Don’t we all dream of going somewhere exotic and forgotten by time, where we can witness customs and traditions from a time long passed? To taste exotic and unusual food. To lose ourselves in a location that doesn’t obey our normal hectic life. Where we can slow down, and ponder strange happenings.
Of course, we are not so keen on trekking and camping, so a little bit of comfort would be necessary as would friendly and helpful service and advice from the locals.
Sounds like quite an expensive holiday.
Not for me however. I live within 3.5 hours drive of such a place. It is called Appenzell and it is located in north eastern Switzerland. A few weeks ago my wife and I spent 6 days there. Silly really. I have lived in Switzerland for nearly ten years, and this was my first time. Isn’t it so true that we can’t see what is in front of our nose.
Appenzell is steeped in tradition. You can feel it wherever you go. Not just in the costumes and traditions, but within the people. They are very proud of what they represent, and have adapted to a modern European lifestyle without sacrificing or diluting their heritage. Yes, they famously vote by hand in April each year to elect their local politicians. Yes, it is true that women only received the right to vote in 1990. And yes, it is famous for cows, cheese, Swiss Army knives and amazing architecture.
For me though, the real pleasure of our time there was the people. Extraordinarily warm, friendly, helpful and welcoming into their small magical part of the world.
I am not a travel writer, so here are some links to follow if you want more information.