Last Monday I downloaded a new app from Apple store called "Flower walks". It's one of the best and most inspiring apps among the 100+ I have since I downloaded my first one, "Egg timer" after having bought my iPhone 3 many years ago. Needless to say, I had to try one of the hikes the app suggests, knowing vaguely it might be too tough for me. I took off early from home this Ascension Day, drove 65 kms south into the canton of Wallis and then turned ENE and drove another 95 kms to end up in the small village of Grengiols, perched high above the Rhône river valley, the main road to the passes that lead east, south and north and the railroad to the Furka tunnel. While walking down to the railway station the sky filled up with paragliders. My goal was to take public transports up to Binn, a medieval village in the Binn valley and then hike back to Grengiols 17 kms to the northwest. There are many rare and protected flowers to be found along this trail, the most uncommon one being a wild yellow tulip, growing nowhere else in Switzerland. Enjoy what my Olympus camera with it's 12-100 mm f4 lens found along my route. I first took the train towards Andermatt jumping off in the village of Lax and then continued by the postal bus to Binn. The road is hardly wider than the width of the bus and the driver masterly took us through hair pin curves and dark tunnels.
The alpine meadows are similar to what you find in Sweden during midsummer but has a much denser plant life with myriads of little insects feeding off the flowers. Cows of all ages graze to give the delicate taste from the alpine meadows to their milk, cheese and butter.
Here is a small selection of flowers that I shoot along the road. Enjoy their beauty. The app that I followed gives me a detailed description of each flower and their names in Latin, German, French, Italian and English. If you are interested, download the app, it's free.
Not long before you arrive at the tulip fields you can rest in the shadow of this little chapel, accessible only by foot and drink the pure water pouring down from the mountain peaking high above.
Just before arriving at the tulip field about a km above the village of Grengiols I had to lie down to rest my aching legs and back but this hike, although tough with a vertical drop of 735 m down, followed by by 230 m up, was really worth all the effort and strain on my body. Since spring was early and warm this year, I came here one of the last days before the tulips would have withered.
My last encounter before taking my car 30 kms further ENE to one of my favourite restaurants in the upper Wallis, Baschi, for a vertically grilled calf kidney and a refreshing glass of cold beer, was this beautifully constructed Cockchafer. Stay tuned for our next adventure.