The local farmers were busy with their late summer activities as I started through the pretty village on an amble that had a final destination but no other plan.
The farmers of Knonau are cashing in. Much of the land in the village seems to have been sold for housing. Apartments for rent in large grey buildings. Stamford Brook (in Timperley) on a grander scale.
Following the smell of freshly cut grass, and using an excellent 1:25000 scale map, resulted in the squares on the map passing quickly by, despite today's lack of pedal power.
I passed signs asking for information about missing cats; buzzards wheeled overhead; some say the two are linked by more than just their mewings.
Past the evidence of a good maize harvest, into green woodland not yet touched by Autumn. Here, the distinctive yellow flowers of Touch-me-not were rampant, making a change from the Himalayan Balsam we endure at home.
The woods were full of fungi – here’s a Polyporaceae (perhaps Trametes versicolor).
Vaguely following a roundabout route towards Cham, I passed through the small hamlet of Niederroil, with its neatly rendered church and its quaint wooden houses.
Further on, past apple orchards laden with fruit, there was lots of ugly building work and roadworks at Hogendorn/Rumentikon, rendering my dogleg to that small town obsolete from the scenic angle.
Down by the River Louxe, a pleasant pathway led all the way to Cham. The tree-lined river bank was in fact an arboretum, with a huge water treatment plant on the other side of the path.
Big fish swished against the current in the area of a large paper mill below the smart Reformatory Church of Chan.
It was very pleasant by the foot of Lake Zug, where I luxuriated on the warm, sunny day, watching the workers as they snatched a quick break beside the calm waters, looking across to nearby mountains that were faint on the horizon due to the haze.
Lots of information boards detailed the history of the area and its industrial heritage, but I understood little of the (Swiss?) German script. An unkempt garden housed a sculpture - ‘Balance’ by Eva Burkey in 2000.
Strolling on past a nudist colony next to a children’s beach, a long line of bike racks led in to Zug, where an impressive building awaited.
Lunch by a children’s playground revealed many English voices – there must be a significant ex-pat community around here.
With several hours to go before meeting Nick and Daniela, I headed up a few hundred metres to the Verena Chapel. Very serene.
Then across to Blasenberg, my high point for the day at around 800 metres (the lake being at around 400 metres). Farmers were working furiously in the dimming light due to the imminent onset of rain.
Then back to Zug to wait for N and D, who are having a hard time looking for permanent rented accommodation. Swiss rules are getting them down. I was able to people-watch for some time – many English voices, and caged birds - Ibis, Kookaburra, Snowy Owls and many more kept me entertained before we all enjoyed another alfresco meal, albeit dominated by bemoaning of the difficulties of moving from Shanghai to Zug. That’s a shame, because today I had discovered a lovely area full of paths, bike trails and fine views. It should be a pleasure to live in such a place.
Here’s a Google Earth screen dump of the area. My wanderings amounted to about 20 km and 500 metres of ascent in a very leisurely 9 hours or so.
The images above are just a small selection of the many taken on this leisurely stroll. The rest are in this 68 image slideshow, should anyone be interested.