Checkin | 23. Apr 2020

Visit The World At Home - Episode One: Appenzell

When you are no longer allowed to travel to foreign countries, you realise two things.

First: How travelling used to be like the natural thing to do, for business, holidays, weekends-to-see-your-friends, partying. How we used to define future progress in terms of moving faster, going farther, opening larger airports, inventing faster trains.

A behaviour that started with the ideal of a well educated human beings who travel their planet to learn (my generation)

Followed by now two generations of people who treat our planet as a reality check of their social networks.

The second thing you realise: The connection to the place where you stay right now is closer than usual. Since staying at home became the thing to do your home became the centre of your universe, more than ever before I think about terms like hometown or homeland.

So: We decided to learn more about the country we call our homeland now for almost twenty years.

We lived in Zurich most of the time, and went to the mountains of Engadin in winter, but also to Italy or Germany. We bought a house in the South of France, flew to New York or Los Angeles whenever possible. Those days are over.

From now on we go to one place a week, we have never been before. As Switzerland is a small country, you can do that by car and you do not have to stay for the night, so we feel in sync with what our government recommends right now; as we plan to stop only for natural phenomena, we will not meet that many people and will never get too close.

Our first trip brought us to Appenzell, to a place called "St Anton", the highest point of a small country road which connects the Rhine valley of St Gallen with the so called Appenzell "Vorland". Meaning: You have stunning views of the mountains of "Vorarlberg" on one side and down to Lake Bodensee on the other. And hikes into every direction.

We took the Southern route down to "Oberegg", and a steep hike back up hill - all in all three hours within a complete new world.

On our way down to the motorway we stopped at a tiny hut that sold the best "Nusshörnli und Café Creme" (Croissants with Tree nuts and coffee with cream) I had all my life, we sat on two of three chairs with parasols within the correct distance of two meters.

I remembered the picnics we had along the street when we traveled for summer holidays a Million years ago and thought: The adventure of the complete unknown starts really close to whatever we call home. Just go for it!