"Hey Pop, read the sign above. Your kind isn't allowed down this alley."
"Princess, something tells me he still can't read French---or teeth---for that matter."
We must have walked this alley in Morges a dozen times before we noticed its name, Passage du Loup. I was curious how it got its name. You might think that the Swiss just really like "les loups," because we frequently hear that word whenever we're in Morges. Or you would think the name was based on some medieval story of a pack of wolves that would pass that way in the night.
Oh, how wrong you would be, Internet.
Yowza! Look at the teeth on that wolf sculputure!
After hours of researching and reading the stimulating legal documents from the town council's office, along with one small news article, it became clear:
Legalese in French is a great sleep aid.
But wait, that's not the only discovery.
It seems that the alley was granted as an easement back in 1924, but in 1946 it somehow got changed and granted as a private access between the city and the building owners. So la-de-dah, only the priveleged could use it.
Mr. Wild Dingo decides to brave the alley with his own two loups.
Well, now, isn't that a wee bit ironic, huh? Especially considering the thousands of acres of privately owned Swiss farmland legally open to the public to walk in. I can't tell you how many times I feel like I'm walking in someone's back yard but the hiking signs clearly tell me it's a right of way.
Recently in 2010, the owner of the building put up a gate so the public couldn't pass. This ticked off some folks who fought for the right of passage by foot, specifically one town citizen named Robert A. Loup, who basically argued it was a customary right to pass by foot.
So that's how Passage du Loup got its name! Next time I'm in Morges, I'm totally going to walk up and down that alley 87 times, just because I can.
Merci beaucoup M. Robert A. Loup! Votre signe roches!
Feel free to thank me for this riveting, 3-minute education in typical Swiss democracy.
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