Where We Be
We packed a lot of fun into one sunny day in
Appenzell before the weather turned rainier.
Using our Appenzeller Card (free with any stay
of 3 nights), we were able to take advantage of
lots of great freebies. We started with a free
aerial cable ride to the top of Ebenalp for great
views down onto Appenzell. The whole region
of Appenzell is like the picture we hold in our
mind's eye of Heidi's Switzerland with its green
rolling hills, cows with bells, and Swiss chalets.
After a fun hike and memorable outdoor dining
experience in the Ebenalp, we boarded a local
train for Jakobsbad, a town full of fun-seekers
and paragliders. We began with two free rides
on the Jakobsbad Toboggan Run (fun!) then
took the free Jakobsbad-Kronberg cable car
for more great views. Finally, near sunset, we
walked toward home along the Barefoot Path,
or "Barfussweg," a grassy 5 km trail specifically
designed to be enjoyed in your bare feet!
|Appenzell was one of our favorite places to visit in all of
Switzerland with its green rolling hills and quaint villages
|Jakobsbad was our next stop. It looks utterly peaceful from here
but actually offers some pretty adventurous things to do.
|We had an hour to kill before the next train. We passed the
time putting our feet in the cold water just behind the station.
|After finishing our loop hike we took the cable car back down
|We had traditional Swiss rosti (like hash browns) and
bratwurst on the patio, which offers a spectacular view
|We braked a lot on our first run down, but on our second run, after asking if we could
come off the track and being told no, we accelerated the whole way down. Whew!
Robin cursed up a storm around the curves but we were both all smiles by the end.
|View from the train as we approached Appenzell. For towering
mountains go to the Jungfrau or Zermatt -- Appenzell is more pastoral.
|Ebenalp is also perfect for paragliders
|Halfway through our hike we happened upon this amazing restaurant built right
into the side of a cliff. It's called Gasthaus Aescher and is completely irresistible!
|At the top of Ebenalp we took a pleasant hour-long loop walk
|Appenzell is an appealing town steeped in tradition. It
takes some effort to get here so it's not over-touristed.
|Next up was a free cable car ride (again courtesy of our Appenzeller card)
on the Jakobsbad-Kronberg Cable Car (28 francs each at full price).
At the top we enjoyed a short loop hike offering more great views.
|We started our day with a gondola ride to the top of the Ebenalp.
Looking down, we could see tractors mowing hay in the fields.
|Oh happy day! Hiking in sunny Switzerland!
|These folks seem well-prepared for winter!
|We stayed at Lydia Haus B&B, a ten-minute walk from
the train station. This was our view from the back patio.
|It’s part of the experience to enjoy the tactile feel of your bare feet on the soft grass
|Back down at the bottom, we took the Barefoot Path, or Barfussweg in German.
It's a grassy trail designed to be walked in your bare feet. Signs point the way.
|We walked barefoot all the way from Jakobsbad to
Gonten (above). What a picturesque little town!
|It was a lovely day for a barefoot walk
|Near Gontenbad I trudged through a long, deep trough of mud -- put there on purpose as part
of the barefoot "tactile" experience! What a mess! Thankfully there was a hose at the far end.
|We were having so much fun we kept walking to the next town
(but with shoes on), where we finally caught the train home
|We got two free runs on the Jakobsbad Toboggan Run courtesy of our Appenzeller card
(normally 9 francs per ride). It's like your own personal rollercoaster! Our car was towed up the
track then we glided down the rails. Pushing forward on a stick we accelerated, pulling back we braked.