Something to Do on a Sunday

Isaiah and I had been eying the sledding trails along the Appenzeller Bahnen for a couple of months now. A week ago we decided to give it a go. After all, it was Sunday, so everything else around here was closed. By car, it was quite easy to get started. We drove to the train station in Altstätten City and parked the car in the Migros lot. (You can also access this stop by taking the bus from the Altstätten main station or switch to the AB in Gais.) Inside the "Mercato Shop Altstätten" (stocked with souvenirs, snacks, and sleds-for-hire), we purchased our one-way rail tickets to Stoss (AR) for CHF 4.00 per person, full price. Within a few minutes we boarded the cog train and began our ascent. Check out the detail shot I took of the "teeth" on this railway, which made for a noisy trip, but it was exciting to be riding on such a steep slope, even if for just ten minutes.

At our stop, we unloaded our plastic sleds, breathed in a fresh cow-manure stench, and secured our gloves. The trail follows the railway, but also takes you through the countryside. Riding down was mostly bumpy and the melting snow revealed mud and patches of grass.

We did, however, appreciate the intermittent signs letting us know which way to go to continue on the designated sledding slopes:

At the end, the trail abruptly delivered us to a large field, after which we set out on foot back to the car park/train station. (Convenient signs pointing to the Bahnhof and Zentrum sent us in the right direction.) If you happen to be in this area sometime during the winter (or plan to come visit us in the future -- Jamon and Dill), you should not pass up this activity. Our only complaint was that the slopes hadn't been groomed in a while, probably since the last snowfall two weeks prior, so I recommend going as soon as possible after a snowfall for a snowier, smoother ride.


  1. Hey Amanda! Wanna switch places for a month? I'm a travel writer in Costa Rica and I miss quality cheese! It squeaks on your teeth down here.. the kind of stuff you can make yourself with an old jug of milk. I can offer some great homemade rice and beans :)

  2. Hey Claire - those rice and beans are very tempting...


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