Well, five years ago, I remember beginning our Flitterwochen with a nauseating holding pattern over Zurich, waiting for the landing strip to clear. I remember making our final descent, just as the sun was rising, giving us tantalizing glimpses of a landscape I had only ever dreamt about. Then the confusion of trying to orient ourselves and make our way to the train station where we headed east to the colourful town of Appenzell. Being gobsmacked the entire way as our train sailed through the most ridiculously picturesque landscape I'd ever seen. Gently rolling hills, velvety green, dotted with cows ladden with giant cowbells; quaint Swiss chalets that looked like cuckoo clocks, window boxes dripping with colour; it didn't seem real! It was so neat and trim and perfect. An hour on the ground, and I was already in heaven.
In Appenzell we stashed our luggage in the station lockers, and took a smaller train as far south as it went, to the tiny hamlet of Wasserauen, then up a cable car to Ebenalp, to begin what we thought would be a five hour hike around the Seealpsee in the Alpstein massif.
I remember the walk from the top of Ebenalp through the interesting and unique Wildkirchli caves, and rounding the corner and getting my first glimpse of the valley with Meglisalp on one side and on the other, the awesome Gasthaus Aescher, which is built into the cliff face that overhangs it, making it invisible in aerial photos. I was giddy coming upon this exact view, because it had been my desktop background in the months leading up to the honeymoon. And here it was. Unbelievable. I was gobsmacked. Again.