Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A hike through Germany: Start in Switzerland

My hike through Germany started actually with a planning weekend in Switzerland with my paddling partner Adrian. I flew into Euro airport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg - a very interesting airport as it is situated in the corner of three countries. Depending on which exit you take you enter Switzerland, France or Germany. I was headed into Basel and therefore took the Swiss exit where a tram took me into Basel centre within 20 minutes.
I had been to Basel before: Once when I had hiked the Westweg through the Black Forest and ended in Basel and in 2008 when I had cycled through on my bike trip through Europe.

Door of Basel Münster
Basel is a very pretty town with plenty of museums and a spent a pleasant day strolling through town before taking the train to Adrians place. Adrian picked me up from the train station and a very efficient planning weekend started. It did not take long and outdoor equipment, gear lists and laptops were strewn all over Adrian's place. We discussed gear we need for our Yukon trip, compared gear lists and discussed resupply strategies. I had not seen Adrian in 4 years and had been wondering how we would get along - especially since we are planning to spend 2,5 months in one boat! Everything went very well, all questions were discussed and we genereally had a fantastic time. Now I am even more looking forward to our Yukon trip.

But the very best were the culinary highlights: I had asked Adrian to make Raclette for me - a sort of Swiss National dish. In the modern version of Raclette you put slices of cheese on a little "shovel" and put it into a table stove to melt. When melted you put the cheese over boiled potatoes or other vegetables and eat it. Swiss cheese is absolutely delicious and the meal was fantastic, but very filling. Next day was even better because Adrian made cheese fondue. You melt cheese together with garlic and white wine in a fondue pot. You then cut bread into cubes, dip the bread into pear schnapps and then into the melted cheese and eat it. Delicious is an understatement for this dish! I usually don't drink hard liquor, but the taste of the pear schnapps (of which you use only a little glass per person) is the very best of this dish. Adrian even told me that you can buy pre-made cheese fondue mixes in Switzerland and said that he might bring one for our Yukon trip!

1 comment:

eArThworm said...

OMG...you had Raclette, you lucky person! I think it's the best food in the world (well, maybe except for pepperoni pizza). And when they make it the REAL way, in a restaurant, it's "to die for," as they say.