Bis bald, Vals…

They said it would rain or snow yesterday, they said that it would be cold.  In fact, it’s been sunny and with temperatures in the 40’s and 50’s F, we’re talking ideal hiking weather amidst flocks of goats, flocks of sheep, and herds of milk cows.  Classic them vs. us re weather.

Behind the town square in Vals, up a steep lane, and then into pastures.  The church bells ring, on the quarter hour, and more bells at the top, and few people and then no people for several hours along a ridge and into a neighboring valley.

This is only my second visit to Vals, but I get it now more than the first visit.  That first visit may have been marred, eight years ago, by the recent death of my beloved dog and a hospitalization subsequent for gastric disorder.

This time around, it’s peaceful, I can hear the kloppers against the sides of bells suspended by leather around the necks of cows.

And then, too, these Zumthor-designed baths, which make one’s BP drop, it seems, and the solitude somehow of being immersed in these natural hot springs despite being surrounded by others.

The place is a marvel, in the truest sense, and it takes one out of oneself, kind of into a dreamy state, not quite soporific, but close, darn close.

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