By Dana Piffkova
Snoozing the alarm clock at 5:45 I try to remember what exactly led me to a thought last night it might be good idea to get up this early on a public holiday. 8 minutes later the phone rings again and I know I either have to get up or will need to give up my brave plan completely. I crawl out of the bed, brush my teeth still in a delirium, unsure, whether this was one of the things to kill me or make me stronger.
I collect some basics for a survival in the train and perhaps also in mountains, check if the weather is still supposed to melt me later during the day with its 29-34 degrees, and make sure my backpack also contains a full 3-litre water bag. Camera, rain jacket (where is heat, there are storms), shorts and books. One book for the train and one for the hike – to make sure I don’t get lost. A GPS might arguably do a better job, but the paper maps and written instructions have their own charm. Grabbing some food and sweets, too, at 6:30 I’m all set to head out for the little mid-week adventure.
What awaits me is a 17 km long hike from Euthal to Innerthal through Chli Aubrig and Gross Aubrig. The walking part should take 7 hours and 15 mins bringing me up to 1,695m with views of pretty much the whole surroundings.
The guide book promises a beautiful panoramic scenery along the way and possibly also funny encounters with locals, such as cows and donkeys.
The journey from Zurich to Euthal only took 1:40 hours. The first tram was empty as a school at Christmas. After a few changes, namely from the tram to train at Zurich HB, then train to train at Wädenswill and train to bus at Einsiedeln, I finally arrived to Alte Festung in Euthal, ready to start marching.
There is hardly anything better than the fresh morning air smelling of a promising day out in the greens. Nothing is impossible at 8:35.
After the first 40 minutes I feel like I have super powers, because the steep ascent to the first milestone took me 20 minutes less than the sign had advertised.
Enjoying the view of Sihlsee from Egg, little do I know it’s about the last time today I feel so unbeatable.
The beauty starts visibly taking over. Nature shows me things I love so much, all at the same time. Blues of the sky and the lake, soft grassy ground under the feet, curves of the hills and further back some serious mountains too, the peaceful morning light to cover everything and make it dreamy. Switzerland says good morning and happy national day.
The locals have shown up several times. Sometimes absolutely indifferent and busy with their breakfast, sometimes with slightly hostile expressions on their faces as if to say that if you don’t get lost soon enough, you might experience something more stressful than just their grumpy alpine look.
A little higher, not far from the first peak of the day – Chli Aubrig (1,645m), I start meeting other hikers. Age is something that doesn’t play a role in Switzerland. It’s not uncommon for me to be overtaken by someone in their sixties or seventies, not just because the office chair doesn’t help me get in shape, but also because these guys have possibly been hiking every spare moment of their lives. I can’t say it doesn’t make me envious.
The view from the first peak was wonderful. Shared with some 15+ other hikers who had the same idea, just came from different places. On a narrow peak like this it felt quite crowded, but it was still possible to leave almost everyone out when taking pictures. You see, it makes life easier, when you can skip all the retouching. I wonder if I have ever been deleted from someone’s pictures as an excessive element…
Under the hill, in the middle house, it’s possible to have a drink and a snack. I will use this opportunity to contemplate a bit about the stress level in life of wasps invading my Coke. The main question will be whether they are more stressed than me while we fight each other.
So this was it, as seen from a gps point of view. I walked the wonderful Swiss hills with awe, I enjoyed most of the day, learned some about what was missing in my gear (a cap, yes) and what was done well, namely choosing a route with alternatives paths, although the alternative around the Grosser Aubrig was not entirely comfortable. Innerthal had an ice cream place to offer a soothing milk shake after the long day and a bus to take me back to civilization and hide me from the storm summoning around. When the raindrops started drumming on the windows, I completely surrendered. It was a happy sleepy ride back.