The area around Basel is full of secrets.
Let us discover the Chälegrabe today.
The Chälegrabe (5) is located south of Hofstetten. It is a gorge that deeply cuts into the slopes of the Blaueberg (also called Blauen chain or Blauenkette).
I explored the Chälegrabe, when walking from Rodersdorf to Flüh in October 2020.
The Chälegrabe – why is this spectacular gorge called “Chäle”-“Grabe”?
With its name, the Chälegrabe says clearly: “I AM a “gorge” and I am telling you so twice: “Chäle” is an old word for “gorge” and “Grabe” is the current Swiss German word for “gorge”… I am the “Chälegrabe”, the “Gorge-gorge” or the “Grabe-Grabe”!” (Check ortsnamen.ch, which confirms that “Chäle” is an old word for “gorge”).
Yes, the Chälegrabe is a “Gorge-gorge”, and I confirm, it is even a gorgeous “Gorge-gorge”!
Let us walk through the Chälegrabe or “Gorge-gorge”
The access to the Chälegrabe is above the car park that is much used by hikers and dog owners. Here the signpost points to the Chälegrabe.
The Chälegrabe starts as a gentle creek with wooden bridges.
Then, I am approaching the rocks of the gorge,…
… and the rocks are getting larger and narrower.
I pass by the picnic place…
… and climb up steeply on the zigzag path.
I cross the deep canyon…
… and walk along the gangway (no other way to continue in this narrow gorge-gorge)…
… with waterfalls below.
I go back down again…
… to pick up my bicycle at the car park.
I am pleased to have discovered the gorgeous “Gorge-gorge” Chälegrabe. How often have I looked for such gorges around the world and have not been aware of this treasure so close from home, so close to Basel.
P.S. With the Chälegrabe, I have now completed the series of the five secrets found on my walk from Rodersdorf to Flüh in October 2020.
- Historical border stones from the years 1817, 1890 and 1951 between France and Switzerland – why from 1817? And can you see the “D” (Germany or “D”eutschland) hidden “behind” the “F” for France?
- Biederthal and its castle, Burg (Biederthal) – why are they separated by the border between France and Switzerland?
- Why does the canton of Solothurn (SO) “own” an exclave within Basel (BL)? What can the Burg Rotberg tell us about this?
- Why did the Romans dig a cart road (“Karrweg”) into the rocks to get from Flüh to Hofstetten – avoiding the valley?
- The Chälegrabe above Hofstetten – why is this spectacular gorge called “Chäle”-Grabe”?