Wednesday, April 27, 2011

W is for Walensee

I've already mentioned my two favorite lakes in Switzerland (is it weird that I have such a ranking?), the Vierwaldstättersee and the Oeschinensee, but today I am going to talk about another of my favorite Swiss lakes, probably #3 or #4, a lake called the Walensee.

The Walensee is located partially in the canton of Glarus and partially in the canton of St. Gallen, in the eastern portion of Switzerland, not far from Liechtenstein.  In fact, the first time I saw the Walensee was when I was traveling from Vaduz back to Zurich, and rode (by train) past the southern shore of the Walensee.  The view from the south shore is fantastic -- the Walensee is a long lake, and the northern shore is more cliff than beach, and beyond the cliffs rear up the Churfirsten, a range of mountains:

A view of the Churfirsten, from the north side of the lake
The moment I saw it, I knew I wanted to hike along the north side of the lake, and a few years later I finally did.  It was November 1, 2009 (I remember the date because the day before, on Halloween, I hiked up to the top of Monte San Salvatore in Lugano), and I met up with friends in Rapperswil.  We took a train and then a bus to the village of Amden, and then proceeded to hike most of the length of the lake, from Amden to another village called Walenstadtberg.  For the beginning of November, the weather was almost summer-like -- a really perfect autumn day for a late season hike.

One of the best parts is that we finished up in Walenstadtberg just as darkness was falling, and stumbled upon a small restaurant, which ended up being more a person's living room and kitchen than anything else.  The proprietor and a few of her friends were celebrating the anniversary of the restaurant, and they welcomed us in without hesitation.  About 45 minutes later, we caught the PostBus down the mountain and returned to Zurich.


  1. Your photo's are amazing!! We are practically neighbors. My husbands father used to teach at Drexel.
    I really enjoyed your post...

  2. Good times, that hike! I still remember wondering whether we had stumbled upon a private family gathering.