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Alps, Einsiedeln Abbey & Cheese, CH(瑞士阿尔卑斯、修道院与奶酪)
送交者: 天边的红霞 2020年07月04日08:14:40 于 [五 味 斋] 发送悄悄话


Alps-Einsiedeln Abbey-Cheeses0001.JPG

【Aiden in English】

        The final day of the vacation is always a sad one. But a well-said phrase from our program director of the Viking Kvasir states otherwise. "Don't feel so sad that the journey is over, be happy it happened." I'm certainly happy this Rhine Getaway took place, and although I missed out on many opportunities to drink alcohol, I have no regrets.

        However, the final day also is the busiest day on our agenda. Starting at nine in the morning, mom and I would embark on a tour around the surrounding terrain, highlights of Lucerne, and its lake. Of course, we were going along with a much larger group, containing passengers from our cruise as well as another. I was actually looking forward to this tour since it pretty much summed up Europe.

        Starting from the Swiss Alps, we went up a small hill, Mt. Pilatus, of 2,132 meters/7,000 feet by means of a cogwheel on a mild slope of forty-eight degrees. The mountain, named after Jesus Pontius Pilate, was his burial place. A lot of superstition hung around the caves within the mountain, but I was not here for history. The mountain probably provided the best and easiest accessibility of any peaks in the region. Although the weather conditions were spectacular up the top of Mt. Pilatus, the time of year wasn't quite ideal. Global warming has reduced the amount of snowfall, even in mountainous areas. Essentially, if you're not above sea level by 4,000 meters/12,000 feet, there won't be any snow during the summer months. On the bright side, the warm weather and clear skies allowed for unbelievable views of Jungfrau (4,158 m/ 13,642 feet) and Finsteraarhorn (4,274 m/14,022 feet). Because only given an hour, we had to rush around the peaks, scouring for good pictures, and eventually briskly pacing back to the meeting point. 

        We took a quick break from the morning hiking with an hour's drive from Lucerne to Einsiedeln, Canton of Schwyz (cantons represent counties). There, a swift forty-five minute stop was set, allowing for a glimpse at the Einsiedeln Abbey established in the 10th century. The town itself was smallish, so I wasn't expecting much of the abbey. However, I was stunned to see a diamond within the coals. A high ceiling of Rococo patterns with two double-cross Baroque bell towers drew my attention immediately upwards, then to the sides where tens of hundreds of paintings and 3-D frescoes protruding from walls. Even though I've seen tons of art on this trip, these large canvases still amazed me. Right smack dab in the middle, surrounded by the Chapel of Grace, was the Black Madonna. This centerpiece of pilgrimage blackened by centuries of dust and the soot of candles and incense, as the name states, was hidden in WWII from the Germans to avoid its destruction. It was recently put back, restoring the glory to the abbey. 

        The afternoon summed up the other half of Switzerland, the food. That essentially covered cheese and dairy products, from chocolate to yogurt to chocolate-flavored yogurt. Kinderdijk, Netherlands has already shown us a family-run farm, making its own cheeses. Today we happened to be on a Swiss farm to produce hay milk in addition to the regular one, but the cheese making was left to the local Milk Manufacture. On a much shorter description of the milking process, we were wandering about a dairy stall to meet 30 cows and a breeding bull with their calves. Because I've heard the story before, I focused on the cows this time around. You know, when you stare them in the eyes, they stare right back, and their gaze follows you around until they think there is another more interesting person to stare at. And when you pet them, either they accept your touch, shake their heads and deny it, or try to lick your arm. The latter didn't occur once, but twice. 

        Dinner was served at a cheese maker facility, Milk Manufacture and it was a fondue as one would expect. After walking through another different process of cheese making, this was the one that utilized many more machines and less manual labor. Its cheese wasn't produced just one kind. From Brie, Buffalo Cheese, to Mozzarella, all types of cheeses were sold directly after production. However, I'm not quite used to the strong cheese smell and gagged a bit when entering the storage room. Therefore, during the dinner fondue, I didn't eat as much as I thought. Besides, someone put a lot of Kirsch into the fondue, and I haven't grown a liking for alcohol just yet.

        As time flew by, it captured the final stop in this Rhine expedition, and most likely for this year. Internationally, I think it has been more than enough for the summer break as the new academic year of 2017-2018 is around the corner and my high school era will begin in 4 days. Since my 8th grade was over in early June, I've gone down the Danube, immediately transitioning to raft the Rhine. Rivers aside, the culture and taste (minus the alcohol) was something out of this world. Europe continues to stun and surpass Aiden's expectations. But after this trip, I'm really not sure where to go next. It's all a surprise from here on.









Today in History(历史上的今天):

2017: Lucerne—Mt Pilatus the Dragon Mt, CH(瑞士卢塞恩—皮拉图斯龙山)

2017: Lucerne—Heart of the Country, Swiss(瑞士卢塞恩─大地原点)

2017: Lucerne—Salvation through Christ, CHE(瑞士卢塞恩─救赎之城)

2015: Great Wall, Beijing(北京万里长城)

2014: Reunion w/ Old Friends(老友重逢)




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