Whenever I drive toward Gruyères, I think "I feel like I'm in Switzerland." I know, it's a rediculous thought, being that I actually am in Switzerland. But it's true. The rolling green hills, the cows and the looming Alps just smack you in the face with an overwhelming feeling of Swiss-ness.
Last week, my friend Sylvie, and her beagle Mona took us on a hike in her old stomping grounds in Sorrens, in the canton of Fribourg. Forestier de Gibloux was one of her usual hikes and that view behind the dogs was right out her kitchen window.
The forest was filled with nobody. Not a single soul for miles.
Which meant the cracker could be as crackerier as he'd like.
And the criminal could hunt and shop for prey until she grew weary.
Oddly enough, this place made the cracker completely zen. I've never seen him so comfortable, relaxed and at ease. Getting there in the car was another story but once he was out, it was as if he was hit with happy ions.
For reasons only a canine would understand, the first time Mona the beagle ever met the cracker and the criminal, it was instant friendship. As an older lady, Mona set her boundaries pretty early on and both Juno and Loki respect them. And each time she sees them, it's pure canine love. Mona and her mom Sylvie have become weekly hiking pals. We feel so lucky to have them as friends who show us fabulous areas to hike!
Ask any Swiss if they enjoy drinking (alcohol) and they will vehemently deny it and insist that they never partake. Go to a party and the wine is flowing generously and their glasses are topped off all night long. So seeing a sign for a "Buvette" in the middle of East Bumble Chuck on a remote walking trail fills me with all sorts of sarcasm and humor.
Water fountains flowing with clean mountain water are found throughout the mountain trails. This one celebrates the last woman in the canton executed for being a witch.
The mountain we were hiking is considered a Baby Alp, but it has plenty of views of the big Alps.
The cracker hurries us along to catch up with the criminal who never stops shopping for fresh delicious mountain snacks.
The landscape takes my breath away. As I realize where I am.