"There is an energy here, you will feel it. You will fly up the trail."
Gion Fluregn Grischott told me this last night. But he wasn’t talking about the huge hydropower dam he’d just taken me inside of. He was pointing to a place on the map about two kilometers away, beside the trail I’d be hiking in the morning. There, at an alp age called Ganda Nera, is a large stone with holes drilled into it. I’m sitting on this stone now. The holes were chiselled somewhere between four and five thousand years ago and seem to be a seasonal sun dial. Place sticks in the holes and the shadows will fall to tell you whether the solstice is coming or past, and other seasonal changes ancient peoples needed to know.
It seems there are a number of such places in this extended region. They’ve been measured and catalogued and diagrammed and analyzed, and they match the patterns of Stonehenge and other ancient places where they needed to keep track of the seasons. This makes sense, as the sun moves the same wherever you are.
So, do I feel energy? Yes, I do. It also must be said that I had a lot of coffee this morning back at the dam, where Gion had offered that I could spend the night in the main building. And Gion is bringing my pack by car to Splügenpass, allowing me to hike unencumbered all day. Furthermore, his wife is currently buying groceries to put in my pack for the coming week of remote hiking. So yes, I’m feeling many kinds of energy right now, all of them good.
Later this afternoon or evening I’ll share some of what I learned from Gion about hydropower in Switzerland and this dam in particular. He answered some questions I’ve had for a long time. But for now I just wanted to share the story of this powerful rock.