A day with wild tulips, devils and national heroes

Pentecost Saturday we were up at 5 a.m., had breakfast at 5.30 and were in the car at 6 on the road to Grengiols in upper Wallis. This small village built on a steep north facing slope of the alps is the home of the only wild tulips in Switzerland and well worth a visit, best done before the crowds, hence the early hour of our departure. The light was beautiful and I found an old wooden bench overlooking the fields of flowers with a nice back drop of snowy peaks.

After a couple of hours we continued our trip east, stopped at our favourite restaurant Chez Baschi for vertically grilled calf kidneys for Dad and alpine cheese raviolis for me followed by a mango sorbet and a larch tree ice cream for desert. We loaded the car on the train taking us through the long Furka tunnel, arriving in the canton of Uri just above the famous ski resort of Andermatt.

Our first stop after Andermatt was the Devils Bridge - Die Teufelbrücke - where the Russian-Austrian army under the command of general Suvorov defeated the French army in 1799 and took the St Gotthard pass and later the same month of September reached the city of Altendorf on the Lucerne lake. This bridge has a long and rich history since it was the main connection between the original Switzerland and Italy via the St. Gotthard pass. It spans over the river Reuss and in the 12th century before the first bridge was constructed passing the river was a potentially lethal adventure. The granit walls in the Schöllenen gorge were impressively high.

Our last stop for the day was Atendorf, the capital of the canton of Uri and also the place where our national hero Wilhelm Tell lived. It's a pleasant little town surrounded by snow capped mountains. We strolled around to catch its atmosphere and then returned home along the southern shore of the lake of the four cantons, continued to Interlaken between the lakes Thun and Brienz and made it home via the Jaun pass that you have seen in several of our previous posts. We passed a dreamless night recovering for new adventures. Stay tuned!!

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