The walk from Herisau to Wattwil involves walking up and down quite a lot. Even though it’s only 25km, it is strenuous for the feet. But the landscape is definitely worth the pain!
On my second day I set off from Herisau around 11am. That’s actually quite late in summer – even for Switzerland. But as I am working on the weekdays and living in Switzerland itself I am taking the train to my starting point every day. This means setting off at 6am is simply impossible.
It doesn’t sound very pilgrim-like but the walking is still very nice 🙂
So I arrived at the station of Herisau, walked uphill into the old part of the town and started my second day on the camino with the sun already burning down mercilessly. I took some other photos of the town and then followed the signs out into the countryside. This day the way led up and downhill a lot. First time right after Herisau enabling a nice view over the town.
Between Herisau and Wattwil the Camino is often leading across meadows and left me wondering in which direction I had to go in order to find the next sign. I took a wrong turn twice or trice but as Switzerland is very small you usually don’t walk very far until you find back to the way. After a day of walking up and down a lot with hurting feet it might still be a strain to go on the search for the way though.
On this leg the way leads through the Canton of Appenzell which I guess is well known abroad for its dresses, houses and cheese. It is where you come across many cheese dairies and might have the possibility to have a look at how they make cheese. Only upon notification of course. They traditionally have the red dresses you sometimes see in the ads like for example this one:
It might well be possible that you walk into cultural happenings there and then you see them live. Maybe not in such a setting though. 🙂
I for my part first “bumped” into two really cute kitten playing with each other on a farm you have to cross when walking towards St. Peterzell. They were so cute I simply had to stay there and watch them, taking a few nice pics. That was hard though as they were very fast!
Afterwards I walked on enjoying a very nice mountain scenerey. It was good weather and so the sight was very clear.
I took a short lunch in a little restaurant on the side of the road and afterwards walked past Schwellbrunn, a nice town in Appenzell. The way is leading up quite steeply afterwards and after some time I suddenly ended up near a restaurant, alphorn players standing right in front of me playing a very moving music piece. It first had me wondering if I had lost my way. But as a matter of fact they were standing right in the middle of the Way of St. James which was leading over a meadow in that case.
I am usually no fan of Swiss folk music. But in that case it was really nice and moving. It was just so great! I made the experience that on pilgrimage it’s little and unforseen things which make the most joy as long as you’re open and ready to take whatever comes. For me running into those alphorn players was very special.
After some more ups and downs…
…I finally arrived in St. Peterzell. This is a very small town in the middle of Appenzell with some really picturesque houses.
I drank a lemonade at the nearby restaurant and learnt that it was another 3 hours walk to Wattwil from there. Phew…I actually already felt quite exhausted and my feet hurt. And that after having walked about 600km until just two weeks ago! And it already was 4pm so I wasn’t really sure if it was wise to continue walking.
I finally decided to keep on walking and left St. Peterzell in direction of Wattwil. In the meantime it had become quite cloudy and the temperatures had sunk a bit. So walking was easier now. Of course I came across many nice houses alongside the road again.
I made the “3 hour” walk in about 2 hours and arrived in Wattwil with hurting and very swollen feet. This is why I finally decided to not walk the next day as rain was forecasted anyway. So I will make the way from Wattwil to Rapperswil and then from Rapperswil to Einsiedeln this week-end.