Hiking in the Appenzeller hills is no joke! We hit the Wanderweg this morning after breakfast and halfway up the first hill our legs were screaming! Regularly running 3-7 miles several times a week at home, I thought my legs were pretty strong but I thought wrong. Once we got to the final rise, Greg wisely called it quits. (Our original plan had been to scale the hills, descend into the town on the opposite side and then wind back up and around the hills for a return loop into Schwende.) We quickly decided the view from the top was good enough, then headed back to the gasthaus for an Aperol spritz (garnished with an orange wedge and a single ice cube), a light lunch and a nap!
We took the train to Wasserauen in the afternoon to explore the town. This didn't take long as the town consisted of two hotels, one café, the train station, a gondola lift and a trail head. A few farm houses were sprinkled around like the one that advertised this interesting proposition, sleep in the straw! Apparently this is an affordable option for back packers to tour the valley and have a roof (of the barn) over their heads at night. Back in Schwende, we took a walk by the river, then it was time for one more of Michael’s delicious meals. Dessert stole the show tonight, a sample platter of mango and chocolate moose, strawberry soup with rhubarb and citrus sorbet, edible shortbread cups for the vanilla ice cream and custard, and a variety of other creamy dollups on our plate that words cannot describe. (No shortage of dairy in this valley of cows, so cream is heavily featured in dessert menus, feeling grateful that I'm not lactose intolerant!) We are sad that this our last night here, this has been a wonderful part of our trip and the staff here has been so accommodating and friendly. We spent our evening writing some thank you notes to our servers and the owners to let them know how much we enjoyed our stay.