Montag, 18. Juni 2018

To the Mountains, Part Five

In the Vicinity of the Bridges

 Because the Teufelsbrucke is a key part of a major mountain pass, it has also been the subject of defensive and offensive military strategy. The Swiss have fortifications nearby to protect it, and some tunnelling in case it gets demolished. During the Napoleonic Wars, in September 1799, when the French and the Russians were battling each other in this area, the bridge was badly damaged. The bold Russian Field Marshal Alexander Suvorov, then 70 years old, had defeated the French in Italy and was proceeding to do the same in Switzerland, with historically notable strategy in extremely difficult mountain conditions. The victory in the Devil's Bridge battle was a major point in his campaign. To this day he is memorialised and celebrated across Switzerland as a liberator from the French, even though his heroic campaign did not achieve his goal, because of lack of support from and defeats of his allies.

This is a memorial carved in to the mountainside to Suvorov and his troops at the bridge. It was sponsored by the Russians.

The base of the memorial

The memorial plaque

Tokens of appreciation are still placed here
At this very old restaurant on the switchback road to the memorial....

(restaurant to the right, memorial in cut-out of mountain, road switching back around restaurant between the two)
.... is this drink establishment named for the general. Many other places throughout Switzerland are likewise named for him.

The old road and the train bridge

This sign on the mountain explains the defensive building the Swiss have made in this area to protect the bridge and to provide alternatives to it if it should be destroyed....

....Because this river is not ford-able

The train bridge beyond the river falls

The history of the bridge and its various re-buildings.

The old pass road going around the mountain, under the new pass road tunnelling through the mountain

A group of old men hiking to the memorial

The pass road curving up the mountain – the bridges are higher up a bit

Some snow left from winter

The bridges are behind the viewer in this position  – a rugged land

On the old pass road, walking under the newer bridge

Stuff needs to be fixed – not easy in some places

Sonntag, 17. Juni 2018

To the Mountains, Part Four

The River and Bridges

Looking under the railroad bridge

Notice that the railroad track has cogs, for the mountain slopes. Notice also the story illustration with the fierce devil painted on the side of the mountain.

These are the two Teufel's Bridges, the lower being the older stone bridge, snaking around the mountain, and the upper being the newest highway bridge tunnelled through the mountain. This narrow gorge is where the original wooden bridge was built several hundred years ago.

Railroad bridge, old stone bridge, new stone bridge

Over the rushing Reuss river

Freitag, 15. Juni 2018

Story, Page Eight

Tyyfel und Bock

As the devil transported the huge rock to a spot where he could throw it down to ruin the bridge, the people of Uri looked on in dismay. Nobody could stop him. Nobody could save their bridge. No tricks would help. No one had any clever ideas.

Then around a bend behind the devil and his load they saw a little old woman walking. She was rather startled at the sight of the huge rock on someone's back, but she soon saw who the someone was. She turned as if to flee, but then noticed the bridge ahead with the rock above. Quickly she hurried to catch up to the devil carrying the rock. He didn't see her. She reached out and made the sign of the cross on the back of the rock. Instantly the devil screamed as though he had been burned. He leaped away from the Rock and disappeared off the mountain.

The rock has been sitting in the same spot thereafter, and people from everywhere have been crossing the beautiful bridge over the rushing Reuss forever after.



As with all old folk tales, this story comes in numerous versions. While the devil's terms of agreement remain consistently the same, the first soul to cross is given as a random rabbit in some versions, and a wandering dog in others, neither of which show the people as tricking the devil. In most versions the animal that crosses gets either thrown into the river or shredded by the devil, but we have the "General Audiences" version. And in all versions it is the cross that saves the day. The rock itself is still situated along the road toward town and has been saved several times from destruction - plans like being blown up to make room for a highway. Instead, some millions were spent to move it over a few feet to allow for the road and it to coexist. The original wooden bridge of the 1500's was eventually replaced by an arched stone bridge suitable for carriages, so the wooden one later rotted away after some centuries of disuse. Recently a second stone bridge suited for modern fast cars was built above the old stone bridge, so now there are two bridges crossing the rushing Reuss, which has not stopped in all these many years.

Next time: the current views of the bridges.

Donnerstag, 14. Juni 2018

Story, Page Seven

Tyyfel und Bock

Revenge! It needed to be big. So the devil found an enormous rock on the mountainside to send it crashing and smashing into the beautiful bridge.

Mittwoch, 13. Juni 2018

Story, Page Six

Tyyfel und Bock

The reason bridges exist is so they can be crossed. The people of Uri looked at the beautiful strong bridge, and they looked at each other, and they looked at the trail that the Säumer could now take to cross their sturdy bridge, and they didn't move. They had agreed to a deal and now payment was due. They had told themselves they would think of something when the time came for keeping their side of the bargain, but what would it be? A volunteer? Nobody offered. A vote for someone to sacrifice? Too hard, and it might be me. Wait for an unsuspecting soul to happen upon the bridge? Rather unethical. And again they sighed.

They were about to gather their children and dogs and baggage to disperse and think more for a good solution, when one farmer's buck goat pulled away from him and trotted down the path looking for leaves. As the farmer started after him, the buck the moved further away, and would not let himself be caught. A few others helped in the chase, but the goat then started climbing nimbly up the mountainside to keep his freedom. Even the boys couldn't scramble up the steep sides like a goat. "The devil take you....." The farmer shouted, then suddenly stopped.

So did everyone else.

The altogether they formed a semi-circle around the buck, blocking all paths but the way to the bridge. They shooed and shouted and advanced on the buck until he was at the bridge. Then the farmer ran at the buck and chased him across the bridge.

Just at the end, the devil appeared and screamed and stomped and tried to stop the buck and get the farmer to finish crossing the bridge, but the farmer turned as fast he could and ran back the other way.

The buck was more stubborn. Though he was a little frightened of all the commotion, he couldn't go back where the farmer was waiting to catch him, and this noisy creature was blocking his way, so he put down his head with its pair of mighty horns and charged. The devil leaped aside and the buck was across the bridge.

His life now belonged to the devil. This made the devil so angry at being tricked that he threw the buck at the mountainside. But that is like throwing a rabbit in a briar patch, so the buck picked himself up and lived happily ever after on the other side of the mountain, for no one would ever touch the devil's property.

But the devil roared that he would have his vengeance on the people.

Dienstag, 12. Juni 2018

LIfe Drawing and Fashion Doodles

I drew a horse outside my window. I haven't ever tried to draw a living subject that I couldn't tell to stand still before, so the head and neck is definitely one of the funkier spots, haha.

you'd think i could've gotten the fence a little better at least -- it wasn't moving at all haha

And I doodled an outfit I saw someone wearing in town last week, because it seemed like a kind of interesting idea for a character look or something. I did the digital drawing on my phone with my SketchBook Express app.

idk why it's so fadey -- maybe I saved it too quickly? or maybe the screen on my phone is way different from my computer screen?

Montag, 11. Juni 2018

Story, Page Five

Tyyfel und Bock

As soon as the Devil heard that his offer was accepted, a great clatter arose and very soon thereafter a fine, strong wooden bridge of stout beams and planks spanned the rushing river. Sturdy steps went up the arch on one side and down the arch on the other. Now it would be safe and quick to get from one side of the valley to the next.. Now the Säumer could take this route with their loads of goods. Now Uri would be a major trade route. Now some money would stop in their towns. The bridge looked good.