National Geographic : 1969 Jul
smog, water pollution-all these are more criti cal to a small nation. "If our villages, towns, and cities keep ex panding," the president continued, "we face the danger, in the near future, of seeing one giant megalopolis stretching 180 miles from Geneva to Lake Constance." Marksmen Meet at Historic Meadow Far from any kind of megalopolis or traffic jams, I took a paddle-wheel steamer from Lu cerne early one Sunday morning across the Vierwaldstiitter See, the Lake of the Four Forest Cantons. The lake reaches many arms into the misty, pine-wooded mountains of Switzerland's heartland. Our boat was full of tweed- and corduroy-clad gentlemen carrying briefcases and club banners. More boarded at Brunnen. "We're all headed for the shoot at Riutli," a man explained as we stood by the rail. Shoot? "Surely. Every St. Martin's Day our pistol clubs get together, from all over the country." He told me that he was Fritz Demmer, a house painter from Ziurich. His hat jingled with pins and medals, souvenirs of other shooting contests; in his briefcase he carried his pistol and ammunition. From the landing at Riitli we could hear that the firing had already begun up on the meadow. Traditionally, it was at Riitli meadow that men from three forest cantons-Uri, Schwyz, and Unterwalden (map, pages 72-3)-met the first of August in the year 1291. Here they swore an "eternal pact" that formed the seed of the present Swiss nation. They pledged themselves to defend each other, and from their Habsburg overlords demanded the right to be judged by men of their own valleys. The parchment pledge, lettered in Latin and hung with wax seals, still KODACHROME(ABOVE)AND EKTACHROME© N.G.S. Four exposures on a single frame re-create the psychedelic phantasmagoria that assaults the senses at Montreux's hard-swinging Strobe Club, where young Swiss gyrate to the recorded rhythms of musical groups such as Canned Heat and the Grateful Dead. Jean-Pierre Kolly (right) manipulates pro jectors, flashing lights, and other devices to create his weird "mind-flowing" effects. Downstairs, in the Pavilion, more sedate audiences attend classical-music concerts.