Thursday, November 19, 2009

Day 11, Old Traditional Cheese making

Today we road a cog train up the mountain then hiked to a little cheese makers hut. Yes the hut and the cheese maker were little. The hut was probably 2/3 barn, and 1/3 living quarters with more than half of that, cheese making kitchen.
You can see how short the doorway is behind Shaun.
Also on the back corner of the house underneath is where the pigs are. Every space is used.
Here is the Cheese maker and his wife, she is stirring the cow milk cheese and he is stirring the goat milk cheese.
I know, I know, it's another picture of a cow with a bell. I just can't help myself.
This was such a cute scene, the cheese-maker and his grandsons driving the animals back to graze. The boys probably 4 & 6 years old were working hard cleaning out the barn then washing tools,there was no dilly dallying around. It made me realize that I did not teach my kids to work, I may have to remedy that.
This is the stick he was using to break up the curds for the goat cheese.
That is one big beam & pot!
Scooping out the curd, what is left is whey which they feed to the pigs. It is really good to drink and should be kept for people. It tastes a little like a sweet skim milk but has good enzymes in it.
Nothing like a good goat pillow.
This one got a little hungry and started eating Shaun's backpack.
At this point we had several choices on how to get back.
1- we could hike a back up to the train station and pay for a ride back down to the village.
2-we could hike a little ways down to the next train station and then pay a little less and ride back down to town.
3- Hike all the way down to the town and save some money.
Well There were a few of us that decided since it was a nice day we would enjoy the hike all the way down.
I don't know if you can tell in this picture but if you look at the tops of the pine trees, towards the valley that is the town. We thought "Oh, It's not that far, and down hill this will be a nice and easy walk." I don't know what we were thinking! One of the ladies with us had a pedometer and she said we walked 10 miles down hill. We felt it! Oh by the way the 82 yr old was with us, I was impressed. It was a beautiful hike and it was a nice day for it.
One more interesting point, We saw more people hiking Or riding bikes up than there were going down. Now what were they thinking?

Day 10, 1000 Sheep Festival

To day we walked down to the lake behind the hotel we were staying at, to a Church service. Followed by Alpine horn blowing,
Traditional yodeling and an accordion band. The yodeling was very soft and pretty as were the horns. As a side note imagine if you will Goofy skiing or falling off the side of a mountain, he always bellows out the same thing, YA HA HA WHOEEEE! That is the way a Swiss will call to another Swiss up on the mountain to find out where they are at.
After listening to the variety of music, we then watched the Sheep come down from the summer grazing areas.
It was awesome seeing them all come down the hill.
And here they are, at least a few.
More of the sheep and some of the people.
We had to leave to catch the train to get to our next place. This is a picture looking back on the festivities, you can see the white splotch of sheep in the middle.
We took several trains to get to our next hostel in Grindelwald. We had to walk up a steep hill to get to it. The hostel was a several hundred year old chalet, and this was the view from our balcony! This is the Eiger (Ogre) A famous mountain that rock climbers attempt to climb and some die trying.
Just another part of the view.
The Eiger at sunset. I think our guide saved the best place for last. It was so peaceful and beautiful here. For the next couple of nights we would come back from the days adventures eat our dinner, play games, and relax out on the balcony just soaking in the view.