In September 2013, John and I met our friends, Michelle and Jeff, and Michelle’s parents, Gabi and Pete, in Switzerland.
They were in Switzerland for a family reunion.
Thankfully, they let John and me tag-along with them for a little sightseeing before their reunion. What better way to see Switzerland than through the eyes of Swiss friends!
One afternoon we ate lunch at Berggasthaus Aescher-Wildkirchli.
It is a 170-year-old guest house and restaurant tucked into the side of a mountain in Alpstein, a subgroup of the Appenzell Alps.
Berggasthaus Aescher-Wildkirchli can entertain up to 40 people and is located at Wildkirchli, Ebenalp, Weissbad 9057, Switzerland.
But you can’t just throw that address into your navigation system and expect it to take you directly to the restaurant.
Trust me, we tried.
The way up is by cable car:
Use the address above and you will see the cable car station on the right-hand side of the road, about 1/2 a mile before your navigation system says, “you have arrived!”
If you drive over a cattle guard and onto this tiny little road, you’ve gone too far.
But the cows are cute so it won’t be a wasted trip.
The Wasserauen-Ebenalp cable car costs 27 CHF per person for a roundtrip.
The views are spectacular!
At the top you’ll have a magnificent view of Appenzell, Sankt Gall and Thurgau hill-landscape, Lake Constance, and the picturesque Alpstein mountains.
From there, just follow the signs to Gasthaus Aescher.
The hike down to the restaurant takes about 15 minutes, but it all depends on how many stops you make along the way.
It can get chilly up there, so depending on when you go, make sure you have plenty of layers.
Along the hike you’ll come across a turnstile:
It seems a little out of place, but know that you are traveling in the right direction.
Then you’ll see a cave.
You’ll think, “are we still going the right way?”
Trust me, you’re almost there.
When you come out of the cave you’ll be met with more breathtaking views.
Continue to follow the path and you’ll pass a church.
That means you are very close.
As soon as you walk through this part:
The next thing you’ll see is this!
Super cool, right?!
For a size reference, John and I are standing in front of it.
It is crazy to think about how this restaurant and guesthouse were built this high up and into the side of a mountain.
Be sure to check out the sheep on the side of the mountain, too.
Especially the little naughty black ones.
On to the chäsrösti!
I have eaten chäsrösti before, but it was nowhere near as delicious as this chäsrösti.
I couldn’t get enough. I ate every bite and wanted more.
Gabi explained that the best rösti is made with boiled potatoes. Boil the potato, put it in the refrigerator for a day, and then shred the potato into a hot pan with butter.
Once it is crispy on both sides, add shredded cheese (chäs), and let the cheese melt on the hot rösti.
I can’t wait to try it at home!
You can also order chäsrösti with other things like, Salat (salad):
And chäsrösti with speck (ham) and Ei (egg):
And don’t worry about all of the carbs and calories because now you get to walk back up the mountain!
You’ll easily burn all of those calories so think of it as necessary fuel.
Don’t let me scare you, the hike isn’t difficult at all.
Your return ticket will take you back down in the cable car.
On the way down, you’ll want to soak-up as much of the scenery as you can.
I’d plan on at least three hours for the adventure, longer if you want to go on a few hikes while you are up there.
Wow! What an afternoon!
Please put Berggasthaus Aescher-Wildkirchli on your bucket list.
The experience is one-of-a-kind!