A week in Appenzell, Switzerland – Day 4

The rain was due to stop on day 4 and there had been quite a bit of it. For example, if you looked at the amount of water in the river on my day 2 post then here is a video of the amount of water taken about a hundred meters upstream from the last one.

Afterwards we went up the Gondola to Ebenalp and then walked down through the caves where the bones of Swiss bears were found in the early nineteen hundreds. They were quite big. Amusingly part of the caves were used as the cellar for the Restaurant Ascher so at the end of walking through this dripping darkened cave with informative historical text displayed on the walls with lights there is a rather solid looking door and a whole lot of booze.

After that is a short walk down past a cave chapel to the Restaurant Ascher along the cliff. It is very famous and, although I didn’t have anything to eat, you can see why just from where it is situated. Instead I had a couple of beers, because…hiking. Working in the kitchen there was one of those people who instantly makes you happy with tattoos and a big smile. It turned out she had been to New Zealand as well and had helped her father build a butchery in Blenheim. The other woman at our table was deep in a book while eating her lunch and she turned out to be the cook.

One of the better things about being in a place invited by a local is that everything is far nicer. Everybody knows Mr Frodo. It is a strange reversal of when he was on Great Barrier where everyone knew me. Now, I am the quiet one and he does the talking.

After probably too many beers for walking we left to go down to Lake Seealpsee to visit a friends hut. The Lake is very beautiful and I have been told the mountain at the end was one of the inspirations for Tolkien when he was writing Lord of the Rings. I can see why. After a short time we ended up at the hut for a few more beers and then began our journey home. On the way back was a fossil in the cliff that looked very much like a scallop to me. They said there had also been another one but someone had stolen it.

There was also a very strange ice cream machine. Mr Frodo told me the ice cream was made from the milk of the cows in the valley but I am not sure I believe him. Although this is Switzerland. It isn’t often I run into an ice cream machine in the middle of nowhere though. With this one you gave it your money and it gave you a cone and then you went around the other side of the machine and inserted your cone which it filled with ice cream. Across the road was a piece of Swiss sculpture which consisted of a water jet boring into a rock. It had been going for ten years and had only made it a short way through so it was obviously a long term project. I have my suspicions about Appenzell humour though.

On the way back we went to the Berggasthaus Seealpsee where I made one of my usual mistakes with ordering. I wanted the traditional dish which was sausage and macaroni and cheese but while ordering someone said, “Aren’t you getting a salad” so I ordered a salad as well. When it all arrived it turned out I had ordered a sausage salad with my sausage meal. Nice, but maybe a little much for the amount of exercise I had done.

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