Well, the heat wave has ended. We awoke to a downpour and 50 degree temperature, plus extreme winds that were not kind to our poor, rattled tent. The once-a-month farmer's market (bauernmarkt) in Vaduz was scheduled for today and we were a little worried that it may be canceled. Luckily, not only was it in full swing when we arrived, the rain only upped the sense of community.

People huddled together and sloshed around in galoshes as a quartet played cheery, classical music in the corner. A breakfast buffet was set up along the back wall of the windowed tent. Through it, a anachronistic backdrop of snow-capped mountains made us feel momentarily delusional. Of course, it makes sense that rain down here means snow up there. It only made us happier to cling to the bauernmarkt's warmth and ignore the world outside for a moment.

We felt like part of the community, recognizing a face here and there. There's the woman from the Hofkellerei, standing behind the Hofkellerei table - there's that incredibly tall man from the Demmel Kaffee. He roasted coffee beans on a fire, handed us a few to munch on and complimented us on our newly gained tans. We bought some coffee and a piece of banana loaf from his table, knowing that the coffee roastery/cafe was one of the companies represented at the market that was definitely Liechtensteinische (and not Swiss).

Our second purchase was Swiss, but we weren't too hard on ourselves about it. This no-nonsense kid took time out from his croissant and comic book to sell us some semi-hard goat cheese. Cheese and sausage were the most plentiful goods for sale, but produce, oils and vinegars, wine, baked goods and a wooden brush vendor rounded out the offerings.

Of course, there was a man grilling sausages. This is a veal bratwurst and was pronounced "the best sausage of the trip" by Merlin. It was served in a Malbuner bag, which is a processed ham company based out of Liechtenstein, named after a town in Liechtenstein, but which uses meat from Switzerland (in case you were wondering).

Some people sat with a bottle of wine, others with full breakfast buffet plates; some grazed the free samples, other purchased bowls of asian soup which filled the air with a sweet soy and sesame oil scent. It was a lively, dry gathering under the bauernmarkt tent and we were glad to be part of it.
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