Montag, 5. August 2013


Part IV Appenzell

This post is the SWISS part of my Travel Picks and Tips from my recent visit to England, Ireland, Switzerland, Austria and Bavaria in the spring of 2013. 
Enjoy the adventure!
Other posts from the SWISS segment of my trip:

After a long weekend exploring the Swiss French speaking countryside around Lake Geneva and Gruyeres I drove north through Berneroverland (where Bernese Mt Dogs come from) towards Zurich and St Gallen to the quaint village of Appenzell.

Crafting an Appenzell Bell Strap

Traditional Swiss Collar
on Appenzeller Dog

It is in this colorful Swiss village where our Alpen Schatz Swiss Collars and Cowbells have been handcrafted in the same tradition for over 7 generations. 
7th Generation Craftsman with Antique
family made Swiss Crafts

Nestled quietly amongst rolling green farmland at the foot of the majestic Alpstein mountain range, I classify Appenzell as the "Brigadoon" of Switzerland.

The surrounding countryside is littered with picturesque covered bridges and is a joy to hike around.

When hiking, watch-out for the territorial Apenzeller Farm Dogs
Appenzell even has a dog named after itself - a small tri-color or sometimes red and white coated dog - who help to protect and guard the farms.
Traditional Appenzeller Dogs

Traditional Appenzeller Tracht

Steeped in history and culture, Appenzell is probably the last truly old-fashion Swiss village left in Switzerland, keeping its traditions well guarded against modernization and conformation into the 20th and 21st centuries.

The Canton of Appenzell is well known to be the last Canton in Switzerland where Citizens from the canton assemble every last Sunday of April for the Landesgemeinde (general assembly) in a square in the village of Appenzell, the capital, and vote in the old-fashioned way of the raising of hands on laws and to elect the Governing Council; more than 3,900 citizens participate. In 1991, Appenzell Innerrhoden became the last Swiss canton to grant women the right to vote on local issues.

Traditional Appenzeller Music - note  the decorative suspenders -
part of the traditional dress

Appenzell even has its own beer, which is quite acclaimed and apparently pretty tasty.
Traditional art depicting the Alpaufzug
ALPAUFZUG: Twice a year the Appenzeller dairy farmers, make the long trek up to their high alpine meadow pastures and summer homes in the spring and  again back down to their valley farms in the fall (Alpabzug).
The first three cows wear perfectly tuned cowbells for
the procession, dinging in perfect harmony.

Decorative cowbell - worn specifically for the procession

The procession is a real treat to see, as it is never predicted more than 24 hours in advance on which exact day it will take place.

Farmers carry decorative cheese making tubs

The farmers  make their decision based on the local Farmer's Almanac and the weather.

Farmer, daughter and their Appenzellerhund

The whole family dresses in their finest on this exciting day.
Check out a video of the Alpaufzug below! Note that they walk straight through the narrow streets of Appenzell's downtown!


Café Adler
CAFE PICK: Café Adler

On the occasion that I got to experience the Alpaufzug, I happened to be sitting in a lovely café having one of their delicious cakes and coffee.

There were local dogs relaxing with their owners inside the café - aaaah how nice to be able to have an afternoon coffee with one's faithful companion.

Café Adler is the oldest café/bakery in Appenzell, with the original house being built in medieval times around 1480. The original house was burned down in the 16th century and rebuilt.

They have a fondue stube in the basement where one can see the original 15th century medieval floor through a plexiglass plank.

The current café has been run by the Family Leu for four generations.

Café Adler is known for its BIBER - a traditional Appenzeller cake often decorated with traditional Apenzell art. I tend to purchase these pretty cakes as gifts to bring back home to my friends and family.
Café Adler - am Adlerplatz Weissbadstrasse 2, Appenzell  Tel +41 71 787 13 89

HOTEL PICK: Freudenberg 

Perched high up on a grassy hill overlooking the charming village of Appenzell, the Hotel Freudenberg is but a mere 10 minute walk down the hill into town.

The hotel has charming rooms (some with balconies) that boast traditional hand painted Swiss  "farmhouse"  furniture. I found out that the current owner's father was the painter behind the beautiful furnishings in the rooms and adorning the  walls in the halls.

The rooms are of a nice size with large bathrooms and the bed was very comfortable.

Hotel Freudenberg boasts a restaurant with panoramic views overlooking Appenzell. Although I did not get a chance to sample their dinner, I must say the breakfast  that they serve is fit for a king and gives one a great start for the day. Their healthy breakfast comes complete with fruit, cheeses, cured meats, eggs, yogurts and traditional muesli.

For its location, views and dining options, the Hotel Freudenberg was perfect for my stay in Appenzell and I would gladly stay there again.
Freudenberg - Family Schiegg  Riedstrasse 57, Appenzell  Tel +41 71 787 12 40
TRADITIONAL FOOD PICK: Spätzle with Appenzeller-Käse
With all of the milk produced in the area, it is no wonder that Appenzell have created their own signature cheese: Appenzeller-Käse (Cheese).
Appenzeller cheese is Switzerland's spiciest cheese and has been made by hand in the same way for more than 700 years. The age-old craft of making cheese by hand is as much a part of the living heritage of the Appenzellerland as the local traditions of string music and rustic painting on wood.
Every time I visit Appenzell, have at least one meal of Spätzle with Appenzeller Cheese.  Spätzle is a form of dumpling and is coated in the mouthwatering slightly stinky Appenzeller cheese.
Visit to the Säntis

Heading up the Säntis in the Luftseilbahn

A short drive from Appenzell is the highest mountain in north eastern Switzerland: the Säntis, towering majestically 8209 feet above the gently rolling hills and valleys of Appenzellerland. 
One can take the Luftseilbahn up to the top of the Säntis where there is a fascinating museum about Appenzell culture and if one has the weather on their side, one has breathtaking views of six European countries: Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Lichtenstein, France and Italy.
Me on top of the world!
Appenzellerland is known for its many scenic hikes, including one that takes you to the top of the Säntis! Someday...I say to myself, I would like to try this hike.  
Was für ein Erlebnis!

Wrought iron painted signs adorn the shops in Appenzell

Traditinoal Appenzell Crafts
15th Century House in Appenzell
Other posts from the SWISS segment of my trip:
Also see ENGLAND:  London, OxfordChester / IRELAND GalwayDingle
AUSTRIA: Tyrolean Alpbachtal
Check out all pictures of my trip on
ME! In a pre-historic
Irish Bee Hive Hut
I wish to enlighten and share my recommendations with those who wish to travel to the parts of the world about which I write.
Enjoy your visit to Switzerland and please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions when planning your own trip to England, Ireland or Europe! After living in and travelling to Europe for almost 30 years, I love to help and recommend as and when I can!

You won't be disappointed when booking any of my chosen favourites. Guaranteed!
Mary Dawn DeBriae
European Tips and Picks
Alpen Schatz Style
Spring Euro Trip 2013

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