Rent a cow, then visit it

Location: Ausserberg Alp is perched above the villages of Saxeten and Wilderswil (near Interlaken and approximately two hours from Zurich). From Wilderswil, hikers can walk (6 kilometers) or take the mail bus to Saxeten ($2 per person). From Saxeten, the hike up to Ausserberg takes almost two hours.

Renting a cow: The cost to rent a cow is $1,320 for 132 pounds of cheese. Price includes shipping to any destination in North America. Renters receive a photo of their cow. Cheese can be distributed all at once or throughout the year in 6- to 10-kilo amounts.

Renters may arrange to visit their cow between July 1 and Sept. 15.For those renting a cow, a guided hike to the alp is free.For noncow-renters, the guided hike is $25 for one person, $45 per couple, and $50 per family. The hike, which lasts all day, includes a guide, visit inside the hut to see how the cheese is made, and picnic lunch featuring Swiss alpine cheese products. Small amounts of cheese are also available for purchase.

For information or reservations, contact Janice Weber. Telephone (in the U.S.) (734) 971-7753 or (734) 717-4242; e-mail: janice@swiss-alpine-cheese.com;Web site:www.swiss-alpine-cheese.com/rentacow

Accommodations:

In Wilderswil:

The Alpenblick chalet.Doubles start around $85 per night; breakfast included.

Telephone 41 33 828 35 50; fax 41 33 828 35 51; e-mail info@hotel-alpenblick.ch;

Web site: www.hotel-alpenblick.ch

Hotel Bren. Doubles start at $85 per night, including breakfast. Telephone 41 33 828 31 51; fax 41 33 828 31 52; e-mail: info@baren.ch; Web site: www.baeren.ch

In Saxeten:

The Alpenrose Hotel. $50-$55 per night. Open May through October only.

Telephone 41 33 822 18 34;

e-mail: Alpenrose.saxeten@tanet.ch

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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