YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE

Cow Tripping

On this Swiss farm, you can see the countryside astride...a cow.

Farmer Morgenegg (center) with some visitors

On the Bolderhof organic farm in northern Switzerland, near the medieval town of Stein am Rhein, farmer Heinz Morgenegg's cows do more than just make milk—they're also in the hospitality business. Last winter, after his wife returned from a trip raving about a camel ride she'd taken, Morgenegg began to reconsider his heifers' day jobs. "I said to my wife, 'Why don't we ride our cows?'" he recalls. "Then I sat on one cow, and she didn't run away. She just stood there and ate. So I sat on the others, and they all liked it!"

Within six months, he'd trained a handful of his cows—Colina, Tesa, Paloma, and Diana—to take people on a four-hour tour of his Swiss pastoral spread. The one-of-a-kind ride starts with some basics: You brush your cow and then walk it around the farm; it's a first date of sorts, so human and beast can bond. After you climb aboard and settle in, the cow ambles along a route flecked with meadows, farmland, and forest. And beginners needn't fret: Cows won't buck or canter. Instead, they saunter as if they were soaking up the scenery—or scoping out their next snack. Fortunately, the outing includes a picnic stop. Riders lunch on smoked sausages and Swiss cheese, while their bovine guides munch on grass. "The whole experience was pretty funny, including the fact that I had to figure out how to balance on a rocking cow!" says recent rider Ute Geprägs. 011-41/52-742-4048, bolderhof.ch, $138.

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.
 

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