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Not a place, but a very special state of mind.

I first experienced it in 1989, in the autumn afternoon sunshine, high in the Bernina Range of Switzerland’s Canton Graubünden. I’d experience it again and again on future visits to my beloved Graubünden, in 1994 and 2010, whether riding the bright red trains of the Rhätische Bahn, hiking with my cameras in the Bündner Alps, strolling the cobblestone streets of ancient Chur, or reflecting on such activities at the end of the day, while dining on hearty Bündner Gerstensuppe (the regional barley soup) and other tasty fare.

I was certainly feeling “patschifig.” I just didn’t know it ;-)

Until last October. Because, on that particular trip, I not only enjoyed my favorite region in Switzerland, but
I got to do so, for the first time, with lifelong residents of Graubünden, my new f-c friends, Beatrice and Ruadi.

Beatrice decided it was time to "up the ante" on my rudimentary and somewhat rusty
spoken German by coaching me not only in Schwyzerdütsch, but the Bündnerdialekt as well!

So, over heaping platters of Bündnerfleisch – along with ample amounts of Calandabräu (to chase away any last
vestiges of reserve in trying out some of those initially intimidating “sounds”) – the classes in Bündnersprache took place.

And it was then that I finally learned the name for that easy-going, Gemütlich feeling of
well-being I always experience the moment I arrive in Canton Graubünden -- Patschifig.

So…while I normally identify my photos on f-c by place name, this one I’d simply like to identify by the term
that immediately springs to mind when I remember this particular early autumn Graubünden afternoon in 2011.

I(ch) mag Patschifig!

This image is available in archival gallery prints and as a custom printed Photo Note Card.

Photo, Narrative, and Design ©2011/2012 Steve Ember

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