Friday, July 8, 2016

Appenzell Wanderweg

Today I didn't want to get up, I was so tired and running seemed impossible, but then I saw this view from the bathroom window, and with that as motivation I was out the door as soon as my shoes were tied.  Uphill was killer, I felt like someone was whipping my calf with a switch! That is what I get for two weeks of running by the flat river in Germany and at sea level around Holland. Good thing distractions abounded. The hollow, wind-chimy quality of the cow bell carried on the cool breeze, the sheep that scrambling to the top of the hill at the approach of my footsteps just too look down disappointed as if to say, “oh, it's only you,” and the staggering amount of green everywhere occupied my mind on this challenging run.

We were so excited for breakfast after discovering what an awesome chef Michael was last night.  Breakfast did not disappoint, in addition to local meats, cheeses, eggs, yogurts, juices, and homemade cereals unexpected treats like house made fresh fruit salad, and unique dried fruits of melon and peach, made this a fun experience.  When we checked in yesterday Michael had given us our Appenzeller Ferien cards. Many hotels include the card as a gift to you if you vacation in the region for three nights or more, and it includes many activities and discounts.

So we got use our Appenzeller cards to take the train into the valley to the next village of Wasserauen, then take a gondola up to Ebenalp at 1644m. The views were great, but when the car wobbles as it crosses the support posts, my tummy drops just like on a roller coaster ride. Just a  short hike from the top were the Wildkirchli caves, a chapel actually built in a cave on a cliff (a witch was rumored to have live in the caves and I don't doubt it, a perfectly sheltered place for a single lady to make her home up in the mountains.  We proceeded to have, lunch on the side of the mountain at Ă„scher and shared a table with some Swiss Canadians who were happy to speak English with us and help us understand the waitress’s Swiss German, very different sounding than high German.  We followed the Wanderweg, foot path, all the way down the mountain and had close encounters of the cow kind.  In the late afternoon, we explored the quiet town of Appenzell and found the Appenzeller brewery and whiskey distillery, guess who loved that? We had dinner at the neighbors restaurant, as our closes on Tuesday so chef Michael can take a walk, which is what everyone does on their day off here.

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