June 13: Brunnen to Schruns, Austria

We took Dr. Guzder to the steamer at Brunnen at 7:45 AM to see her off to Luzern. She planned to spend the day there and then continue to Zurich to stay a few days with a friend there.

We returned to the campground and broke camp. Then we headed for Austria via Pfaffikon, Nafels, Sargans, Buchs, Feldkirch. This was the third time for us to travel on the road from Brunnen to Pfaffikon and we hadn't gotten clear weather yet; it was cloudy and hazy though not raining. The road to Nafels was excellent but the scenery was unexciting. From Nafels we climbed steeply on a mountain road. From the highest point on the road we caught our first view of the Walensee. From our vantage point high above it, it was very beautiful, one of the most beautiful lake views that we have had.

The rest of the route through Switzerland was uneventful. We crossed into Lichtenstein without formality since Switzerland and Lichtenstein have common currency and customs. Lichtenstein is only about 6 miles wide at the place where we crossed and this distance offered nothing spectacular.

We entered Austria near Feldkirch and made our currency change to Austrian schillings. This part of Austria looks just like Switzerland (the German-speaking part). There are many chalet-type houses scattered on the green hills among the evergreens. Snowcapped mountains back up this scene and the valleys are carpeted with high grass and wildflowers.

As in certain parts of Switzerland (Engelberg, Lauterbrunnen, ...), almost everyone you see is gathering hay. Men, women and children are in the fields racking up the freshly cut grass for drying. The grass is often cut by old-fashioned sythe - only in the bigger fields is a modern mower used. Lines of poles are placed across the fields and wire is strung between them for hay drying. The grass is piled on the several strands of wire to make a neat rack for drying.

We drove to Bludenz and down the Montafon Valley to Schruns. The Montafon is a beautiful valley with unbelievably green hills rising from the river valley. The evergreens on the mountains are sparse enough to leave patterns of green meadow which produce a very pretty scene. Snow caps beyond set the scene off.

We found a nice campsite near Schruns and decided to settle for the night. We had planned to go to St. Anton over the Arlberg Pass but were afraid that altitude would be quite cold - it was quite cool even in the Montafon valley.

Our campsite was really out in the country - about 1.5km from Schruns. We felt that we were really out among the people -not a person around the campsite spoke English. The man who runs the campsite is a farmer - he has apparently cut the hay off the campsite only recently. He asked us if we wanted milk for the evening. I told him "Eine Liter fur diese abend".We came by his barn on the way back from a walk and saw him milking his Brown Swiss cows. Later he came around on a small motorcycle with his milk can tied on his back (we have seen this several times in Switzerland). He poured out a liter of milk and charged us AS 4 (16).

On our walk around the campground we saw a lot of people working in the hay. The clover and wildflowers in the drying hay gave a very nice scent to the air. The houses are like many in Switzerland except that many of them have a concrete or plaster facade. This facade often has a crucifix or religious painting on it. Always there are fancy wooden balconies. Most of the balconies have flower boxes on them - red geraniums are the most popular flowers for the balconies.

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