomed grassy valley with the river splitting and combining and racing downhill..
We followed for a while, and realized that you could do a walk along it for much longer than we had time for.
It would be a good walk to return to.
It’s been interesting to come to the Swiss National Park, its only one, after the strangely urban feel of Grindelwald with its trains, buses, crowds and many groomed walks.
Here the feel is much more austere and wild and unpopulated. The village is solid, with buildings standing strong and square onto the streets. You can sense the dominance of winter and the importance of shelter.
We walked to Margunet Pass on the Bearded Vulture Walk. Not a bird in sight, but magnificent paths, scenery and views. The climb was 450 metres up and we walked up to the Pass and down the other side. It took us about four and half hours.
Nearly at the top here, but photo into the sun unfortunately.
There’s a chamois in there.
At the top, we sat and ate lunch gazing over the mountains and the path leading down.
It was a beautiful path right down to the river valley below.
Once down to the river, we followed it down and down until we came back to the road at P7. It was a 500 metre path through the fir trees back up to P8 where we had started.
I’m going to add to this later. Just wanted to get images and brief account up while there’s a wifi connection.