The catte drive to alpine Pastures


It is a ceremony: in early summer, the cows are driven up to the Alpine pastures around the Säntis; in the autumn, they return: Alpaufzug and Alpabfahrt, the drive up and the return drive, respectively. In the Appenzellerland, this has remained a special day, with the herdsman in their Sunday best and the cows groomed. Elsewhere, the cattle are transported by truck; here, age-old rules for the drive to and from the Alpine pastures apply: with children and goats at the head, and the dairy-equipment cart bringing up the rear. The time between the drive up and the drive down is characterised by hard work: milking, mucking out, making cheese, milking, mucking out, making butter – until there is no grass left. This picture book displays the life of the herdsmen, the dignity of the early-morning drive up, everyday life in an Alpine cheesery, and the insistence on ceremony on the drive down, regardless of rain and fog.