Schaukäserei Kloster Engelberg
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alpine storm
We can't say we weren't warned that the weather might turn. Still, when the hike through Switzerland changed from a Sound of Music stroll into a muddy wet tramp, my daughters and I felt the of appearance of a lace-curtained farm/restaurant serendipitous, to say the least. As the rain began to get serious about our already-too-close relationship on the restaurant terrace, the owner ushered us inside. Happily, the other hikers who had stopped for refuge opted for the lone restaurant table in the big room, leaving us to share the kitchen with the owners and three friends from “down in town.” “Ever seen cheese made?” The shy man of the farm asked, one of the few conversational offerings he made. Growing up as close to Wisconsin as made no difference, I should have been able to say yes. But, another serendipitous moment, I could not. We watched the big rounds from their storage room got pressed in the blue metal vices that matched his sons' blue overalls and eyes. It takes a lot of pressure to make a good cheese, apparently. And I, for one, appreciate a good cheese. Storm over, cheese consumed, one of our new friends offered us a ride to town to catch one of the last cable cars back to the valley and our hostel. As pressed for time as that cheese, we took him up on it. Looking at the cliff edge beneath his tires, I told myself that the man driving didn't get to be his age for nothing. He'd get us safely to the cable. And he did. Cheese and all.
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