During an epic road trip through Europe last summer, my partner and I stopped in Switzerland for a few weeks. We spent our time exploring the country and sleeping in our home on wheels. The natural wonder of Switzerland was at our doorstep. Although we loved driving around the sun-kissed roads, one of the best ways to really immerse ourselves in the country was to jump into our hiking boots and explore on foot.
I had read much about the wonderful area of Appenzell with its rolling hills and alpine pastures. I had heard the Alpstein region in particular (a subgroup of the Appenzell alps) was a hiker’s paradise. So, giving the van a rest, we laced up our boots and set out to see what all the fuss was about. Upon arriving into Wasserauen, we took the cable car up to Ebenalp, made the short but surprisingly steep walk to the summit and then hiked our way back down the mountain. We passed through the mysterious Wildkichli caves and the Hermit’s House, over the cliff hanging wooden walkway that leads to the Wildkichli Chapel before reaching the unique Aescher Inn. Built into the cliff face, we stopped at this surreal Inn for a beer in the sun and to try the traditional Swiss potato Rosti dish. From here it was a 2-hour long hike down to the dreamy Seealpsee lake.
The downhill hike from the Aescher Inn to Seealpsee Lake was just gorgeous. We scrambled down through sunlit woodland and along the mountainside rocky paths with the most epic views of the peaks above. We were rewarded with the idyllic emerald green lake. With two alpine inns serving beer and traditional Swiss food and row boats ready for rent, the lake is ideal for a whole days worth of chilling in the summer. We walked around the entirety of the lake to snap some photos whilst dipping our toes in the water. Apparently you can swim in it on very hot days, but it was pretty cold when we visited!
On our last walk back towards the van we came across two friendly locals who asked us to stop and share a drink with them. Sworn to be good for our health they coaxed us into trying a traditional Swiss shot which magically appeared from their backpack. Without hesitation we swigged it down and shouted “Prost!” After that our steep trip back down the mountain was a breeze! This was truly a magical day and one of my most memorable from the trip. It’s always a good idea to get outside and explore by foot, reaching places that cars cannot go.