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Part 1: Two Seniors in Switzerland in September: "The Mountains are Calling..."

Our 3 ½ week trip to Switzerland was planned around a 10-day Road Scholar Tour; and 16 independent days of travel. Thanks to COVID as well as helpful travelers on the Switzerland Forum, I had ample time to read and plan for the trip. Switzerland was a great choice at this time because one goes there for the outdoors. During our entire trip, we only chose to enter 2 museums; most of our time was spent outdoors.
We began our trip in the Appenzell region thinking it would be a great place to relax and get over jet-lag. Seems like the older we get, the harder it is to adjust to the 9-hour time difference. We planned for 3 nights in Appenzell because that entitled us to the Appenzeller Card, which included free travel within the area, as well as free roundtrip travel from the Zurich Airport. It also included 2 free passes for Ebenalp (I wrote about the Appenzeller Card in another post).
Like others, it takes some adjustment to get used to the very efficient Swiss Train System. Before we left home, I had written down the departure times (with end cities) for the train we would probably take upon arrival at the airport.
Train arrived; we got on, and I remarked to hubby that "the train is departing a few minutes early"....NOT! Swiss trains do NOT depart early! We had gotten on an express train, and the kind conductor informed us that the train we were on would NOT be stopping in Gossau where we needed to transfer to the local Appenzell line. We needed to get off at the next stop; wait for a few minutes, and then board the correct train.
Coming from southern Oregon, our hillsides are brown from drought during the summer, so the very green rolling hills of the region were a feast for my eyes. I appreciated seeing all the green hillsides the whole time we were in Switzerland.
In Appenzell, we stayed at the Hotel Adler (listed in RS book), overlooking the Platz and the green hills in the distance. It's a very hands-on family owned and run hotel.
One problem for me upon arrival: My suitcase did not arrive. Fortunately, all my toiletries, as well as sleepwear and a couple items of clothing were in my carry-on.
People in Switzerland remarked that July was a particularly rainy month, so their summer started really late. That may explain why sunflowers were in full bloom in September, and flowered window boxes were spectacular, unlike mine at home.
We woke up to a beautiful sunny day, so decided to head to Ebenalp. Hubby had his pair of trekking poles, so shared one with me. My only shoes were slip-on Clark's. The hotel owner said my shoes were not appropriate for the mountain, but mentioned that with the Appenzell card, I could use of a pair of hiking boots for one day from the store next door to the hotel. My feet would have been miserable without those boots!
Ebenalp was a short train ride away to Wasserauen + cable car to the top. Once at the top, we headed downhill, through a dimly-lit cave, exiting on the other side close to the Aescher-Gasthaus am Berg and terraced restaurant, overlooking the valley. While seated at the outdoor table, eating our food, a group of women started singing acapella, while paragliders were sailing over the valley. We felt very thankful to be there; the only English-speakers among the locals, and many from Germany who had driven to the area for a few days vacation.
Rather than back-tracking through the cave, we followed the suggestion in the guide book and continued the trail toward the back of the mountain. It was a little muddy and rocky in places, but not as crowded, and we were rewarded with seeing a few wildflowers.

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Great report. Carol, which Road Scholar tour were you on?