Appenzell, Switzerland

Appenzell has been our base for the last 3 days.  From here you can explore the Alps or head to Bodensee (Lake Constance).  Austria, Switzerland and Germany all border Bodensee and you could ride your bike around it if you had about 3 days to bike.  There are hiking and biking signs pretty much at every corner in Appenzell.  They have so many different ways you can go that you really have to pay attention to what hike you are doing.

Appenzell is famous for beer and cheese.  They say that beer is the cheapest thing you can buy here.  I didn’t try the beer but I did try the cheese.  It was a bit too strong for my taste so much so that I didn’t even finish my crepe.  The unique thing about Appenzell is that they still all gather in the main square and vote by counting hands.  Every male and female over 20 years old must appear personally to vote (or face financial penalty).  I haven’t figured out how they count the hands yet as there is around 16,000 people.

I am a little bummed that we weren’t here to see the farmers send their cows to the mountains. They don’t always announce when they are doing it so you have to have a bit of luck.  They walk the cows through the town and everybody comes out to cheer on the cows.

Some family friends drove 2 hours from Germany to come meet me in Appenzell. We had a nice dinner at our hotel and it was good to catch up with them. It was really nice to be able to see them on this trip as it is always good to catch up and hear how their families are doing.

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