Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Heeding the Call - Jodelerfest 2014, Davos-Klosters Switzerland

High in the Grison Alps of Eastern Switzerland lies Davos-Klosters.  Sitting at 5,120 feet (1,560 m), it is the highest city in all of Europe.  It is also quite posh as a famous ski resort (allegedly the UK royal family vacations here and taught the young royals to ski upon the slopes) and is host to the World Economic Forum's yearly meeting - so you can bet that a piece of bread and a wiener are going to run you about 15 CHF.

Despite the steep price tag, Davos is charming - any Swiss town that has Edelweiss growing everywhere is bound to melt my heart.  This year Davos had something even more special to me.


I honestly can't get enough of the yodel.  So this past weekend we trekked up to Davos to see Jodelfest, the Swiss national yodeling festival, which is held every three years in a different city of Switzerland and attracts enthusiasts from all over the world.  See the short video below for some photo highlights of this year's fest:

The traditional alpine yodeling of this region of Switzerland is much different than the faster, adapted Western yodeling made famous by Roy Rogers and American country singers.  The songs are slower, with intricate and sometimes haunting melodies about the beauty of the mountains, the coming a spring and life.  They are almost hymn-like in nature and part of this year's competition was held in the klosters.  

And it is a lot of work, as one can see here by the need for spontaneous napping.  Napping is something that the Swiss are champs at and one regularly sees folks catching a few winks in parks.  We heard a very good story from one woman about a man she knew who had been hiking in the forest and decided to have a quick nap, only to find that he had slept through the evening and awoke amongst a sounder of wild boars.  

Perhaps the naps are brought on by the delicious and plentiful supply of milk, a favored drink of the festival.  After enjoying a few glasses ourselves, a nap among the Edelweiss was a tempting prospect.

As we traveled back to Baden, we wondered about the different types of yodeling.  Here are two interesting examples that I linked here to share.  The first is Franzl Lang - THE Jodelerkönig from Bavaria who truly rocks that peppy Oktoberfest sound.  Plus, his jaunty dance moves are second to none.  He is the yodeler to know, for those in the know.

The second is the Dutch progressive rock band, Focus, from the 1970s that yodels like no one ever yodeled before.  Enjoy!