Monday, April 26, 2010

Trip to Switzerland 2010 - Appenzell St. Gallen

Saturday 17 April

11:08 Appenzell to Gais 11:50
Gais to St. Gallen 13:50
14:02 Tram to Spisertor 14:05
Tram Spisertor to Trogen and return to St. Gallen Station
17:37 St. Gallen to Appenzell

 Click above to see a slideshow of pictures of Appenzell and St. Gallen
Breakfast at the hotel is wonderful, mainly because of the great selection of Appenzell cheeses.  There were seven or eight blocks, all  subtly different and all demanded to be tasted.  They were harder cheeses made from cows' milk.

We had a walk around Appenzell after breakfast and took in the local parish church as well as the Appenzell museum. The church is very large but light and airy and there is some good stained glass. The organist was putting the organ through its paces. The graveyard was full of blossoms and blooming plants. Several people had put colored eggs on the graves.

We decided to take the train to Gais which is a small center. The line does a tight half circle to reach the station as only a narrow gauge line can. We quickly plumbed the depths of Gais and had a beer on a sunny outdoor cafe with a view across to the station.

AB seen at Gais AB 12; AB 15; AB 16.

We met up with the rest of the group on the train and got out at St. Gallen where the ascent into the town is taken on the Riggenbach Rack system. We took the Trogen tram to the cathedral. Our guide took us through the monastery, the library, the catholic cathedral and the market area.

We had a disappointing cup of hot chocolate (it was cold and not very chocolatey and then took the Trogenbahn tram to Trogen and back. It climbed steeply for much of the way but the views over the Bodensee were very misty. This line is pretty much a roadside tramway but it is well used and evidently performs a useful function. We went with two of the couples from the UK.

Trogenbahn seen at St, Gallen, AB 34.

Back at Appenzell we went out looking for dinner. One place we went into was very smoky so we beat a hasty retreat. We finally found the Gasthaus Linde, a small place with only local people in it. We had to wait a little while to get seated. A couple of the regulars eventually called the waitress out of the kitchen. She was very good and explained to us how to eat fondue. She was very organized:

To us “I will take your order in two minutes'” To some others “I will take your order in three minutes.”

The fondue was very good. The bread comes as a ¾” flat bread which is already scored into squares, She told us to swirl the bread deeply so that the bottom would not burn black. It seems we did well as the cheese was only brown and she scraped up the last part for us to enjoy. A good choice for dinner.

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