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Report 1729: Family, Food and Wine (Part 2) Abruzzo Re-Re-Visited and Switzerland

By avvocato from NJ, USA, Spring 2009

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Page 8 of 11: Säntis der Berg

photo by Jeab Brunner

On top of the world - Santis Berg

No trip to Switzerland can be complete without an outing to the Swiss Alps. The “Alps” are not a monolithic mountain range but a series of different ranges in different locales. The nearest Alps to Winterthur are the Appenzell Alps. These are located in St Gallen, Appenzell Ausserholden and Appenzell Innerrhoden Cantons in Northeast Switzerland. This area of Switzerland borders Germany Austria and Lichtenstein. The most easily traveled-to “peak” from Winterthur is Säntis der Berg near the village of Schwägalp. It is easy to get from Winterthur to Säntis by public transportation and all within two hours.

Public transportation in Switzerland is a source of pride and the ability to travel almost anywhere by combination of local bus, local train and intercity train is remarkable. Our trip to the mountains begins at 08:37 where we board the intercity to the town of Wil. At Wil we change to a local train to Nesslau Neu St. Johann then we take a bus to Schwägalp and arrive at 10:28. Here you are at the base of the mountain. The trip to the mountain is via cable car. The Säntis peak is 2,502 m above sea level. It is 06 May and there is still a great deal of snow in the mountains and in the high valleys. The day is absolutely gorgeous, sunny and mild. This is a picture postcard day that feels as if it was ordered by the Swiss National Tourist Office.

There is a large Hotel and Restaurant in Schwägalp at the mountain base. I order some coffee and hot chocolate for my wife and Jeab and order a hearty lunch of bratwurst and frites. After lunch we take the cable car and ride to the top of the mountain. There is a hiking trail available in the summer but not open in May. The views are fantastic. It’s like being on top of the world. On a clear day you can see six countries from the top of the mountain - Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Austria, Germany, France, and Italy. There is a restaurant available on the summit and many other educational exhibits demonstrating the biology and geology of the Alps.

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