Oberstaufen, Germany Part Two

I signed up for a two-hour Nordic Walk using walking sticks. When the time came Mike and I were the only people wanting to walk and the trip was canceled. Disappointed we asked the front desk for other options and she pointed out a nice walk across a mountain. It was a short distance from our condo so I eagerly set off. After about a mile or so we arrived at the Hundle ski lift. Up the mountain was easy (considering my fear of heights) and then we began the walk. Some of it was uphill but most was very pleasant with awe-inspiring scenery. The region is known for its cheese so cows are everywhere and since they need to be rounded up they wear cow bells, This tinkling sound accompanies the walkers. As we ascended a man about seventy came upon us riding his bike – what fitness some of the people have (and muscular calves)!

Soon after we started across the mountain path, it began to rain. The trees are so full in the area that they provided a nice shelter. The rain in the area quickly comes but also disappears as fast so we were able to continue on and encountered a small forest. We felt like Hansel and Gretel being careful to watch out for the witch. Out of nowhere appeared a small restaurant with a toilet. Wonderbar!!!! A lunch of pork roast, potatoes, Kaiserschmarr (cut-up pieces of pancake served with applesauce) and a Radler (beer and sprite) energized us to begin the descent. This proved to be somewhat more difficult than climbing up. Walking slowly we made our way down and took a bus back to Oberstaufen. The trek was a total of seven miles, a pretty far distance for these southern Americans.

The next day we went on an expedition to a cheese factory. The area is known for its mountain kase (cheese). After a breakfast of cheese (of course), fresh bread, and the best marmalade I have ever tasted (red current) we walked past the cows to the cheese factory. The tour was conducted in German and translated by our guide who spoke a little English so I really don’t know the facts but figured out that the local farmers bring their milk which is poured into a large vat and stirred. I am sure other things are added and then the cheese is placed into a press to rid it of all excess water. Interestingly this is collected and sold to be used as beauty and bath ingredients. The large round bundles are then dipped into a salt bath and turned on a frequent basis. After that, they are transferred to a cold room to mature. Every two days the cheese is flipped to the other side. The more it ages the better. We were able to eat as much as we liked but since cheese was the main course for breakfast I was not as enthused as I should have been.

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