Via Mala Gorge with Stone Arch Bridges, Early Autumn
Via Mala! The name is both apt and evocative. Via Mala literally means the bad path,
in the ancient Rhaeto-Romansch language of Canton Graubünden.
Through its chasm of up to 300 meter high cliffs plunges the Hinterrhein branch of the young Rhine.
One can imagine the preternatural fears this place must have elicited, hundreds of years ago in the minds of muleteers making the treacherous journey between Italy and the north. Indeed, as far back as Roman times, this route was used by traders seeking access to the Alpine passes of Splügen and San Bernardino.
Arriving at Via Mala, the skies were threatening. Somehow, that – and the
brisk winds – went along with the wildromantisch (*) of the gorge. Via Mala, indeed!
I was glad as I descended into the Gorge, that the skies began to clear,
allowing some sunlight in to bring out the craggy textures of this wild setting.
©2020 Steve Ember
(*) and how "wildromantisch" became such a valued word in this anglophone photog's vocabulary ;-)