A sunny late summer day, but you have a bad cold. What to do? Stay at home – resting on the couch? May be wise, but is out of the question. We have to find a small but nice hike. The guesthouse Aescher in the Alpstein seams to be quiet accurate.
The ascent from Wasserauen is about 750 meters to go up, takes a bit more than 2 hours and is not too challenging. If you are a bit sporty you can do it even when you are not in best health condition. The warming sun and the lovely ambience will do their best for your recovery. We will stroll up slowly and then relax a lot at the guesthouse.
In the morning we take our time. We have to drive for about 2 hours from Lucerne to Wasserauen. But the aerial cableway from Ebenalp will be operating till 6 p.m. so that we have enough time even if we start our hike at 12 a.m. When we arrive in Wasserauen, we are very surprised about the crowd. The parking ground is nearly full and we get one of the last available parking spot. Is there something for free? Or is there a big event? We are a bit irritated. It is a common Friday, no holiday and usually our hikes on Fridays are more or less lonely.
We didn’t know about the international hype about the guesthouse. Since it was mentioned in the National Geographic a lot of people from all around the world come to visit Aescher. For a mountain hut in the alps it is quiet unusual that even people from Asia and America come to visit. The popularity is also increased by the easy access by the cableway. It is a short and easy 15 minute walk from Ebenalp to Aescher. You don’t need big hiking boots for this – even with ballerinas you can manage this way.
But we don’t go to the hut by cableway. We decide to walk up. For this way you shouldn’t take your ballerinas but at least good sneakers, better hiking boots. Baby Mouflon doesn’t feel fit today so we take the shortest way on the country road to the Seealpsee. The other variation would be 30 minutes more, but today we want to save power.
The incline is moderate and we arrive at the Seealpsee soon. The mountains are reflected in the lake. It’s very scenic. In the background the Säntis arises. This is one of the most taken pictures in the area. Another 4 hours and 30 minutes and you would be on the top of Säntis. This mountain is on our bucket list for years. Probably it has to wait for next year. Papa Mouflon takes a lot of pictures before we go on. The lake is still in the shadow – so it is too cold to sit down and take a rest. We will do sunbathing at Aescher later!
When we left the Seealpsee the trail becomes steep. With her cold, Baby Mouflon starts breathing stertorously. Thank god for the many steel cables fixed on the way as a handrail. The trail is a bit rough and the stones are a bit slippery because so many people walked on them before. But we wouldn’t classify the trail as dangerous. At most places it is no problem to let pass the opposing traffic. And it is not exposed. It is a normal moderate hiking trail. Anyway at the guesthouse are some signs which recommend to save your children by a leash (you can get them at Aescher). Better to take some precaution before something bad happens.
We arrive at Aescher. Wow – that’s spectacular! The guesthouse sticks to the steep cliffs. We haven’t seen anything like this before. The terrace is bursting at the seams. Good we brought our own sandwiches and don’t need to order a meal at the guesthouse. That would definitely take a lot of time. So we look for a nice place close-by. By chance we detect a geocache. Completely without searching for it.
The panoramic view reaches from Altmann to the Hoher Kasten. What a beautiful landscape! Pretty rocky although we are just at the foothills of the alps.
To make it even more idyllic, a guy shows up to make some music with a big alpenhorn – some classic alpine pieces but also a wonderful version of ‘Amazing Grace’. Especially the asian people are very excited about this typical swiss musical instrument. Their enthusiasm is even topped when they are allowed to try playing the alpenhorn by themselves. The sound of a beginner playing isn’t idyllic anymore. It sounds more like a little baby elephant.
We stay at Aescher for quite a while. Looking, a bit dozing. Always observing the position of the sun. Because in the afternoon you are shooting against the light – it’s difficult to take good pictures of Aescher. For this reason we wait until the sun disappeares behind the mountain. Then it is the right moment to take pictures. If you wait too long it gets too dark. You have to watch for the right moment.
It is funny to watch all the asian people with their cameras. They pose a lot, run their fingers through their hair, they cock their head. Pretty vain, the Far East tourists. Then the big moment arrives. Papa Mouflon pulls out his camera. One thousand shots later, the perfect picture is shot and we make our way to Ebenalp. The trail up there is short, but spectacular. The first part is along a steep cliff. It is wide, tarred and with a solid handrail. No danger. After a few minutes we arrive at Wildkirchli. It’s a small chapel in a cave. Existing since the 17th century. Until today there are regular church services held in this chapel (look for dates here). A very special place you shouldn’t miss.
But there is still one Highlight left before the day is over. Before you arrive at Ebenalp, you have to cross the caves of Wildkirchli. According to the information board, in the past the caves were a popular place for bears and were used by them for winter sleep. We haven’t seen a bear except the shadow of one. To tell the truth – we are very glad about that.