Verbier. One of the top ski resorts in Switzerland, if not in the world. Here, we are high up: Mont Fort reaches 3 330 meters above sea level. Apart from well prepared slopes, Verbier attracs many off-pist skiers, whereof quite a few are dropped off by a helicopter, deliberately throwing themselves down the alps, heliskiing.

Verbier is also a stunningly beautiful alternative during summertime. Visitors treck, walk, go mountainbiking and enjoy the numerous music festivals.

But there is one thing, that certainly attracted my curiosity more than anything else, and that’s Le combat de Reines. 
For those of you speaking french, you may think this is some kind of fighting between the (non existing) queen of Switzerland and rivalling royals, but now we talk cow fighting. High level organised cow fighting. High level in the double sense, by the way, since we are in the alps.

The dark alp cattle Herens is a breed that is normally kind and passive grass eaters, but that becomes particularly aggressive before establishing internal roles and hiarchy in the herd.
And since cattle mix in new combinations both going up in the alps for summer grazing, as well as when descending, there are numerous occations for festivities with music, food such as mountain dried ham, cheese, wine and music. And, of course, cow fighting.
Cows – and owners – are dressed and decorated, parade and then fight a little to find our who is the queen, the cattle, that is. The winner – human owner – is rewarded with a hand made cow bell worth 3000$ and the honour of it all.

I havn’t yet found out the price for the winning queen, but I’m convinced she’ll get a royal treatment.

The return of the cows from their summer pastures in the mountains is yet again the cause of celebration and great parties. 

Thanks to Verberpromotion, Vanessa, ariviso74 and a few others for pictures. #visitverbier #verbier #hotelmontpelier #lottiesworld #combatdereines

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