Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Swiss Silliness

The Swiss can be perceived as a serious people who are most concerned with rules and punctuality. From what I can see, there is truth to that, but they also have a very silly side exhibiting a "joie de vivre". Oops, French again. I should say "Lebensfreude". Gorgeous autumn days are perfect for festivals involving pumpkins and cows. The first was the Pumpkin Regatta held next to a farm in Seegräben.

Jucker Farm

We arrived at the farm well in advance of the race leaving us plenty of time to explore. Not surprisingly, their decorations were made from members of the squash family.

not exactly a player piano, but there was music coming from inside!

beautiful spot
This was advertised as a regatta which is a boat race, right? We didn't come early enough to see the pumpkins morph into boats, but here are some before they were launched.

pumpkin iceberg with Titanic

one of the three frogs

dinosaur egg

The event was free. I'm sure they were counting on people buying food to eat there and/or take home. We did both. One lunch option was to buy a wurst or two and cook them yourself. We opted for the others that they cooked. Since it was pumpkin themed, I had to try some of the pumpkin soup which was warmed in the pot over an open fire. I met pumpkin seed oil for the first time. A few drops of that added to the soup is delicious.

I wonder if anyone knows how many pumpkins (even to the nearest hundred) and other squash were for sale or used in the displays. It was impressive! We bought a few squash and a bottle of pumpkin seed oil. 
these look like geese!

for carving

there isn't only one color of spaghetti squash!
They even had pumpkin flavored prosecco. Without free samples, we didn't buy any. Sounds a bit odd and frightening to me!

Sometime, probably while we were having lunch, the boats were taken down to the water.  (another pretty spot in Switzerland) Eventually the paddlers arrived, each with a helper. Getting into the boats was no easy task!

getting in without capsizing deserves a prize
rescue boat - just in case

on your mark,

race is underway

heading toward the finish line


Last year we discovered the annual "Kuhrennen" (cow running or cow race) while Karen and Colleen were visiting us. With fabulous weather predicted, we opted to go again and bring some friends along to share in an amusing afternoon. We knew the scenery would not disappoint.
cable car ride up to Flumserberg
I'm with Marisel, another American transplant

plenty of other folks came

Spectacular - does it get better than this?

We took a short walk up for these views. It was fun to look down on the "race track".

This year's festivities included a parade of tractors. Why? Who knows? 

These cows are innocently chewing away. Do you think they have any idea what is about to happen? 
this rider has a camera on her helmet!


Some cows needed much more encouragement than others.

nice helmet
Nope, I'm not doing that.

This cow's rider gave up and got off - the cow walked in the opposite direction of the race! What a hoot! 

After the race, we were treated to a short performance by some alphorn players. I still haven't had a chance to try one, but I hope to while we're here.

These are very big bells with harnesses for human carriers! Signaling the start of the race, the bells were carried and we could hear them. Because of the topography, we couldn't see exactly where they were going. On the way home, we saw them collecting the bells possibly to take home. 

recognize us?

Fred and Marisel

It's nice to know that the Swiss don't always take themselves too seriously. Their special events make for very entertaining outings for us.