Friday, August 21, 2015

Swinging to the Rinderberg, Zweisimmen

So what do you do when you find yourself staying in a small Swiss village in a hotel about 100m from the base station of a  gondola? Well if you are like me, you make an unscheduled trip to the building next door which, luckily for you, houses a bank. With cash in hand you can take a trip to the top most station, the Rinderberg, for your Wurstchen & Roestli lunch.

As I sat swinging in the small red cabin I remembered I am not much good at heights, but the door was securely fastened and there was no way to either fall out or turn back so I concentrated on the view instead. I had the cabin to myself but I could well imagine it full of well padded people with snow goggles and skis when the very green fields below would be white.

Up and up we swung, over fields of grazing cows, over the treetops and up and up until Zweisimmen was a tiny spot in the landscape below.

I was the lone guest in the Rinderberg Restaurant and as my Wurstchen was being cooked the young owner Jurgen told me his story.

He was from Düsseldorf and had worked all over the world in other people's restaurants but he really wanted his own place.

Now this was his, the Rinderberg (cattle mountain) Restaurant and although it was a difficult place to make a living he was doing okay.
Zweisimmen is just to the right of the pylon.

He ran events. Next weekend is an event for 17 year olds then the following event was for 70 year olds. He wanted everyone to come, no matter what their age and sees his job as "making them happy". He shouted me a drink as we sat and chatted.... Vodka and green 'Spritze' - now that's novelty with a sausage lunch!

Jurgen said he had just run a four day Techno festival which had been really successful. He'd got a police licence so when the lone farmer with a shed nearby complained to the police they just said 'Well he has a licence, there's nothing we can do'.

" And anyway," said Jurgen, "the cows came to watch and I they stayed. I think they really enjoyed it too."

He said that he was now getting calls from other venues asking how he managed to get a licence and how he organised the party because they wanted to put on something similar.
The party finished last Monday ("I did 60 straight hours behind the bar" ) and they were still cleaning up. They had already cleaned three times and would do a fourth clean tomorrow. He obviously fits well into Swiss society. (I watched the cleaner do my room out yesterday and marvelled at her thoroughness, speed and efficiency. She'd win a competition hands down.)

I will remember my ride up to the Rinderberg with pleasure and I think the Swiss are lucky to have such a committed restaurateur as Jurgen in their midst.

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