Before saying our goodbyes to Switzerland, Derek and I had one last stop to make. Unlike Zurich and Lucerne, this destination was a bit off the beaten path. It wasn’t the usual hop-on-hop-off-the-train-and-you’re-here type address we’d been used to thus far on the trip. It was a bit more complicated than that.
See, this destination was perched high above on the side of a cliff in the Swiss Alps.
Berggasthaus Aescher. Otherwise known as the cliff-side guesthouse. Besides the cinematic panoramic views, what makes this B&B so unique is the fact it is built precariously into the side of the cliff. Seriously. When you enter the B&B, you’ll see for yourself that the back walls are literally the mountainside. Cool, solid, gray stone, right there in front of you. It’s incredible.
While it was originally built to house farmers, goats and cows several hundred years ago, this cliff-side hut was then turned into a guesthouse for pilgrims on a spiritual quest to visit monks. After being bought by a family not too long ago, this mountain house is now operated by the grown brothers and sisters, and offers its guests stunning views, cheap accommodations, and hearty plates of homemade goodness.
To be located on the side of a mountain, the journey to the cliff house is fairly easy. First, you take a cable-car straight up the mountain. And I’m talking straight up — not a gradual climb like most cable-cars.
Once at the top, you’ll hike for a good fifteen to twenty minutes. But rest assured, this part is downhill. It probably took us a bit longer because we were just stunned with the 360-degree views. Rolling countryside as far as the eye could see. It was breathtaking.
You’ll have to hike through a small cave to get to the guesthouse. Yes, a cave. Don’t worry; it’s nothing too scary. If anything, it makes the trek even more adventurous. For me, at least.
And then, before you know it, you’ll turn the corner and BAM. The mountain chain opens up before your eyes, and there it is. Perched right up to the side of the cliff.
The wind had a bit of a chill to it when we arrived, so we were greeted with big smiles and a warm, crackling fire inside. However, I read in the heat of the summer, guests and locals usually congregate outside on the porch with live music playing in the background. Talk about an epic party, right?
With the Alps all around, there are a TON of hiking trails. Luckily for us, we had a few hours to kill before dinner, so we made our way down one to the lake below.
Nestled smack in between two snow-capped peaks, this lake just looked so serene. The water so still and the village so quiet. We just stopped and stared, trying to mentally paint this picture in our minds for reminiscing later down the road.
After making our way back up to the top, we thought it was only necessary to treat ourselves with a cold, locally-brewed beer. Maybe it was the long, treacherous hike, but I vividly remember that beer tasting so, so refreshing.
It would have been a true disservice to our taste-buds if we had skipped out on Rösti. I had read that many people hike the mountain just for the warm plates of Switzerland hash browns. After devouring a stack myself, I now understand why.
Upon heading out early the next day, we couldn’t help but turn around and snap a few more photos. With the mountain range clinching onto the morning fog, the cliff-side house seemed so mystical. There were no noises to be heard, as the valley villages had not yet woken up. Even the wildlife was still asleep.
While our time at the Aescher cliff-house was short, I couldn’t imagine a better way to end our stay in Switzerland. This place, the people, the food is nothing short of a Swiss dream. What a beautiful way to commune with nature. If you ever have the chance to visit this mountainside hut, DO IT. Please. For your mind, body and soul. Because here, worries do not exist. I mean, how could they when you have this backdrop?
I am so thankful we were able to have this unforgettable opportunity, even if it was only for one night. It was the perfect rejuvenation. While I’m a sucker for charming cities, nothing competes with the beauty of nature.
To read more about our time in Switzerland, click here. I also wrote about our experience at the Aescher cliff-house on POPSUGAR here. And if you want to see the mini film Derek created of our time in Switzerland, see below!