Destination: Heididorf, Maienfeld, Switzerland
Maybe you’re familiar with Johanna Spyri’s delightful story about Heidi, the little orphan girl with an extraordinary character? (to learn more about the story click here) Heidi’s story was originally written as a book and I dare to say it is the best known swiss story around the world… It has been conquering the world ever since in other forms as well. Various TV series versions has been made of the story, and also a movie has seen daylight. But did you know that there’s Heidi’s village located in Maienfeld, Switzerland? It is definitely an adorable place for every Heidi fan, like, let’s say our Sweet Little Princess for example. She first watched Heidi from TV and was completely blown away with the story. Later she received an adorable book from a very special old lady. And she was beyond being inspired, constantly pretending to be Heidi and carrying an imaginary bird named Pichi everywhere with her. So stopping at Heidi’s Village while we were passing by anyway seemed like an unavoidable thing to do.
At that time, we were on our way back home from our first ever package holiday. Yes, believe it or not, even though we’ve been doing a lot of traveling, package holidays have never belonged to our way of exploring the world… we prefer arranging things the hard way, or our own way, however you like to call it! Anyway, in spite of the package-thing, we had had a wonderful week with dear friends in Reka Feriendorf, Disentis. Now on the way home and none of us was really in the very best of moods. Maybe you know the feeling? After you’ve had the time of your life, going home is always a bit of a belly landing, if you know what I mean.
The day of our visit in Heidi’s Village was a steaming hot summer day, Maienfeld is a small place like most of these adorable Swiss Villages, and getting around doesn’t require special powers (click here for information about getting there). Finding the parking lot for Heidi’s Village was relatively easy, only finding a parking space was a completely different story. Someone else had obviously had the same idea. Somehow we managed to park into a tiny space between two very expensive looking cars, and soon discovered that it required some walking to actually get to Heidi’s Village. Under the steaming hot afternoon sun this was naturally easier said than done. Little Prince Charming was feeling grumpy and complained every step on the way. Sweet Little Princess on the other hand, was happy as a bird.
I have to confess that Sweet Little Princess is not the only Heidi fan in our family. I am familiar with the story from my childhood, and loved it every bit as much as my daughter loves it now. Heidi’s Village was absolutely adorable, entering felt like jumping into a time machine only to be dropped off in a different time. Every place we knew from the books and from the TV series was there; Heidi’s house, the Alp Cottage, the classroom, Heidi’s animals… Of course the coolest place on earth was Heidi’s house. It was fascinating to see every little detail with your very own eyes. Sweet Little Princess even tried out Klara’s wooden wheelchair.
Little Prince Charming didn’t understand much about the epic jump in time or the old furniture, but he found his places of interest as well. He was fond of a water pond (what a surprise! Isn’t every little boy?!) And little cute goats. But especially fascinated he was about some millstones he found from the yard of Heidi’s house… The guy just loves everything that, at least with a good imagination, can be referred to car tires…
Heidi’s Village has also a Heidi Museum with very interesting information and things to look at. Mommy the Bookaholic (me) loved to see all the versions of bookcovers that where made of Heidi’s story throughout the years and with different languages. Oh, and let’s not forget… Located in Heidi’s Village is also Switzerland’s smallest post office. And naturally an over expensive souvenir shop, which is really a mission impossible to walk through without buying anything. Especially if you have a little Heidi fan hanging on your sleeve…
I discovered only one downside during our visit. Our sweet little Princess was expecting to see Heidi and the other characters in person, but they were nowhere to be found. So here’s one developing idea for the personnel of Heidi Village: it is not too hard to hire people to fill this gap. I later found out that Heidi’s Village actually organizes some interesting craftsman courses about various topics, like lacework, carving, basket weaving and cheese making, just to mention a few. These are definitely fascinating to adults, but as I’ve learned from my kiddos, they want to meet their very idols.
After an exciting experience, we dragged ourselves back to the car under the steaming hot sun. Expensive looking cars from both sides had taken off and getting out of now half empty parking lot was easy. It was time to head home. Holiday over.
Facts & figures:
Location: Maienfeld, Graubünden, Switzerland
With a car: Navigation Adress to Heididorf: Bovelweg 16 (street), Maienfeld (locality). Coordinates: 47.017255, 9.54333
Public Transportation: check out the timetables from sbb.ch . From the Maienfeld railway station, the Heidi Bus (PostBus) runs on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays from May to October.
On foot you can reach Heidi Village through Heidi Trail which takes you from the Maienfeld station through the streets of the historic town of Maienfeld, past the vineyards to Heididorf (Heidi’s Village). Using this trail the walking time from the train station to Heididorf is 35 minutes at a distance of 2.4km.
Cost: For ticket prices check here
Open: daily from the 15th March to 15th November from 10am to 5pm.
Services: Restaurant, WC, Post Office, Souvenir Shop
More information: website of Heidi’s Village