Clavau and Sillonin Bisse Walk, Valais, Switzerland

Firstly, my sincere apologies for not posting more often recently, but the snow does hamper walking at this time of year in the Val d’Hérens.  With that in mind I decided to head down to the Rhone valley to find a suitable, snow-free, route.

I’ve posted about Bisses before but, to remind you, they are essentially watercourses or irrigation channels which were built (often in daring places) to carry water from the mountain streams to the dry fields, orchards and, as in this case, vineyards.  I selected the Bisse de Clavau, as it begins in  Sion, which I could easily reach by bus, and I could connect it up with the Bisse de Sillonin, which allowed me to drop down to the village of St Leonard to catch a train and then bus back home to Evolène.

Both bisses were built around 1450 and one has to admire the effort that must have gone in to making them.  The vineyard terracing is also a marvellous piece of human engineering.  While planning my route, I also read that there might be a stretch of the path which might not suit anyone with vertigo… (So I’m glad my mate Pete wasn’t with me!)  And I also had a surprise encounter with a tunnel, which started wide enough but it narrowed to an exit no more than 3 feet high.

As you will see from some of the pictures below, it was nice to see Spring emerging, with the flowers, a few butterflies and a couple of lizards already out warming themselves against the rocks.  I also spotted at least one Brambling, but never got a decent shot of it to post here.  My apologies also for the number of photos, but it was quite an interesting and varied route.

For more information on the 50+ bisses of the Valais, please click here.

Mike’s Music Monday #46

When I started this series I had thought about mentioning my favourite line or piece of music in each, but I decided against it, as I thought it might prove too difficult for some songs.  With this one, however, it was a no brainer… The words “She dashed by me in painted on jeans” just conjures up an image which makes me smile every time. 😊  The saxophone solo is also a classic.   What’s not to like?

Snowman Update IV

Elton, the snowman that my brother and his 2 sons built on 28th December, is still ‘standing’.  As you can see in the photos below, he’s a shadow of his former 6ft self (being only about 2 ft ‘tall’ now) and remains, defying gravity, bending over, almost impossibly, backwards.

Also, you may recall from my post on 27th January, that his head had melted away, but, remarkably, a new one seems to have appeared.  It’s held on by the slenderest of threads to the body but is supported by a short column of ice.  He’s now 47 days old, so if he’s still there on Saturday, I think we should celebrate.  😊