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Älpler Festival

Lenk im Simmental, Switzerland

Story by Sandro Gämperle October 21st, 2017

Welcome to the heart of the swiss alps

Lenk lies at the very rear of the Simmen valley in a wide opening. Here, the Wildstrubel massif forms one of the most beautiful valley closures in the Alps.

A processions of flower-bedecked cows, with bells, accompanied by proud dairymen return to the valley in mid-October, after a summer of grazing on high Alpine pastures. This picture arouse strong emotions. A magical power defines a successful Älplerfest. For the visitors, the coronation of Miss-Lenk is an added attraction; who will wear the crown this year?

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Four-legged Miss lenk

The worldwide famous Simmental cows are THE attraction. The four-legged animals are put in the spotlight every hour during little parades called “Zügleten”. The audience votes for Miss Lenk from a total of 25 contestants which are shown off in front of them.

The owner of the cows take meticulous care of them. They brush their tails, rub their fur with water soaked towels and some of them even patiently wait with a paper towel in their hand for the cow to relieve itself. After all, the first impression is what counts.

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Jodel

Jodeling is a form of singing which involves repeated and rapid changes of pitch between the low-pitch chest register (or "chest voice") and the high-pitch head register or falsetto.

Jodeling was used in the Central Alps by herders calling their stock or to communicate between Alpine villages. The multi-pitched "yelling" later became part of the region's traditional lore and musical expression.

It is part of the Swiss "Volksmusik" and is an integral part of the "Älplerfest". Today, there are many Jodel associations across the Swiss Alps and the tradition lives on.

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Brienzersee

At the entrance to the Simmen valley lies the Lake of Briend ("Brienzersee") surrounded by Alpine landscapes. The autumn colors are strongest during the month of October. Days are often still full of sunshine and warm. Soon though, winter's shroud of snow will turn everything into a seemingly black and white landscape.

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Lenk im Simmental, Lenk, Schweiz