Recommended in Switzerland

By Cindy Tarnoff
This item appears on page 13 of the May 2020 issue.

My husband and I visited our friend Hilde in Turbenthal, Switzerland, Sept. 15-22, 2019.

Turbenthal is a small village with no hotels, but we couldn’t stay in Hilde’s tiny apartment. Instead, not far away, she found us the Zentrum Rämis Mühle (Rämismühle, Mühlestrasse 8, 8487 Ramismuhle, Switzerland; phone +41 52 396 44 44, [in German only]).

We paid CHF872 (near $890) for seven nights — a great value! We had a lovely, large room with a private bath and balcony. Breakfast, included, was coffee, tea, assorted breads, cheeses, meats, fruits and cereals.

The pictures we’d seen of the place showed people with walkers. My question to Hilde was, “Is it a hotel, a B&B or a home for the aged?” Apparently, it’s all three! The lodge was built as a traditional Swiss house in 1907 and renovated in 2017.

We assumed the place was for families visiting their loved ones at the assisted living facility, but we saw a few other tourists staying there, and a group of tourists arrived on our last night.

I’m telling you about this little gem because it’s centrally located for day trips to Germany and Austria. It’s just a short walk from the train station, and an ALDI grocery store is a quick walk away to pick up picnic supplies.

The best food in town can be found at Pizzeria Landenberg (Tösstalstrasse 88, Turbenthal; phone +41 52 385 50 50). This restaurant serves traditional Italian and Swiss dishes and provides both indoor and outdoor seating. Try their schnitzel or the spaghetti pomodoro or carbonara. Dinner for two averaged $30-$40.

Our other favorite café was Ehriker Bech Bakery (Tösstalstrasse 85; phone +41 52 385 57 58). They had the most beautiful breads and pastries and offered a lunch special. Expect to spend around $15 per person.

Our favorite part of the entire trip was a visit to the Klang-Maschinen Museum (Edikerstrasse 16, Dürnten, Switzerland; phone +41 55 260 17 17, [in German only]). Admission cost about $15.

This is the most fabulous museum I’ve seen in my travels. It was filled with machines that played music: pianos, dancing dolls, music boxes, early Victrolas, carousels, room-sized music players from dance halls, juke boxes, a life-sized robot band, etc. You’ll dance your way through the museum.

The other highlight of my trip was the discovery of thrift shops. I kept seeing stores and signs that said “Brokenhaus” or “Brocki.” I asked Hilde what it meant, and she said, “Oh, that is garbage.” When asked what that meant, she said, “It’s old stuff and priced really cheap.” Of course I said, “Stop the car!”

Brocki houses are in every town and are clean and well organized. My husband and I both found great deals. I found antique dolls and some vintage Steiff teddy bears. My husband found several old Swiss Army knives. We called shopping at the Brocki houses a sporting event.

I hope your travels will take you to this beautiful area of Switzerland.

Saltillo, MS