swiss.crossing - Stage 2/12

Stage 2 – Herisau-Wattwil – 24.75km (total 52.85km) / 891m D+ (1'628) – 7 bridges (11).
The one where I ran in the meadow, and there was a small house, and even some farms…

All you want to know about the swiss.crossing Lake2Lake adventure, is here.

When I wake up, I notice with happiness that the weather is even nicer than yesterday. Not a cloud in sight, perfect blue. Luck is sticking to my sneakers? 

I appreciate that this morning the hotel is not as deserted as yesterday, and so it is much less gloomy. I had a varied breakfast, before resting for another hour in my room.

I start running around 9:30 am, and leave the small city of Herisau which slowly wakes up. I discover other districts, among which the administrative buildings in big stones, and with painted frontages.

Then after a first kilometer, it starts for real: I am in a small forest, where the path is already steep. It will continue like that for about ten kilometers.

I don’t run fast, but I feel good, and I quickly get out of the forest, and run in beautiful meadows, very hilly, which offers a 360° view on other valleys of the same kind, and in the background to the East, on the snowy peaks of the Säntis moutain range.

It is really a very pleasant landscape, which changes a lot from the one of the Alps I am used to, where the mountains are much more present and rather than opening the horizon, except if you climb all the way up, they tend to close it.

These rolling meadows are bright green, and most have been freshly mowed. In the others, cows with their beige and plain coat, typically Appenzell, graze while watching me pass (I feel like a train, I should tell my shrink about that).

It’s not flat, I don’t move fast, busy as I am admiring the landscape, and taking pictures (you’ll agree it’s a very convenient excuse, but nevertheless a real one).

When I pass the 1000m elevation mark, in Högg, I have to cross a field, in the middle of cows. They look at me first with perplexity, then start to follow me. I tell them that I’m going quite far, that I’ll have difficulty going to the end, and that I don’t think they can do it, even if they have 4 legs. They seem to understand because after a while they give up their project (and I don’t give up mine).

Shortly afterwards I reach the highest point of the day’s stage, in Sitz, where the restaurant is closed, but I sit down anyway (Sitz = seat in german, yes, laugh, thank you), to enjoy the landscape for a while. It is also the upper station of a small ski lift. So I go back down by the slope, at the end of which I leave the canton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden to enter the canton of St. Gallen again.

I run down through the fields to the village of Sankt-Peterzell, where I take a break. I bought a small picnic in the village shop, which I enjoyed in the sun on a public bench in the courtyard of the priory, at the foot of the bell tower.

After a 1h break, I set off again, and I am directly well served by a very steep climb just outside the village.

I pass by a beautiful farm, with a nicely painted facade, and at the next farm I take the liberty of stealing some water from the fountain, since the village fountain was not drinkable.

It goes steep down again briefly, then I enter a forest, cross the small bridge and it’s up again, almost 300m elevation to run up. Again mainly through these beautiful meadows, and I keep turning around to enjoy the landscape… I am only on the 2nd day and I really find Switzerland beautiful.

I run in a postcard, there is absolutely no other word than that to describe the environment and the scenery of this run.

I reach the top of the climb in Churfirsten, and then I start the last section of my day, with the descent towards Wattwil.

Through fields, freshly mowed, which are being raked, some by hand (yes, yes), others with tractors. A few steep steps in a forest, and here I am in Wattwil, which occupies the bottom of a valley where the Thur flows. 

I had a little refreshment and I settled in the hotel.

I loved the landscapes of this day, but I could rarely run with a regular pace. 

I don’t feel too tired, even if my legs are a bit sore… But that’s it, the “warm up” is over, and tomorrow it starts seriously with 3 big consecutive stages, and it will also be the very first time I’ll do 3 long runs in a row…

I pause for a beer on a public bench, in the sun… while writing all this, before going back to the hotel for dinner.

Lodging : Hotel Löwen Motelina, Wattwil

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To look at the planned route (zoom-in) for this stage, on the national swiss map, click here or on the map

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