Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Wallis, again

We went to visit Martin's parents this past weekend again. Martin dragged his colleague Roman with him. The weather was sunny the first day, high clouds the second, and cloudy the third. Martin claims that it is always sunny in Wallis. It is not, but it is often still beautiful nevertheless.

Stables in Gasenried, where Martin's parents live:

A walk in the environs of the village nearly always brings one to a waterway, which allows people to irrigate the pastures with glacier meltwater during the summer. This one is "driery" (sp??), meaning three-some, since it can carry "three" waters. It is the biggest waterway around, and carries water several km away.
Martin took the picture, proving that he does really sometimes use the camera and take pictures of the rest of us (I sometimes tease him that we don't have almost any pictures of me). Here, Sonja (with 'baby' in her hand) is followed by grandma, Roman, and I carry Emily in the back, breastfeeding.

Some of the rock used traditionally for roofing of houses. Those are big plates, often just an inch or two thick.

The next day we went for a walk on the opposite side of the valley. That required hiking 500 vertical meters down to the valley floor, then taking a gondola 700 vertical meters up to a village named Jungu. We had a good view of Martin's parents' village and its surrounding pastures. The "driery" waterway, where we walked the previous day, runs along the top edge of the pastures.

From Jungu we followed a hiking trail which leads to a pasture used for cows. Martin commented how for calves or sheep, people wouldn't improve the trail much, but for cows, they took some pains. We followed the stone wall for quite a while. Sonja and grandma both had walking sticks for a bit of the hike:

Jungu (Gasenried, across the valley, is in the background):

Returning to Jungu, we enjoyed a view of the stone-roofed village while waiting for the gondola to run. It runs only at 10:00, 13:00 and 16:15 most days. A person pays almost 10 franks one way unless one is local, calve 12 franks, sheep and goats 6 franks, lambs and kids (goat kids) 3 franks. No material or animal transport on sundays. Cows probably come on the hiking trail that people who are not lazy like us take.

The next day, clouds loomed low, and the white chapel in Jungu was barely visible just on the edge of clouds (tiny white rectangle near center of image):

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