Day Trip: Berggasthaus Aescher-Wildkirchli
One of my Swiss bucket list dreams came true today, a day trip to Berggasthaus Aescher-Wildkirchli. After a week of being back in Switzerland after summer holidays and the jet lag finally wearing off, we drove the 1 1/2 hours to Wasserauen this morning. High up in the Appenzell, we parked at Wasserauen as instructed by Rick Steves and headed to the gondola.
Berggasthaus Aescher-Wildkirchli, a hotel and restaurant, perched on a sheer rock cliff. After the long car ride, we hopped out and got on to the Ebenalp Gondola at Wasserauen. Up we went to the top of the mountain. We saw cows straight away and had to give them a good pet before starting our little hike to the restaurant. We walked through a large dark cave and popped out the other side to the sheer rock face. Past a pilgrimage site, we found a little hut with some fun things for the girls to see and touch with historical facts about the area.
A few more steps and we arrived at Berggasthaus Aescher-Wildkirchli. We only waited about ten minutes before space opened up and we were seated. The girls were absolutely in love with the outdoor play house they had and happily played the entire time. They only sat down for their rösti and bouillon and then they were back playing in the play house. The rösti with 2 eggs was the best I have had so far in Switzerland (I’m usually disappointed in the food at the top of gondolas) and the view was absolutely gorgeous. (The coffee was not my favorite, next time I would order wine.) The bathrooms in the restaurant and guest rooms in the hotel have the sheer rock face as the back wall which makes the entire experience that much cooler. Once we ate lunch, Hadley said that she wanted to hike down to the car instead of taking the gondola. I was super impressed, so we encouraged each other and I am so incredibly glad we did it. The hike was absolutely gorgeous. We wandered through cow pastures, farmland, trails, sheep, and gorgeous houses and churches for a few hours. It was incredible and all very The Sound of Music. This was our first true hike since moving to Switzerland. And I now have the rush of the beauty of this country. OK, it is all downhill. But still. It is gorgeous. A very pretty little Sunday in Switzerland.
Getting there: Park at Wasserauen, take the gondola, hike 10 minutes to Berggasthaus Aescher-Wildkirchli, eat lunch at the restaurant, then either take the gondola back to Wasserauen, or hike a few hours down to Wasserauen. Our girls are 4 and 7 and it was a wonderful easy day out.