I love the creativity at a Swiss breakfast. I would be happy with a bowl of cereal but the time, thought, and creativity that is put into meal presentation makes dining very special. (My daughter Julie Street loves to decorate cakes in much the same manner. Her works of art are so intricate and detailed that you are sad to eat them.)
As an example from the Hotel Berghaus, our hard boiled eggs looked like this:
Once you make your selection, you put the egg on a special silver holder that goes on beautiful china.
After I admired the egg art, I asked our hostess, Martina, for an explanation.
She said, “All Swiss hens lay eggs that look like that.”
After a good laugh, she told me that this process is mostly done at Easter, but she likes to do it year round.
- Select a sprig of something from the garden.
- Moisten the area on the egg and then apply the sprig.
- Wrap the egg tightly with old cut-up pantyhose.
- Secure in the backside with a rubber band.
- Cook in a pan of boiling water with red onion skins.
- Remove when hard-boiled.
- Dry. I am assuming that you let it sit for a while.
- Rinse, unwrap and let dry.
- Display in basket.
One delicious meal was fresh fish that had been caught locally in Lake Biel. The fillets were coated with flour and a little bit of chili powder, salt and pepper before grilling in butter. A little fish that tasted like a Parmesan croissant added that creative Swiss touch.
A Swiss couple that we met in Arles recommended that we eat a Swiss specialty called rösti. They said that there are basically two types:
schweinsbratwurst that has pork sausage and kalbsbratwurst that has calf or veal sausage. Both are served with a heaping pile of hash browns in butter and onion sauce.
Rob is pretty particular about the food that he eats so we often spend time outside the restaurant reading the posted menu.
I am more likely to say, “How can it be bad?” They are making food in there. Let’s go get it. (It has to be clean. One thing that I try to avoid is food establishments that say: Help Wanted because when they are short staffed, cleaning schedules are overlooked.)
While we were looking over a menu, I noticed that they had traditional Swiss food. I commented to Rob that they had rösti.
Another gentleman who was also looking over the menu overheard me and said, “I’ve had that. It’s like hash browns.”
He sounded American so I asked him where he was from?
“We are, too. We are from Cincinnati. What part of Ohio are you from?”
“I am from Amish country from a little town called Sugarcreek. It is known as “The Little Switzerland of Ohio.”
“I know all about Sugarcreek and have eaten at The Chalet in the Valley. In fact, we came to Switzerland because of a placemat telling about Guggisberg, Switzerland.”
I had just posted the placemat blog on June 11 so I directed him to the blog for the whole story of the now famous placemat!!! It truly is a small world.
Today we rode up on a cable car.
We could see our hotel.
If you get all the way to the top of Mannlichen via the Royal Walk, a crown awaits you. Sadly, the fog was too thick for panoramic views.
So many of the hiking paths were still closed due to avalanche danger, but we thought that we had found one that was open.
Soon, the path fizzled out so we turned back as there was a big storm coming and we were not sure of our map-reading skills.
So we headed to Grindelwald. We were told that it would take 3 hours and 15 minutes. What the sign didn’t say is that it is all downhill! For some that may mean good news, but not for me. Even going down ramps at home kill my knees, and I have to go slowly.
It took almost 6 hours because I was taking baby steps. We went from an elevation of 7,306 ft to an elevation of 3,093 ft.
Sometimes and often, I would take side steps to alleviate the pressure on my kneecaps. Rob was leading and the way seemed endless.
We could see Grindelwald the whole time … it was just so far away.
We finally made it. Hallelujah! (And we are still speaking to each other!!)
The storm arrived just as our train pulled into Wengen. Back to the hotel for another great time and a long soak in the tub!!!