Kanisfluh is the name of the mountain visible from our hotel room, and today we were not only going to look at it, but to get to its very top. It is a famous landmark and even has its own wikipedia entry in English - click here if you want to read it.
|Looking to the left from our balcony at 7:44 in the morning, the sun was lighting up the valley.|
|Looking straight ahead, the Kanisfluh was just beginning to catch some sunrays on its eastern flank.|
After breakfast and changing into our hiking gear, O.K. drove us the 10 minutes to Mellau, where we took the funicular up the steep mountain slope. Since we were going to walk to the very top on a round tour with still plenty of steep up and down hill hiking, we decided to forego the long way up all the way from the bottom of Mellau.
|aboard the funicular|
|Just got off the funicular - not done anything yet!|
There was still enough height to cover on steep, rocky paths, often only as wide as my two feet - as comfortable as in the picture below only at the beginning and end.
I puffed and panted my way up, needing several breaks, but I made it - and was rewarded with great views and the feeling of having accomplished a good, strenuous hike.
|Almost there! But don't be fooled - it was harder than it looks to go that last bit to the top.|
|Looking back on the way down. Yep, we've been up there.|
|silver thistle, native to this area and a good weather indicator (closes when rain is near)|
|Just a shed, but I liked its position against the dramatic mountain silhouette and clouds.|
Continuing the round tour, we stopped at Wurzach-Alpe for a shandy. "Alpe" is the name for a place high up in the mountains, usually not inhabited for more than a few months each year from around May until September. An Alpe usually consists of a wooden house, sometimes hardly more than a hut, surrounded by pastures where cows (and sometimes goats) stay to graze all summer. They are milked every day by the people living on the Alpe, and more often than not, much of the milk is used for making cheese right there. Many - but not all - of those places offer food and drink to hikers and walkers, and we took advantage of that (we still had water in our flasks).
|private chapel at Wurzach-Alpe|
|Who wouldn't want to rest there?|
|Sorry - wrong order, this was at the top.|
Returning to Mellau via the funicular, we decided to drive to Bezau (not to be confused with Bizau, "our" village). A former colleague of O.K.'s was staying there in a camping ground with his wife, getting their caravan ready for the coming season. They are firm skiers and have been enjoying winter camping and skiing at this same place every year for over 30 years.
We payed them a surprise visit and sat down for a while in the sun for a chat before driving back to Bizau.
At the hotel, it was time to shower and dress in fresh clothes, and then dinner - again out in the garden under those large chestnut trees.
The first full day here had brought great weather and the most strenuous of all our hikes of this holiday, getting up to 2,044 m (6,706 ft).