Monday, 10 August 2009

Cow Fighting in Saas-Fee

On Sunday we drove far up the Valais to Saas-Fee, which is 'one valley up' from Zermatt, to see the summer cow fighting.

"Cow fighting" conjours up images of bull fighting, or cock fighting, but it is not quite so brutal a practice as that. The story goes that, in the movement of stock between the summer and winter pastures, the dominant cow must be identified, as it is this cow who will lead the herd from one place to another.

The cows are turned to face each other to match up, and then lock horns and push each other until the loser turns and runs and the winner is called.

Clearly today the event could be driven more by tourism than anything else, but certainly there was still some locals very seriously watching the matches, ticking off the victors on their game cards.

We watched this for a while, but while there is plenty of action there is also a fair amount of waiting for the cows to get interested in wrestling, and actually we aren't that into cows to start with.

So we wandered off into the wilds of Saas-Fee, or at least a small way into the woods, where we took photos of the running water and surrounding mountains, waterfalls, and glaciers above us.

We took note to return in Winter when the whole town is surrounded by snow-covered 4000m mountains.

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