Hiking around Waegi Valley Lake
Innerthal, Switzerland  (July, 2008)
Elisabeth and Migg are among our favorite hiking partners.  Both are retired from demanding careers and now derive
great pleasure from exploring their homeland on foot, discovering hidden corners that somehow eluded them during a
lifetime of hard work and busy schedules.  Wandering the hills and valleys of picturesque Switzerland is a healthy and
relatively inexpensive hobby, requiring little more than a good pair of walking shoes, a waterproof knapsack, and a few
coins for lunch or a cup of coffee underway.  Once or twice per year, Elisabeth and Migg ask Irmi and me to join them.
One refreshingly cool day in early July, the four of us hiked around the Waegitalersee (Vay-gee Valley Lake), an idyllic
little farming area an hour's drive from Zürich.  The place might seem lost in the 19th century, were it not for a few odd
electric wires strung on old wooden poles or an occasional automobile passing through town on the single paved road.
Sometimes, engulfed in the sounds of civilization, it is easy to forget the therapeutic value of silence.  Once on the lake
shore, walking at a brisk pace, nothing need be said; no need to fill the air with noise, just to remind the others of your
presence.  They know you're there.  The birds know you're there.  Just inhale the moment and soak up the stillness.
We circled completely around the lake, covering 13 kilometers (8 miles) in just under three-and-a-half hours, with two
leisure coffee breaks along the way at small rustic restaurants offering outdoor seating areas overlooking the water.
The weather turned misty and overcast, but that came as welcome relief from the grueling heat and bright sunshine of
the preceding week.  Luckily, Irmi's camera lens found sufficient daylight to capture lovely Waegi Valley in all its glory.
The start point.  L to R:  Elisabeth, Migg, and Irmi.
Small vacation cabin along the way -- neat as a pin.
Quiet, secluded, nearly uninhabited.
Coffee time on a terrace restaurant.  Ron's hat on a fence post.
Old farm house perched on a slope at the water's edge.
Same house as previous, having passed by and now looking back.
Old barn in the distance.
Same barn as previous, having twisted the zoom lens.
About halfway around the lake now.
Same spot as previous photo, having turned 180 degrees to view ground already covered.
This is a full-time resident, taking stock of us as we pass by.
In a small country, every available square meter of land is cultivated. 
After our second stop for coffee, we walked two hundred meters and passed this old shed. 
(Ron and Elisabeth, ahead of the others, deep in conversation.)
A quiet weekend with only a couple of fishing boats on the lake.  The water is like glass. 
Migg and Ron, soaking up the stillness.  (The bridge appears to have been build in the 1930's.)
Ron and Irmi, about to head beyond the boats in back.
Small flotilla of local boats.  No marina here.  Owners row out to their craft in a dinghy. 
Almost at the end.  Our car is parked around the bend to the left and half a kilometer beyond. 

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