Country Buffet

Country Buffet

Friday, June 25, 2010

~Can't Let A Good Thing Go~

A month later, and I'm still blogging about my Swiss trip. I had such a fantastic time that I'm having a hard time letting go. Likewise it was a long awaited experience and being such I have captured these wonderful memories and think on them a little each day. Levi even commented:"Mom, can you believe you actually went to Switzerland?"~I'm still pinching myself.

The above photo is a Swiss tike's first bike. It has rubber covered wooden wheels and they scoot along to mobilize. This little gal was smoking along at a good clip!

Willis Brotladen is the community bread store in Regula's neighborhood. His store is open early in the morning until noon. Since Willi is also a farmer, he is in the process of building a self serve kiosk so that he can bake the bread, display it for sale in which customers will serve themselves to their selections(likewise honestly paying for their purchases without a cashier!) so that Willi can leave early to tend to his farm. The first time I experienced this honest/self serve exchange was at a farm where we bought some fresh vegetables. Regula made her selections, added the total and left her money in a cash box. We never saw the proprietor. I was amazed as one just doesn't see that type of integrity anymore--even in a small community as Albin. The produce would be gone along with the cash box.

Some street musicians. I enjoyed their selections;however, store owners pay them to move around to different locations.

It kind of seemed comical to see a McDonald's amid the medieval architechture. Lukas and Levi said I should have gone in to compare the menu--which now seems like an interesting idea. At the time I was enjoying things from the 1100's.......

For example, this Knight's armour from the 1200's at Burg Hohenklingen.

Next to Regula's house is an indoor and outdoor track facility. The weekend I was there it hosted a huge gymnastic competition. I had never seen anything like this before with large groups choreographing their skills to music. They also competed (5 individuals at once) on the rings and in a dance style event.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

100 Acres = 40.5 Hectares

The above picture is a Swiss farmstead. You will notice that the center building has the house(smaller roofed structure) attached to the larger barn.


Farmers worldwide share the common thread of love for the land, animal husbandry and the desire to feed people. Switzerland is a small country composed of huge mountain ranges and small valleys. The valleys compete with housing for human populations, industry and agriculture. The farmers there make every available hectare count growing a bounty of crops in the dark rich soil. Due to this competition I found that the Swiss urban citizen is very familiar with where their food comes from-- unlike U.S. urban citizens who have no concept that milk comes from a cow and bread is made from wheat. Swiss citizens also pay a premium for their food. Two uncooked boneless chicken breasts were $14.00 and the price for beef is insane. One would pay approximately $40 for a T-bone steak. Vegetables, bread , cheeses and chocolate are reasonably priced and are the mainstay of the diet. Many meals are obviously meatless. The wonderful varieties of breads and cheeses along with potato dishes were amazingly scrumptious. In addition, Regula is a fantastic cook and we dined on a variety of sausages, smoked hams and quiches. Year round, every Saturday and Tuesday morning there is a Farmer's Market in the old town of Schaffhausen. The produce that was available during my visit was asparagus, lettuces, kohlrabi, rhubarb, carrots, radishes and cheeses. The variety changes with the growing season.

This square box was fashioned in a neighbors woodpile for wild bees.

Sheep and goats are utilized as mowers even in urban areas. Farmers will bring them to town to graze small plots on hillsides.

This is a young hops plant. By summers end it will be a huge vine laden with creamy white hops that is picked by hand and used to make beer.

These little guys whinnied my name!

Next to one of the churches we visited was a barn. I couldn't help but to venture inside where I found this calf, the stanchions and a lovely Swiss cow!

All tractors must be licensed and all operators must be older than 14 years. Likewise, the operators must obtain a license which requires they go to special training.

This truck is a Swiss version of a cattle pod.

An average sized farm is anywhere from 100 acres to 200 acres. I took several pictures of farm implements. It was very interesting to see the productivity of their rich black soil .

These are grape seedlings. They eventually will be transplanted to a Swiss arbor for wine production.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

From Frescoes To Pipe Organs

Die Kirchen

(The Churches)

The above photo is the sanctuary where Regula was married in Diessenhoffen. It was part of a monastery in its early history. Now the other buildings are used as a nursing home. I took this picture through a locked gate. The church is opened for special occasions and not utilized as a weekly worship facility. Many of these churches don't have central heating so they are also closed during the winter. Their beauty brought tears to my eyes more than once.

Below, Regula cranked up the pipe organ in the special chapel for the nuns at the nursing home.

~St. Maria~

If I translated the plaque on the church correctly, this was the first Catholic church built in Schaffhausen after the Reformation. It is celebrating its 125 anniversary. Special Ascension Day services were held at both Catholic and Protestant churches while I was there. It is a European holiday. All the church bells in town pealed from 9am to 9:30am. What a marvelous experience. Later that day Regula and I attended mass at St. Maria as this is her church.

~St. Johanns~

This is the interior of the church I mentioned in an earlier blog. Its origins were Catholic but now it is Protestant. The pipe organ is magnificent. On a return visit, I had the treat of hearing the church organist practice!


There is a Swiss village named Paradies (oder auf Englisch~Paradise). This church is over 500 years old and was also part of a monastery. The other buildings are now utilized for wedding receptions because, of course, everyone wants to get married in Paradise! Regula's parents attend this church.

This was the first church Regula took me to. Its name now escapes me; however, upon entering the tears began to flow. A wave of awe hit me~such beautiful places to worship God.

~Kartause Ittigen~

A Carthusian Monastery: 1461-1868

This was home to 12-15 monks whose day was divided into strict periods of work, rest and prayer and were committed by oath to silence. The facilities now serve as a museum, convention center and brewery. They make a great amber beer from the hops that is grown here.

The church is Rococo style. There is no organ as Carthusian mass is sung without accompaniment.

These choir stalls were carved around 1700.

The frescoed ceiling.

What the monks used to heat what I imagine to have been a cold and drafty room in the 1400's.

~Munster Zu Allerheiligen~

(Cathedral Of All Saints)

In 1103 this was a Benedictine monastery. Now the sanctuary is a Protestant church. The original front door is constructed of very thick wood and is so heavy that now it is opened with hydraulics.

The interior and the organ.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Dream--Part 4

~The Rhybadi~

Schwimmbads are unique to Swiss communities on the Rhein. They offer locals an opportunity to enjoy a swim in the river during the summer. Unfortunately, during my visit it didn't warm up to take a dip. If I translated its history correctly, the Rhybadi in Schaffhausen was built in 1870. The men's section was separate from the women and children. However, now it is co-ed.

Another view from across the river.