Stein-am-Rhein, Appenzell

From Zurich, we drove to the small town of Stein-am-Rhein. This tiny town is mostly one street. The street is adorable and leads to a tiny square lined with painted houses. As you can gather from its name, the town sits right on the river Rhein, which at this precise location is very wide and skirts around several little islands. A walk along the Rhein’s opposite bank offered fantastic views of the little town with its church steeple and walls of an abandoned cloister. This side of the river has a bike path along the water. We walked all the way to the next town and the rickety bridge to one of the islands, home to a single house. The side of the bike path, opposite the water, is lined with tidy houses. Somehow, the Swiss managed to achieve a perfect balance between the pristine nature and manicured landscaping around the houses. The river has abundant wildlife featuring all kinds of ducks and white swans. Another nice touch: there are benches set up all along the path facing the river, so you could stop, sit down, face the reeds in the water, and contemplate nature. I would have loved to stay awhile and explore the other islands, and even bike a little as the path is completely flat.
But our time was short and we rushed to the nearby castle on the hill which offered a wow view. This area, totally unspoiled, has many hiking trails, which would be nice to hit had we have more time. But off we rushed to the town of Appenzell, the more famous of the two and therefore more commercial. It did not have the benefit of a proximity to a river, and even its painted houses didn’t save it from being disappointing. After Appenzell, we stopped at Schaukaserve fromage kase fromaggio, aka Appenzeller cheese factory, and tasted delicious freshly made cheese.
Back in Zurich, we went to dinner with the two Swiss ladies we met on our last cruise, and had a typical Swiss meal of veal in cream sauce.

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