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Published: September 29th 2018
Winter is coming. The mornings here start at 3 degrees until the sun arrives and it gets warm. Since it was going to be another gloriously clear and sunny day we wanted to stay in the mountains and enjoy them while we could. Near here is the valley to a small town called Elm where we had stayed during our across Switzerland hike from the Foo Pass.
Irvy took us by car up the Sernf valley which is another long and narrow glacial valley with picturesque farms dotting the landscape until you reach Elm at the head. While she took a day off from us to spend time at home, we got the cable way to high up on the mountain to 2300m where the land is more sloping but still steepish. This level throughout Switzerland seems to be where most hiking trails are as we always find many options. To walk up without a cable car is exhausting just thinking about it. We noticed that there was a trail with a funny fat laughing blobby sort of creature as a theme. It turns out he is the Giant of the forest (Riesen), so we took the Riesen Trail. It
An amazing outdoor kitchen
Wood, stoves and cooking utensils were all supplied at this outdoor kitchen.
was more than we expected as it is an adventure and educational trail for families so there are stations along the way with things to do. You can view the mountains through a telescope, use a flying fox, climb platforms, walk on a rope bridge, bbq, play a xylophone on the rocks, play in huts, and cook in an outdoor kitchen. One man's job was keeping all the paths pristine and stocking the cooking areas. All of this was set amongst the towering forest. We were impressed. We also walked above this area to a view across the valley to high passes which are known historical accesses to other cantons.
Also viewable across to the far alps is a definable line in the rocks that marks the Glarus Thrust and Martin's Hole which is now a Unesco World Heritage Site of natural significance. The 16m high hole is a fascinating feature high up on top of a mountain and twice a year the sun shines directly through it and lights up the steeple on the church far below in the valley. The rock formation is special because it represents an accessible area to view a prime example of overthrusting
in a mountain building area where the rocks on top are older than those underneath.
Back down in the valley again we decided to walk down to the next town to get the bus back which meant we had about an hour to get there so we couldn't waste too much time. Through Elm we noted a huge rock and information boards about the Glarus Fault and the Hole. The huge rock was a red breccia of volcanic origin. It's point of origin was considered to be closer to the equator before continental drift and mountain building. Also in the town were notable historic buildings and a large mineral water factory. I should also mention a cat and rabbit sitting in a paddock by each other, the best of friends.
We took the trail called the Suworow Trail named after a Russian General who had to retreat from the French army in 1799 up over the Panixer Pass and thousands of his men perished in the snow. This time for us though, it was a lovely tranquil slightly downhill walk to Matt marred only by having to walk fast to catch the bus. We did arrive in time
Martin's Hole from a distance
Barely visible is a hole up the top of the far mountain. Twice a year the sun shines directly through it to the church steeple below
but we were hot, sweaty and sore of feet by the time we arrived.
From Matt we were very happy to sit on the bus and then train back to Haetzingen. It has been another very satisfying day in a beautiful area not discovered yet by tourists. Long may it live.
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