After taking two buses and a train through Appenzell at 6 am, I stood at the bottom of Ebenalp in Wasserauen, Switzerland, waiting to take a cable car to the top of the mountain. I was wearing cheap shoes with no support, a backpack with a camera, sunscreen, some bread and cheese, and a tiny map of the hike I wanted to conquer. It turns out, I was about a month too early for that particular route, and the snow made it too dangerous to make an attempt. Lucky for me, the detour was extremely rewarding.
I will admit, I made a small, naughty attempt to hike the original route anyway, but ended up hiking down the moutain on the recommended route, which passes through the Wildkirchli Caves to the hermitage and the chapel. The trail continued until I arrived at Berggasthaus Aescher, one of the most famous and most photographed mountain inns and restaurant in Switzerland.
Although this restaurant was especially intruiging because it was carved into the cliff face, there were restaurants scattered all over the mountains. For a group of military men who were attempting to run down the mountain, these restaurants provided perfect checkpoints to stop and have a beer. At each checkpoint, they would pause and wait for me to reach the checkpoint, and then would sheepishly ask me to take a group picture of them. We celebrated when we made it to the bottom at the same time, and they dropped me off in their big army jeeps at the train station to get back to my cottage.
At this point, my leg muscles were destroyed, and I began to regret not wearing proper footwear for the hike. I took the train home with my legs propped up in pain, but inside, I was feeling pretty content.
Location: Ebenalp, Switzerland
Time Spent: 1 Day