We woke up on Tuesday, the 15th of September, to a spectacular sunrise, as seen here from our room:
More often than not, a colourful sunrise is associated with bad weather; not so this time - it was a sunny day throughout and really warm at 25 Celsius (77 F). By the time we came back up from breakfast to put on our hiking shorts and boots, the sun was fully up. Here is a view from ours across the adjacent balconies; I found the contrast of the bright red geranium against the blue sky worth a picture:
Our hotel had issued a leaflet with four suggestions for tours, and we were determined to walk them all. The one we chose for our first day was described as giving the visitor a good first overview of the Balderschwang valley.
Starting on our side of the valley, the path lead us away from the hotel, eastwards to the village. Just outside the village, we crossed the main road and found ourselves at the bottom of the valley, crossing the stream I have showed you in yesterday's post. From there, the path went steeply upwards in serpentines. I panted and puffed like an old steam engine and secretly thought I would never reach the top, but of course I did - I always do eventually!
|View back towards the hotel just behind the trees next to the red cars.|
|Already on the other side of the valley, looking back down towards Balderschwang.|
|Gelbhansekopf, 1,437 m|
|Looking west from the top of Gelbhansekopf; far behind there is Lake Constance.|
|Silver Thistles, a flower typical for this region.|
We briefly stopped for a drink of water from our bottles at a (now closed) hut with a chapel next door before working our way further up, now on a narrow woodland dirt path that made us glad we were wearing proper hiking boots.
Finally, we had covered the more than 400 m in height difference from the bottom of the valley to the top of the ridge. Walking along a comfortable path, we soon reached the mountain top most prominently visible across the valley from our hotel, the Gelbhansekopf, at 1,437 m.
After a rest, we continued on the path that took us back down into the valley, across the stream and eventually back to the hotel, reaching it from the opposite side from where we had started in the morning. It was time for coffee and cake on the sunlit terrace; at about 10 km, our first tour had not been very long, but with the steep ascent and descent, it felt much more than that.
We still had enough time before dinner to visit the hotel's spa. Afterwards, because it was such a beautiful mild evening and we were well rested by then, we went for another quick walk, just to the village and back.
A beautiful first day was over, and more to come.