But consider what awaited those of us making the trip in reverse: In the departure area, against a backdrop of Alpine scenery and Swiss and American flags, an oompah band serenaded us with relentlessly upbeat music, often accompanied by that incredibly long, traditional wooden alphorn
. Plus, hot chocolate, a variety of cheeses and a huge cake with green frosting were on offer.
And Anderson reveals that there is a direct link to the Alps through the sound of the alphorn
in its many variations.
In keeping with the passion he manifests for all talk relating to yodelling and alphorns
, he is excited to learn that in researching this piece I saw a YouTube clip of a performance of Mack the Knife by famed 'funky' alphorn
musician Eliana Burki during a gig in Hong Kong.
Swiss writers describe their instruments: in 1767 Moritz Anton Capeler wrote of the alphorns
used on Mount Pilatus, above Lucerne.
John's research turned up shofars, alphorns
, and cow horns that are either not pitched properly or not available.
Along with chocolate, gold, watches, alphorns
and yodelling, there is the common preconception of the Swiss themselves as a nation of precise but dull bankers and insurance salesman.
But his quest for different nuances also led him to experiment with such unorthodox "instruments" as the French trompes de chasse, post horns, Swiss alphorns
, Nordic lurs, various conches and seashells, and even a length of kelp he found on the beach in South Africa.
"The building has a lot of charm and is very, very strong; local musicians come to practice alphorns
in the theatre alongside the hotel and you cannot hear it in the hotel bedrooms.
The Rogue Valley Alphorns
played Alpine Cowboy by Glenesk Mortimer with the Ashland City (OR) Band in July.
15 Aug "Alphorn
concert" with 18 alphorns
at the Bergstation Diavolezza, Tel.
A fifteen-minute suite of four "sequences" for four alphorns
by Jean-Michel Defaye displays the possibilities of this folk instrument.
Apres a hard day's sledding, there's a fine fondue at Cafe du Monragnard at Chamby (021/964 3684 or 079/213 6832) - a timeless chalet the Odermatt family have run for years, complete with alphorns
and friendly (foreign) waiters decked in Swiss costumes.