Monday, May 7, 2012

Gola di Lago - Part One

My first Swiss mountain hike of Spring 2012 starts in the town of Medeglia, in the little known Isone Valley of Southern Switzerland.

After our postal bus drives away, loud gunshots reverberate throughout the valley. Local donkey Emilio informs us that the members of the Capriasca Hunting Club are having a skeet shooting event at the Gola di Lago plateau.

Our plan is to hike up to Gola di Lago and over into Capriasca Valley. Local residents confirm that all trails are open and perfectly safe. That may be the case, but gunshots freak me out, so I pull my emergency brake.

Contingency plan: instead of hiking straight to Gola di Lago, we continue up the valley along the Vedeggio Creek and take the next trail up. Benefits: (1) I release my emergency brake; (2) we give the hunters a very wide berth; (3) we delay our arrival at Gola di Lago until lunch time.

"At these latitudes, everything gets put on hold at lunch time," says Dad.

Sure enough, there are no more gunshots after 12 noon. By that time, we're hiking the scenic Muricce trail.

As we finally hit Gola di Lago, the members of the Hunting Club are feasting on their 3-hour lunch.

The Capriasca Hunting Club carefully picked the location of their skeet shooting area at the Gola di Lago plateau to comply with the local laws...of acoustics.

In fact, the shooting area is on the Isone side of the plateau so that the acoustic waves from the gunshots do not spill over to the Capriasca side.

Isone valley residents probably don't mind too much because the upper section of their valley is regularly used for military drills by the Swiss army, as this sign reminds hikers.

In case you know anyone who is considering the purchase of real estate in the Isone Valley to enjoy the proverbial Swiss peace and quiet, you may wish to let them know. The date on this chapel gives passers-by another subtle reminder of the martial vocation of this gorgeous place.

Stay tuned for part two!

View Medeglia in a larger map


  1. Woof! Woof! COOL! What a cute Donkey. Lots of Golden Thanks or sharing your hike adventure. Happy Monday Mischief. Lots of Golden ALOHA n Woofs, Sugar

  2. That donkey is so cute! You go to some many exciting places

    Urban Hounds

  3. Gun shots would freak me out too; you are very wise changing your plan to arrive there later at lunch time. Did you go down to visit with the hunters and get some food and pets? That's what I would have done.

  4. You're very brave to be hiking anywhere near hunters and GUNSHOTS. And what does that sign say...don't pick up bombs??! It looks idyllic but methinks it may be A Somewhat Dangerous Place. Be careful Tootsie!

    Thanks for letting The Typist know what woten waven means. It was driving her nuts :)

  5. The signage over there cracks me up.

  6. OMD, you have to brave gunshots and bombs for your walks?! I knew you were adventurous, but you're like Super Dog!

  7. Hi Y'all,

    Stoppin' to say "hello" and see how y'all are doing.

    You're bigger than the donkey! Errr...maybe not.

    Hope you have a fantastic week!

    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  8. Another truly great hike and what a cute donkey you met!

  9. 3 hour lunch!! It looks like a wonderful hike. I liked that little donkey. Good thing he let you know about the shooting.

  10. Hey Tootsie, Jet here.

    What a beautiful hike to begin the season. Your human is so culturally intelligent to wait until lunch! Can you believe humans do that military/skeet/noisy stuff? I totally get why you put on the breaks. I would have needed a week to recuperate!

  11. An interesting walk there Tootsie. And thanks for the tip off about the acoustics!

  12. Wow that looks like it was quite a hike. I think I'd definitely obey the do not pick up bombs sign. Those short legs must be strong after all that hiking!

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