Charmey DESALPE autumn 2005

La Desalpe or la poya (In local dialect)

The des-alpe is a centuries old, probably millenary old happening whereby the herds are brought down from their summer pastures in the alps, before snowfall. It is a festive occasion where the cows are decorated from each herd and paraded through a small town called Charmey in the fribourgeois alps, near Gruyeres. The lead (or big momma) cow gets to wear a decorative head-dress and usually wears the biggest cow bell.

I've waited many years for a good weather report to go see the desalpe to take some pix and videos, and this year is it. Especially with my Mom being here too.

I reserve two rooms at the Hotel Cailler in Charmey for Friday night, as the parades start early Saturday morning. We first hear of a nice place to eat on 'radio-lac': les Collombettes near Bulle. We call and reserve a table. Indeed a very nice 'farm house style' restaurant, with very local dishes at a very reasonable price of CHF28. Here are some pix of Carol and Mom and the dishes.

The next morning we have a nice breakfast, and Mom puts on her new mountain shoes.

Click to link below for all the pictures of the cows, sheep, goats, alp-horns and just a very beautiful scenery in general.


other links: desalpe Charmey