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Pandemic spells quieter return from Alps for Bavarian cows

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Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Bavarian mountain farmer Petra drinks beer as she returns her cattle from summer pastures across lake Koenigssee near Berchtesgaden, Germany, Friday, Oct. 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

SCHOENAU AM KOENIGSSEE – Each fall the Resch family bring their cows down from Alpine pastures before the cold weather sets in, and each year the crowd of tourists coming to watch the traditional Bavarian spectacle grows bigger.

Not this year.

Pandemic travel restrictions meant the celebratory return of the herd Friday was more muted than usual, as visitors from Asia and the Americas stayed away.

That didn't stop the Reschs from welcoming the 15 cows and herdswoman Petra, who had spent the summer in the mountains with the herd, with beer, schnapps and music.

After leading the cows down from the pastures to the Koenigssee lake near Berchtesgaden, the well-fed animals were draped with flowers and loaded onto a ferry to take them back home to the farm for winter.