Finding Your Way
My favourite Kleinwalsertal panoramic view was somewhat overcast first thing in the morning, however, after breakfast the clouds had dispersed, the sun came out and the temperature felt pleasantly mild.
I wanted to seize the opportunity to enjoy this beautiful weather and decided to embark on a pleasant hike aimed at beginners. The Ifen bus took me a short part of the journey and I started my tour at the Fuchsfarm.
I continue past the Parsenn and Heuberg cable car station and try to imagine all the hustle and bustle that takes place here in the winter on what are now lush green meadows which become a family-friendly ski resort during the winter months. It is not easy to imagine a winter scene whilst I am sweating in the sunshine on such a beautiful day. I prefer to shake these thoughts from my mind as I will see for myself in due course. I prefer to enjoy this fabulous summer’s day instead. The Oberer Höhenweg is a delightful hiking trail and, as the name suggests, it runs above and alongside the villages of Riezlern, Mittelberg and Hirschegg. I have to keep stopping to take in the far-reaching panoramic views and I try to identify one or other of the distinctive buildings I can see in the valley below.
At the Zaferna lift I am tempted to stop off for some refreshments at the Sonna Alp, however, my hearty breakfast is continuing to sustain me so I decide against stopping for a glass of Hock at the Sonna Alp even though it is very pleasant here and the name of the alp is very fitting on a day like this. I decide to continue on. This hike can be enjoyed at a leisurely pace as the route is not too strenuous which makes it all the more interesting. Numerous benches are positioned in spots where it is definitely worth stopping to sit for a while to truly assimilate the glorious views. There are also a number of information boards to educate and entertain passing hikers dotted along the Zaferna Bergschau Weg. You can find out interesting facts on subjects such as avalanche protection which detail in a comprehensible way all the measures that are taken in Kleinwalsertal to protect the valley and its inhabitants from avalanches. This prompts me to think again about the winter and Kleinwalsertal in all its snowy glory even though I am standing in a meadow covered in alpine flowers in the glorious sunshine.
As I sit enjoying a pleasant glass of Hock at the Stutzalpe, where stunning scenery is combined with a fabulous way of life, I think about my onward journey. Which of the many routes down to the valley should I choose?
I decided to take the third option. Incidentally, directly next to the Stutzalpe you will find the bike base camp which is a hotspot for mountain bikers. I firstly follow the narrow path across the meadows and then I proceed through a romantic and dream-like fairytale forest. This also takes me to Baad and when I arrive here I feel like I really am definitely in the middle of nowhere and in the most remote corner of heaven. I allow myself plenty of time to enjoy a cup of coffee in the pleasant ambience before I decide to complete my homeward journey by taking the free Walserbus for a stretch and then I walk the remainder of the way.
The bus runs on average every 10 minutes and takes me to Hirschegg where I then pick up the Burmiweg and intend to make my way by foot back towards Riezlern. I decide to stop for a while at the Leidtobelkapelle and take a moment to pause and reflect. Did you know that the statue of Johannes von Nepomuk, who is known as the Healer of the Bridge, and who watches over the Leidtobel bridge is only a copy? You can see the original at the Walser Heimatmuseum in Riezlern. I then head into the Zwerwald along the Burmiweg, which I am now already familiar with, however, this path along the River Breitach is still as beautiful as ever and is just the right thing to perfectly round off my first day of easy hiking. I notice with some amusement a few children having lots of fun playing on the wobbly wooden bridge and the climbing ropes along the banks of the Breitach. I also watch them practising their stone skimming techniques and building small stone towers called Steinmändle. The delicious aromas of freshly grilled meat drifts across the air. This is a Kleinwalsertal family holiday at its best, providing fun for the children and relaxation for the grown ups. It doesn’t take long for me to reach Riezlern again when I round of the day in a relaxed and cosy manner.
My hiking adventures shall continue and the next time I am going to get the adrenaline pumping on a via ferrata. Why not join me?