29 November, 2007

A walk along Waegitalersee

From Wikipedia:
Wägitalersee is an artificial lake in Wägital, a valley in the canton of Schwyz, Swizterland. The lake is surrounded by the mountains Gross Aubrig, Fluebrig, Zindlenspitz, Brünnelistock and Bockmattli. The reservoir is located in the municipality of Innerthal. The primary economical purpose of the Wägitalersee is to serve as reservoir for pumped-storage hydro-electricity. The power became operational in 1924, thereby creating the Wägitalersee.

Phew, that's Wikipedia out of the way. Let's get down to business.

The Swiss people take their outdoor activities very seriously. You'll find them doing some kind of sports even when it's raining or snowing. The masses like cycling, jogging, hiking and such activities. The dare-devils go for snowboarding, skiing, sailing, hand-gliding etc. This kind of Swiss mentality has a positive effect on us. Come on, even our retired neighbours are riding their mountain bikes every now and then, and they look as fit as bull fighters (OK, maybe not quite there yet).

Therefore we make a point to get out of our house on weekend. We usually go for a long walk. That's how we ended up in Innerthal on a Sunday afternoon. As you've noticed from Wikipedia above, Wägitalersee (Wägitaler Lake) is an artificial lake located in Innerthal.

Our aim was quite ambitious. We wanted to walk round the lake. We reckoned it might take about 3 hours. 3 hours? With Petty pushing Piggy in a baby stroller? And Bearbear? He's only four and a half years old. And what about me? I just gave birth to Piggy 7 months ago. According to Chinese custom, women who have just given birth should be pampered and treated like gold. Moreover, I gave birth to Piggy in the year of the Golden Pig. It's not just any pig, it's THE GOLDEN PIG! In Chinese lunar calendar, this can only happen once every 60 years! (According to Korean calendar, this happens only once in 600 years!) OK, I'm getting out of track here. But the point I am making is, I shouldn't be walking for 3 hours in this cold weather in my post-natal condition. But then, Petty was very persistent. He is the typical Swiss who rants about, yeah, a bit of exercise won't do you no harm dear, bla bla bla. In the end I gave in. Exercise can do us no harm. Period.

Innerthal is a very small village with a tiny population of 200. In 1924, the old village of Innerthal was flooded when the dam Schräh was constructed. A new village was then built along the current lake.

There were many plane trees along the lake. In winter time, all their leaves fell off but they were still standing strong in the bitter cold weather.

I found the weather extremely cold that day. I was walking, step by step, grinding my teeth along the way. Petty was giving encouragement of some sort: Hey, if we can walk round the whole lake, I'll treat you lot to pork fillets at the nearby restaurant!

To hell with his pork fillets! I was feeling so cold I couldn't even bring myself to eat a piece of dragon fillet!

Luckily a girl friend of mine came along with us. She was so well prepared for this walking trip. She lent me her woollen hat. She even let me use her hand phone to take all the pictures I have posted here. Lovely, aren't they?

This time last year Wägitalersee was frozen but look at it now - sunshine was plentiful here. It makes me wonder - could it be that global warming has already had an effect on this part of Switzerland?

Take a look at the colours on this photo above - the contrast of white snow against a backdrop of blue sky is just magnificent.

When I moved the lens a bit further away from the mountain, now, now you'll get to see the Swiss flag in the corner of the picture above.

The Swiss, I must say, are extremely proud of their tiny country. This winter wonderland is like a country girl with great natural beauty. That's why her people are so willingly flying her flags to show that they are truly proud to be Swiss.

We didn't manage to walk round Wägitalersee that day. And yet Petty still took us to the restaurant for a very delicious lunch of perch fillets.

This husband is not bad after all.