Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Day 4 Ilanz museum & sausage making

As Shaun would put it, How many pictures of cows with bell do you need? So here is another picture of a cow with a bell, because it is just a part of Switzerland.
Well today we moved on to a new hostel. We went from Rapperswil to Fiesch on the train. It took a couple of hours.
Shaun got a little cat nap in.

We took the same route the tourist train "Glacier Express" takes, It was breath taking. It goes right through the midst of the Alps. A native Swiss woman was talking with some of our group and pointed out the mountain area that inspired the Heidi story. We had our window opened and when we were in the higher parts of the mountains they were cutting hay, the smell was so sweet I couldn't get enough of it.
In this picture if you look close you can see people, they were all cutting hay by hand, up the steep hillside. That was a common sight throughout our travels. This is what the farmers did in the summer when their cows were up in the mountains being cared for by the cheesemakers.

Some of the beautiful scenery along the way.

Can you see the little house on the ledge?

This was the day we decided we could live here.

We made a little stop in Ilanz where we walked up a cobble stone street, through what looked like an alley or two, like puzzle pieces, winding this way and that until we came to this museum. It was built in the 1400's and has been through 2 fires.

Since I love museums I took tons of pictures, I tried to pick ones that are unique to switzerland so as not to bore.
This is a fireplace/ heater which is fed from the other side of the wall, they would usually have their bed near it or as in this picture a seat and an elaborate clothes line.

Some traditional clothing with some interesting mannequins. I am not sure what the little girl in the front is doing, but if she is anything like my girls she is getting ready to wipe her mouth on her sleeve.

This is a one legged milking stool. At the last Hostel we could go to the dairy next door and get milk, the man there used a stool like this but when we saw him he was standing up and it looked a little funny.

This was interesting, it was a little cup like thing that held some cream, the farmer would put a little on his hands before he milked the cow, like a lubricant.
We actually saw some of these in use. it was used to put the cut hay on to dry.

These are bread drying racks that were kept in the attic or barn for their bread to dry out. The bred would get so dry and hard that they would use a hammer or ax to break it.

This is Peter (Kyle) calling home the goats.

And Heidi (Savanna) calling in the cows with an Alpine horn.

Since we are on musical instuments, this is an all wooden pump organ, with wooden keys and everything. Judith our guide played quite well.
Later a local butcher came and talked to us about how they made their dried meats and sausages. After they would mix and encase their sausages then they would hang them to dry, usually in the chimney (which was quite big) to get smoked from the fire and also dry.

We then got to sample some of the different kinds Shaun liked the bacon, I liked the beef. The dark one is liver, blood, potatoes, & beef. It was actually quite good. Shaun didn't like it but I think it was only because he knew what was in it.

This towns bragging rights is that it is the first town on the Rhein. The Rhein is a river that starts in Switzerland and goes through France to the ocean. So here we are at the famous Rhein.


Kent and Wendy said...

Wow - what an awesome trip! Love the pics and the beautiful scenery! It looks like a whole new world.

Familie May said...

What great pictures. The route of the Glacier Express is one of the most wonderful routes in Europe and world famous. Great you had the possibility to go there. Yes, Ilanz is the first city at the Rhine (german: Rhein) - it goes through Germany too and flows in the Netherlands into the North Sea. Just feel free to move to Switzerland - I would love to have you closer and please take your mom with you :-)

Scates Family said...

your trip looks amazing. I am so glad that you got to go. thanks for sharing it with me. i love all the pics of the cows.

Verena said...

AAAwwweeeesome! Thanks for sharing. These pictures are so interesting. If you move to Switzerland, take us with you. um not kidding, really, if you do, please take us with you.