This past summer I did another of those Swiss Discovery Trips with my mum. I like keeping my ears open to nice places and love exploring them, and my mum enjoys coming along and see new things as well 🙂 For the first stop I decided to visit the town of Appenzell, an idyllic little “typical” Swiss town near the mountainside. I had only ever been once in that town but back then it had been pouring down and it was freezing cold and I only remembered the beautifully painted facades of the houses.
We strolled around the old town and then got to a crossroad with a bridge and a church. We enjoyed the view around it and kinda stood there, when I noticed a picnic table right by the river. I thought that it was built fairly close to the river side and that it was a bit odd, but didn’t pay much attention to it. After taking some pictures around there, all of a sudden we heard this loud noise… Something very unexpected happened then and we cracked up laughing and watched in awe – and waited and hoped it would happen again. It really did, and I caught it on video for you, watch it here:
We absolutely loved that art installation and kept laughing about it for the whole trip, and while writing this, I still do 🙂 I later found out that it was made by this local artist from Appenzell – embarrassing enough I had never consciously heard of him before^^.
We then had a nice local dinner in a patio, when after finishing we suddenly heard some jodel music. I thought it was just a CD playing or something, but my mum insisted that it was live singing. So after dashing out the restaurant (after paying, of course 😉 ), we ran around to where we thought the sound had come from. It was all quiet and I kept saying it must have just been a CD. My mum kept listening but we couldn’t hear anything anymore. I then asked a mother having dinner with her son out in their garden, and as a matter of fact, apparently it was one of the local jodel groups rehearsing in a Swiss pub. The young boy was so kind he lead us out through some maze like backyards and eventually pointed out the old house to us. We rushed in there and saw a few young men having a drink and talking to each other while pointing at some posters, and thought we were wrong, or that the singers had finished and were already gone. The restaurant lady looked at us questioningly so we just ordered some drinks and sat down.
After about five minutes, the lads actually got up and stood in a half circle, singing the most beautiful jodel songs I’ve ever heard…
It is one thing to hear it on a CD. It is one thing, if your dad always listens to it during the long car trips you made when you were young, or back home when he was working in his office. At some points you just start getting fed up. It is a complete other thing I think to be a grown up and listen to it again. Live. From a few meters distance. Even with them not being dressed up but just randomly standing around there with their hands in their pockets, it gave me some massive goosebumps and tears prickled in my eyes… Wow…!!!
I was pretty astonished to hear the lyrics of the songs – while being very familiar with Irish songs singing about the rough sea, the drink and the hard times (…what else?) these guys sung about their beautiful cows on the alps, the mountains, the preparations for summer and winter seasons… what else?! Thinking about it, it all makes sense and it’s so interesting to see how the environment and way of living shapes the local songs of different countries.
It is those unexpected moments in life that I adore – when you walk upon something new, something stunning, something tricky and funny, something interesting, and keep that deep down in your heart <3.
My goal is to one day visit a jodel festival and to listen to more of that beautiful sound. As written in a former Friday Flow issue, visiting local heritage and getting to know your own country is an adventure of its own full of surprises. I feel very, very lucky living in this very beautiful country with great heritage.
What interesting fact or custom of your home country would you share that is worth knowing? I’d love to hear all about it!!! ❤