Friday, November 9, 2012

FRIDGES IN THE WILD OR THE ART OF FOOD SHOPPING WHILE WALKING

Lenk Cheese Fridges 3 2 bis
Give me a good sharp knife and a good sharp cheese and I’m a happy man.
- George R.R. Martin
Splendid cheeses they were, ripe and mellow, and with a two hundred horse-power scent about them that might have been warranted to carry three miles, and knock a man over at two hundred yards.
- Jerome K. Jerome, 'Three Men in a Boat' (1889)
People who nourish an insatiable curiosity for anything related to food or culture rarely get bored when they are on holiday (or not, to that matter). Whether they are visiting a bustling city or the smallest of  hamlets in the middle of nowhere, you can be sure that they'll never be indifferent to their surroundings as their hunger to learn and discover something new is immeasurable.

Like all naturally inquisitive individuals who cannot envisage living a life without passion, I am broad-minded and tend to find interest in everything. Even the most seemingly meaningless details titillate my everlastingly active intellect as well as my emotions, hence p
assive tourism is not my cup of tea. I mean, adventures are here to open our eyes, aren't they? So, what's the point in travelling if you don't want to interact with folks, uncover unknown horizons or impregnate yourself with other cultures?!?

Lenk Cheese Ey 1 2 bis
During my vacation in Zelg (Bernese Oberland), not one minute passed without me raving about the grandiose beauty of the mountains that surrounded us, the cuteness of the farm animals we encountered, the majestic and imposing heritage chalets we stumbled upon as well as the delightful regional delicacies which we got to taste.

And speaking about food, and especially about cheese, we were spoilt for choice. Lenk alone, with its 2'319 inhabitants, has two great dairy stores chock-a-block full with wonderful specialities produced by the local farmers. And if it was already not enough, in addition to those two marvelous "Molkereien" (milk shops), you even have the possibility of buying gourmet cheeses ("Käse" in German or "Chäas" in Swiss German) and dried sausages ("Wurst" in German or "Wurscht" in Swiss German) from the countless fridges you'll come across while hiking in the valleys or around the remote peaks - perfect picnic items for walkers in need of boosting their energy levels.

Lenk Cheese Fridges Iffigenalp Trail 1 2 bis
Being used to the uncivilized and sometimes criminal manners of a certain fringe of citizens populating the town of Geneva, I was really suprised to bump into unsupervised self-service refrigerators filled with valuable alpine products. Quite an odd sight if you ask me!

Furthermore, a majority of the coolers have a locked honesty till nearby where you drop the money for the goods you choose and, as incredible as it sounds, some have a second box, packed with notes and coins, in case you need change. Typical of rural and old-fashioned areas of Switzerland - this wouldn't work in big metropolitan places as there would be a lot of stealing going on!

As you can imagine, every time I passed one of those cold storages I had to open it and check its contents. Of course, I did not only contemplate what graced the shelves of those "treasure chests", but also purchased a few goodies for eating immediately and bringing back home (just before leaving, we purchased about 4 kilos of the finest "Alpkäse" - call me crazy, but I just love the stuff!!!)
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42 comments:

  1. Vos photos sont toujours aussi belles et dépaysantes!
    Ah comme je rêve de retourner en montagne, respirer l'air frais et pur...

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  2. wow! a moment to capture. i wish to be there.

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  3. Love the quotes, adore the photos, and agree completely with everything you say about traveling. :)

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  4. I share your love for nature, beauty and the mountains; in fact I spend every single weekend in the mountains. I can just really escape through your photos and imagine what happiness lies in these scenic pictures.

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  5. Gorgeous photos! Love those quotes. :)

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  6. Something to be said for the old ways! We have places like that in this country too but not for cheese!!! Usually flowers, eggs and produce.

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  7. Beautiful as always. Such a lovely country to live in.

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  8. aaah Rosa Just beautiful, what lovely place!!xo

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  9. Rosa, this reminds me of my cheese experience in Pontresina. Such a beautiful experience. Lovely clicks as always! Have a great weekend.

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  10. Tout east beau:-)
    I spy raclette cheese too?
    Must be the best:-)

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  11. What beautiful photographs of your holiday. I've never come across help yourself refrigerators-it could never happen in the middle of a city. The cheese sounds amazing.

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  12. I am very impressed with the self-service boxes you found. How wonderful that there is a part of the world that still trusts people and people repay the kindness with trust.

    Occasionally we'll see something similar in vegetable stands in people's yards where we live in the mountains. Warms your heart.

    Wish we got really good cheeses in the US. Ah, another reason to visit Europe.
    Sam

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  13. Lenk sounds wonderful - just told the bf I want to go there. As you say, it's nice to see a community that still has that trustworthy element to it. My parents have one for eggs near them although it does have CCTV so not 100% trustworthy.

    I went to Amsterdam a couple of weekends ago and ended up bringing back some amazing cheese in my suitcase. Was a bit stinky!

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  14. you make me want to pack up and leave america and spend the rest of my days in europe. :)

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  15. Beautiful post Rosa! Makes me want to be there right now. Thanks for sharing:)

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  16. Gorgeous shots, what a beautiful area!

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  17. Looks like such an amazing vacation, and you know cheese is my weakness :)
    Beautiful!

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  18. That is so true! Mr just asked me if I would like to go to the US with him for 2 weeks in Feb, but wondered if I'd get bored. Of course not! We just came back from a week in San Diego where he worked and I walked, ate and visited as many places as my sore feet would carry me too!
    Oh, and they stil use the honesty box system here in Sydney, around the fringes of the city. I think for the most part it must work ok, otherwise those stands would be manned by now. Mmmm Alpkaese!!!

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  19. I'm jealous, Rosa! Your day-to-day views are like something that I can ONLY see when I'm on vacation!!! I love coming here and take a look at pictures.

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  20. Unbelievable, the Wildstrubel-wall at the end of the valley. Liebe Grüsse.

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  21. bellissime immagini e racconto coinvolgente amerei molto visitare questi luoghi in più amo i formaggi...prendo nota dei tuoi consigli magari un giorno sarà possibile visitarli!!!

    adorabile Rosa buon fine domenica!

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  22. j'aimerais bien marcher avec un aussi beau paysage autour de moi:)

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  23. Such majestic views and gorgeous photos, Rosa! What a lovely vacation. I am a true cheese-lover too so I would be in heaven. :)

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  24. So beautiful and calming view! Wish I was able to wake up every morning to see all that.

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  25. So lovely! It looks like such a peaceful treasure hunt. I would love to find meat and cheese in magic chests, talk about having something worth hiking for! : p

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  26. I agree with what you said about travelling and being able to adapt to new places and culture!
    I am really impressed by those trust boxes! I grew up in a very safe little town in my home country, and all neighbours and friends were so close and knew each other so well, and I remember how our house door was never closed, so any neighbour or good friend or family member could just push the door and showed up at our house anytime. Now my little town becomes a big wild industrial city, and all that trust within the community has gone for ever!
    Great view and wonderful shots Rosa!
    Have a lovely day.
    Cheers
    Mamat

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  27. You live in a very beautiful country.

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  28. I have to ask you.... O.O Did you buy Raclette!?? OMG I want cheese!! ='(

    I have to go and chew on some Salami now to calm down.

    Naughty Rosa made me crave that above all now! =P

    Oh and you are so right and again I wish you were around because I d love to discuss with you some Philosophie. I never understood why Austrian tourists (and Germans alike) travel to Greece for example, and end up the whole vacation in that hotel and in the pool. The

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  29. yes cheese please, that sounds so singular and tasty..lovely pictures

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  30. I never really understand people that go to a far and exotic location only to lie by the pool all day long. It seems such a waste! So yes travelling for me is all about exploring and finding new cultures and customs and foods! I love the idea of people just leaving their goods and for you to drop money somewhere. I wish it would be possible here, although I have heard it happening in small towns here too. Gorgeous photos!

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  31. It is very common here at my place (mostly in villages) to leave goods in front of your house so that people can buy and drop the money in an old jam jar. I love this idea and I use to do it when driving through. It is my little break when I have to visit clients. I love the pics of Berner Oberland. Oh, and yes, I would have done the same - who can resist 4 kg of Alpkäse?
    Hugs, Sandy

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  32. Beautiful photos and I couldn't agree more you that quote!

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  33. Wow! That first shot of the mountains is outstanding. In my mind that is probably what heaven looks like.

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  34. I sound like a broken record here, but the photos are stunning :D

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  35. Love those honor boxes. Just kind of makes you feel great that those can exist in this dog-eat-dog, everyone-out-for-themselves world. Restores my faith in humanity. ;)

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  36. Oh these pics remind me SO MUCH of our summer vacation in chamonix a few years ago! LOVE the mountains in summer. And of course I am envious of your trying all these fab cheeses.... :)

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  37. Your photography is stunning and reminds me of the area in the Tirol that we visited recently. We saw honesty boxes at many farm stands there as well.

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  38. les Suisses sont un peuple formidable, j'adore cette histoire :)

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  39. This pictures are simply beautiful and I want to go there!

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  40. What a great place! Lovely scenery, and the cheeses sound fantastic.

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