After a meeting with the structural engineer in Thun to sort out the tricky details of our pine pergola in Thun, we left for Valais in pouring rain. Wet snow at the Lötschberg – Tunnel was followed by foggy rain when we arrived in Salgesch to meet the Director of the nature reserve Pfyn-Finges.

Pfynwald im Schnee KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA 3 pc233970_simplebig Pfyn Schnee Teich

The park is known for its diverse range of species. It is home to 130 different bird species and a large variety of plants. Among them wild orchids with the endangered species of Cypripedium calceolus, and Matthiola valesiaca, which is unique to the Valais region. The church square in Varen provides a spectacular view onto the vast expanse of the Pfynforest backed by snow-covered mountains and separated by the majestic Rhône from the steep vineyards on the south side. The weather improved when we hiked along winding paths framed by delicate ferns through the hilly pine forest on our way to the quiet ponds. The sun was out again the next day and it even snowed! To show that, the Pfyn-Finges administration kindly supplied beautiful winter pictures.