ES has a brother who is a professional impersonator. He makes a living looking and acting like and being Wilhelm Tell. Thru him we spent a summer weekend touring central Switzerland with Robin Hood, The Rat-catcher from Hameln and no less than two Sheriffs of Nottingham.
The event was the annual gathering of The Legion of Legends, where three main European legendary characters turn into flesh and blood, sponsored by their various home-towns and tourist offices. They have been touring Germany and England in 2015 and 2016, and this year they did a tour of central Switzerland.
ES and DHH were not part of the show because we are legends, but because we had volunteered to make a picture website of the travelling circus. We had a couple of long days, but also a lot of laughs. We spent time with Wilhelm Tell making his own crossbows in his own medieval carpenter shop, we had the Nasty Sheriff of Nottingham juggling knives and bottles and pretending to behead people, we had both sheriffs feeding deer in the Goldau zoo and then Robin shooting at them with his bow and arrow. He did not dare to kill them, though. He pretended he missed on purpose. He was never afraid of the sheriff of course, but he did have some respect for the Swiss wildlife authorities. Deep down he is a softie, he just does not want the sheriffs to know.
The Pied Piper of Hameln walked about in a jesters costume with a dead rat in his belt. It was probably the only rat the rat-catcher ever caught. In the original story he kills more than just rats, however, he also disposes of all the town’s young children. We never saw our own Rattenfanger do that. On the other hand… all the children who hung around the travelling circus of legend as we moved from town to town… we never saw any of those kids more than once when we think of it…
As Robin has his nasty sheriff to fight, Wilhelm Tell also has his archenemy, the cruel Herr Gessler, the nobleman who forces Tell to shoot the apple off the head of his own son. He was also there of course. In our party Gessler was also the organiser of the whole tour, the guy who got the local tourist authorities hooked on the project and who paid part of the show from his own pocket. He organized our hotel, our wining and dining, our transport and our museum-visits. We did our best to dislike him as we should, but that was not so easy either. You do not bite the hand that gives you beer.
Last, but very much not least, we spent three days with the Nice Sheriff of Nottingham. Unlike the Nasty one, the Nice Sheriff is a modern invention. The good city of Nottingham has actually made the honourable sheriff an official position, held this year by a politician from the local council. While the Nasty Sheriff sneers and waves his knives about and does his best to look evil, the Nice Sheriff was there to make friends and promote the city and lighten the party up a bit. Which she did. Maybe we go and see her when we get to England in the fall. That is the dangerous thing when you are nice to people, you might make friends that you are not able to get rid of later.
For more pictures of the Legends’ weekend in Switzerland visit our Smugmug Site.