Engelberg, Switzerland

March 14, 2002

On the early ride back down Mount Titlis, there was still much skiing and sledding going on below the high altitude windstorm, but my time was to be spent at the base of the snow covering in the place known as Engelberg. Coming down the cable car lift, I could see the awesome size of the old monastery (dated 1120). I sauntered around and snuck in an area that felt like it might have been OK to walk in (and my sneaking was for nothing). It seemed to have the feeling that this was a college dorm area.

Back to another open gate where floral craft monks, if there is such a thing, were growing their flowers behind the walls and making all sorts of interesting decorative candles, wreathes and arrangements from their flowers and snail and egg shells. This also had the feeling like I should be here, but it was OK as one brightly window lit room was like a little shop selling the stuff. I'm not sure. Anyway, my last part of the monastery were parts clearly open to he public, the church area and the cafe'/shop.

Monks have been making and exporting cheese here for 800 years and the cheese making continues (although it was hard to tell if the cheese maker I saw was indeed a monk). An interesting layout, the cheese is made with the cheese maker in what appears to be a giant goldfish bowl with the tables and chairs all around looking in. I bought some yogurt made there and watched a bit. The cheese and yogurt in this country is the finest no matter if it's at a hostel breakfast, fancy restaurant or monastery.

countries list