Monday, June 27, 2011

Cows and Trolls

Sometimes, believe it or not, I just can’t find what I want on the internet. It kind of distresses me, but then I realize that it is time to return to the past and research stuff via the printed word. Which for me, in this case, is the travel brochure. I pick them up everywhere, so you would think that I would use them once in a while.

New Glarus, in the southern part of Wisconsin, was founded by a group of pioneers who left their hometown of Glarus, Switzerland, in 1845, due to the dismal economy at home. Within 15 years, the new settlers were doing so well that they were able to send money back home when much of “Old Glarus” was burned down in a fire. (OK, that much was on the internet.)

When you are driving around New Glarus, you will notice these statues of cows, creatively painted, standing on many street corners, in front of various businesses. What are they doing there, you ask yourself?

Well, a while back, two New Glarus business owners saw various painted cows in the airport in Zurich, Switzerland. They thought that it would be a fine idea, since they lived in an area already thick with living cows, to import some statues from Zurich. Area artists then painted the cows with appropriate designs and the New Glarus Cow Parade was born. (Information compliments of the New Glarus Wisconsin tourism publication I picked up back in 2008 when I was there.)

From the Cow Parade in New Glarus, it is an easy drive to the Trollway of Mount Horeb. If you do an online search of that, you will get many hits, and some may actually tell you the truth about how the many homely, carved trolls began gracing the street corners of this tranquil village. And unlike the snot-nosed smelly troll from Harry Potter, these trolls are generally good-natured and quiet.

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