Posted on: September 12, 2008 7:58 pm

Traffic Signs

There is a very small town about 12 miles around the lake from Interlaken, Switzerland. You will pass through it on you way to Interlaken and Grindlewald if you are coming from Thun, which you will pass through if you are coming from Geneva. In any case, there is this small town that straddles the highway (only 2 lanes - this is Switzerland and the Alps, after all).

The name of this quaint little town is "Rose Am See".

As you enter the town, you are travelling down a small hill with a left-hand curve at the bottom which brings you level with the lake shore. There are a few shops and houses lining the road here and a hotel/restaurant that has some of the best food and service to be found anywhere in the world. But that doesn't have anything to do with the title of this blog, does it?

You see, there resides in this village a character named "Max" - better known to the residents as "Mad Max". Now Max is short for Maxine, for she is a grand old dame and quite mad. She is so famous that there is an actually a nationally approved road sign right at the hotel/restaurant warning you of her exixtance. Any violation of her space and she viciously attacks without warning. That includes cars, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, boats, ships and pedistrians. Max isn't partial and shows no favoritism. Max is famous throughout Switzerland and parts of France, Italy and Germany. She is the most photographed personality within 500 miles.

You may wonder why all this fuss over some crazy old woman. Well, I'll tell you. Mad Max is a female swan and has been in residence for nigh on 8 years. No one knows from whence she came and why she chose to stay in this little town. She will come to you to beg treats IF you are sitting down at one of the outdoor tables but God help you if you attempt to get up and leave or just stretch. Max begins hissing and snapping. She shows no fear and has been known to bite unwary diners and passersby - myself included. She will chase cars, busses and any other vehicle that passes down the road through her territory. When she tires of vehicles and people she will take to the lake and terrorize the boats, windsurfers, water skiers and tour ships that are always present on the lake.

Mad Max is a grand old lady and dear to the herarts of all who "meet" her.

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