Monday, 1 August 2011

On our way to Switzerland

Our journey started at 3am, while there were still revelers at the Clapham Grand across the road. Our driver accelerated and decelerated (speed cameras) like he was collecting points in a Mario game. There were no major dramas with our flight to Memingen (Ryanair's idea of Munich) and car pickup, and we were soon on the road south ("righty tighty, lefty loosey, right hand side of the road..").

Our first destination was Neuschwanstein, the castle that inspired the Disney logo. A tramp up the mountain to the front door and even further to an overlooking bridge soon got the blood pumping. Apparently 6000 people visit per day in the summer. There were definitely a lot of people.

From there, we made our way across to Appenzell where we are staying the night. On the way I was really surprised to see heaps of corn growing. There were also heaps of cyclists - don't they know mountains are hilly? Even more frequent than the corn and Lycra clad cyclists were the people cutting grass for silage. They were everywhere! Tractors with mowers on the front, tractors with slashers on the back and I had to feel sorry for the one-man-band mowers that were only 3ft wide [altough since then we have seen a man with a scythe! 3/8/11]. Of course then there were the tractors sweeping it into long piles and at the other end of the scale - people with rakes.
Everything was so green - it was amazing to believe it is summer. We have found out from our friendly waiter here tonight that it is the first time the sun has shone in weeks. We are actually staying in a small village, neighbouring Appenzell named Horst where we can hear the clanging of the out of tune cow bells and are across the road from the quarterly bonging of the local church bells. We have just finished an amazing dinner, for me, veal with the local potato gratin (for want of the actual name) followed by warm berries and ice-cream. Just delicious. Next on the agenda - jacuzzi - followed by the long-awaited bed. 3 hours sleep makes enthusiastic touristing difficult.

Overall, a successful day, travelling through Germany, Austria and now in Switzerland.

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