Once upon a time

Autor Anonym
A slightly spicy aroma from various mountain herbs, blending with the fragrance of the most beautiful and colourful alpine flowers, seems more immediate and intensive with the sun standing at its midday zenith. A warm breeze can be felt, though one would never believe it looking up in the sky at the clouds racing past the mountain peaks. But that is how it is up here and belongs as much to the idyllic panorama as the tinkling of cow bells in the near distance.

In fact, all that is missing is the thoroughly head-over-heels-in-love pair flying down the slope hand in hand with their attention directed half on the ground and half deeply in the eyes of one another, nearly tumbling head-over-heels from their break-neck speed and infatuation. Ah, and there they are: they stop; he holds her tight; she is the dearest one in the whole world and he will never, ever let her go if he can help it. Now they are coming directly out of a small chapel high above on the hill. There, they lit a candle together and promised that, if they do get married, it will be here in this very romantic chapel far away from their homeland. They will not need any guests – they have each other after all.

In their sturdy hiking boots, they skirt around the cow droppings, flattening several thistles and skidding over gravelly patches here and there on their way down to the foot of the hill. And now?

Quick, inside the hotel! No, it’s not what you are thinking…for that a secluded mountain meadow with tall grass for optimum visual privacy would serve much better. No, completely wrong – now it is time for a proper snack or, as they say in these parts, a Marende! And where could be better than on the terrace of the delightful mountain hotel. Today one says, “Mountain Resort,” but the sense of well-being that is conveyed here is and remains the same. Curving as a half-circle into the landscape among larch and pine, it reminds one more of a postcard out of the 50’s than of a real building. Indeed, the construction did take place after WWII. It was a time when an enterprising gastronome had the idea that, after years of horror and hardship, there would soon grow a wish for recovery in the fresh mountain air. Especially among those who would first reach a position of security and comfort.

So was a vision realized and it manifests itself in our story through the balance of elegance and cosiness that permeates this refuge. In the mornings, the red-white window shutters are opened wide to allow the guests, hungrily making their way to the terrace, the enjoyment of being impressed with a gorgeous view consisting of royal grace and lightly sugar-coated mountain peaks. There, at a generous breakfast buffet, the guests can strengthen themselves for the day’s upcoming mountain hike.

On this very terrace, our young couple-in-love sit at a solid wooden table and delight themselves with the meal served by the baby-cheeked waitress.

Nothing is missing: a full bread basket beside a board covered with bacon, savoury sausages, cheese, butter, pickles and even radishes. From a gray ceramic pitcher with dark blue traditional patterns, a light red wine is poured. The two enjoy everything thoroughly and laugh a great deal. Suddenly, music starts to play loud, rhythmically and above all lively. Three nice looking young musicians wearing knickerbockers, Sarnerjoppe und Gamsbart (traditionally styled pants and jacket from the Sarner valley and hat with charnois beard decoration) are at work, but she only has eyes for her partner. Soon, the colourful band of musicians and guests move from the tables over to the dance floor; later, some will return to the tables or, more accurately, mount the tables. As to the exact details of how that takes place, we do not really want to know. Let us cleverly turn our attention back to our love pair.

Considerately making sure that no accidents occur to her, he twirls her around a dance floor made of boards nailed together, her dress swinging out like a plate or top. She is warm, almost hot; unaffectedly, she pulls a strand of hair away from her face, one that had escaped her rather tight pony-tail during the fervour of the fight. For both of them it could go on like this forever.

Unnoticed by them, they are being observed by several older guests. With somewhat dreamy looks on their faces, the dance of the younger couple takes them back to many memories.

After a (long) while, their thoughts return to find that the music has stopped, the terrace is nearly empty, even the wild ones on the table have since left. One last time, people return to their seats and covertly look around at everyone else – how long were they gone actually? Doesn’t matter; who cares! The waitress serves the last of the wine. Finishing his glass, one guest looks down into the valley. The emerald green of the forest seems curiously stronger than usual.

Gradually, evening comes; the breeze grows cooler and the sun hides itself more and more behind trees crowns and mountain peaks. She slips into her jacket and snuggles up to his shoulder. Their eyes are clear again.

With the mountain air notoriously making one sleepy, together with the pull of attention which they had been giving one another the entire day, they decide to go to bed. They wish everyone all around a good night and walk softly inside in the direction of the Reception, through the parlour past the tile wood oven, a timeless and eternally beautiful one by the way. The porter hands them their wrought iron key with a mild smile and wishes them a relaxing sleep. Arm in arm, they stumble up the stairs and giggle because the key doesn’t make it into the lock at first. The door opens with an old creak. The room is dark, relatively cool and calm. In the dim overhead light, they see only enough to not bump into anything. The clothes are thrown over a chair. After a quick wash-up, they fall fully exhausted into the downy soft pillows.

Beep, beep, beep – a digital sound. He wakes; it is early morning. What is going on? Where is he? He looks around and sees a simply designed room in warm tones. The red-white checkered drapes as well as the wooden chair with its carved heart backrest have given way to a minimalistic inventory of furniture. In front of him, a sleekly-designed, small bench of light-toned wood stands in front of an adobe stucco wall in warm ochre. Is he awake or dreaming? To make sure, he places his foot on the floor. His sole feels a mixture of closely woven and soft materials – unique. He turns himself that he can indeed see what he thought to be the rug. Then he remembers … what a wild party that was last night – the twentieth wedding anniversary and today the first day of vacation!

He had forgotten to turn off his cell phone alarm and must have slept more deep and long than he had in a long time.

But where is she? There she is, lying there with her hand in his. He embraces her closely, turns off the cell phone and rolls back into the bed.

It is still so early - much too early! In a few hours it will be time to make their way to the chapel.

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