Dwight Peck's personal Web site

Summer 2005

Jaun and the Euschelspass

We're on our way to Iffigenalp and had to drop in on Jaun for a quick look around.

You may not find this terribly rewarding unless you're included here, so this is a good time for casual and random browsers to turn back before they get too caught up in the sweep and majesty of the proceedings and can't let go.

It's 11 August 2005, and we're bound by auto for Iffigenalp by the scenic route, over the Jaunpass. As we pass up the narrow road from Gruyères and Charmey on a breezy, cloudy day, we pause in the village of Jaun (1015m) to join in the hilarity if there is any.

There's not too much hilarity, at least this afternoon, but there's this nice little chapel and . . .

. . . there's another nice chapel about 80 meters away. So it appears that nearly 10% of the structures in the village are churches. Never mind -- our eye is caught by the pleasant-looking mountains up on the horizon, so we buy a local topographical map and various foodstuffs in the grocery store and strike off for the Euschelspass on the way over the mountain towards the famous Schwarzsee.

Which way out of town, then? Ah, there they are, the famous Swiss hiking signs, pointing across the road and up to the left.

Taking a breather and looking back down this plodding sort of trail that leads up a rather claustrophobic ravine

The view across the valley is impressive when cloudfree -- that presumably is the Gastlosen (1996m) (and just behind that, the Wolfs Ort (1921m), the 'place of the wolf', which the narrator passed over annually on a long running route from Château d'Oex to Saanen back in the old days).

We're out of the ravine and onto the alpage at about 1240m and striding forcefully along towards the Euschelspass.

Near which we find a full-service restaurant at Ritzlialp (1510m), where we could, in fact, have left the car and started from here.

And on the far side of the Euschelspass (1567m) we find the homey restaurant montagnard Obere Euschels (1550m), with people enjoying a nice luncheon after having driven up from the Schwarzsee, down off to the left on the far side of the pass. So after a "pique-nique" lunch of our own, perhaps the only people here without transport, we hobble back down whence we came.

This, on the way back down to Jaun, is the Ruine Bellegarde, an early fortress/watchtower overlooking both the village and, in fact, the only route through the valley.

And it's got a pretty good view of the town and roadway, too.

Back in Jaun, Kristin hits the streets -- those are three pear trees spread out across the front of that chalet on the right.

And here's a parade of graves, all in their rows. (A little like an Orange Order parade in Belfast, but not as old and decrepit.)

What a great place to be dead!!! Each guy gets his own carved crucifix thing, but that's not all! He or she also gets an additional carving that symbolizes what he or she personally did for a métier or trade for a living. That's so great, I was envious . . . until I tried to think what on earth they'd put on mine.

Enough lugubrious reflections. We're onward to Iffigenalp for food, etc.

Iffigenalp and Rawilpass

Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 12 September 2005, revised 4 October 2008, 29 August 2014.

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