As so often, my cameras were calling, and I had to go. I am lucky to have friends who, when not working, gladly accompany me on my excursions. “Let’s explore,” is my call to discovery. We usually end up in the mountains, hiking.
“My cameras were calling, and I had to go.”
Up here, people’s individuality and way of life are more distinct and unseen than in the city. Ski-lift stations, military bunkers, snow fences, cabins, trailer parks . . . all these structures must conform to the mountain, thus take on a distinct form, often innately optimal. Set amidst glorious nature.
I was on the road with my friend Pascal Alexander that day. We eventually arrived in Flumserberg. It was fall. Everything seemed deserted; too chilly for hikers — ski season weeks away.
Past the first ski-lift station, we stumbled on a small settlement of what appeared to be a cluster of tiny houses, built closely together. But as we approached, we realized they were trailers, some of them encased in wood. The inhabitants had added roofs, porches, sunrooms, and other elements of a permanent home. A wondrously weird place. A mix of mobile and xed installations. We had never seen anything like it. Fascinating how humankind had once more found a way to settle, in their individual ways, with such adoration for detail.
“Fascinating how humankind had once more found a way to settle, in their individual ways, with such adoration for detail.”
Walking up the hill, we came upon more trailers dotting the landscape. Because of the steep slope, the trailers needed to be raised up on scantlings, rocks, and boards to sit leveled.
The site didn’t look like a place one would (or could) haul a heavy vehicle up to. The trailers just stood there in the middle of the landscape. We strolled between the installations, not encountering a soul.
“The trailers just stood there in the middle of the landscape.”
Trailer parks are not a Swiss thing. The whole setting felt surreal; eerie yet peaceful. They call it “Paradiesli” — small paradise. An unpretentious place of freedom and independence, with breathtaking views of the Churfirsten, one of Switzerland’s most impressive mountain ranges. △
“An unpretentious place of freedom and independence.”