After hiking the 5-Seenwanderung, Michael and I stayed overnight in a hut up on the mountain. There, the friendly hut warden asked us if we intended to hike again, and we told him that we'd planned to spend a quiet day at the Walensee instead.
"There aren't many beaches on the lake", he warned us, correctly surmising our main plan for the day. He claimed the only beach worth being called that is in Walenstadt, at the lake's easternmost point.
After a (delicious) breakfast and gondola ride down, we followed his suggestion.
The beach in Walenstadt did not disappoint. Long, it wrapped around much of the lake's eastern end, with expansive views over the lake itself and of the Churfirsten rising abruptly to one side.
|The beach in Walenstadt.|
|View from the beach.|
I did try for a quick swim, but the water was bitterly cold (it is one of the deepest lakes in Switzerland!) and so even this Canadian didn't last very long.
|The lake and the Churfirsten.|
|Yes, those are palm trees...and yes, this is Switzerland.|
|Buildings near the beach in Walenstadt. Not a bad location, I must say.|
On the hot, sunny day we had, the ride across the lake in the boat was highly enjoyable. We sat outside in the front of the boat, and so we had views to both sides and could watch the far shore get closer.
|On the ferry ride|
This also meant we had first views of Quinten and its even tinier sister village of Au, each a handful of red-roofed houses and vibrant green vineyards clinging to the steep mountain side.
|First views of the village.|
I'd never been to a car-free village before and was eager to see what one looked like. Unlike car-free towns like Zermatt, which I'd visit later on in my time in Switzerland, Quinten has nothing that even distantly resembles roads, only dirt paths and stone stairs. Once you leave the two modern restaurants and the majority of the tourist crowds behind you (all clustered by the waterfront, for obvious reasons), it's easy to feel as though you've stepped back in time.
|Wine and houses, in Quinten.|
It didn't take us long to wander through the entirety of the village. As the entire population of Quinten is 41 (and I believe this number actually includes Au) and the number of buildings is around that number too, we weren't terribly surprised.
|In Quinten, very cute!|
One we'd exhausted all other activities we decided it was time to sit by the water and drink some local wine. I'm more partial to reds but quite enjoyed the white I drank there, surrounded by palm trees and overlooking the Walensee.
|Michael and the wine. There are no pictures of me from the day, so Michael has to fill in...sorry not sorry 😊|
There didn't seem to be much of anything in Au, but we enjoyed the walk along the lakeside trail to get there and back. The trail, which wends along the entire north side of the lake from Weesen in the west to Walenstadt in the east, is one of the most popular activities along the lake. After our long hike the day before, we were both in agreement that we didn't want to do any hikes, but I enjoyed at least seeing a little bit of the trail.
|On the ferry back, and off to home.|
Thanks to Michael for companionship, planning help, and doing all the driving!