Engelberg is another Swiss magnet attracting the sportive natives and the nature loving tourists from around the world.
On the one side of the valley, Mt. Titlis awards advanced skiers and snowboarders with adrenalin inducing pistes on top of its glacier. On the opposite side, the Brunni resort welcomes families and snowshoe hikers with its tender, sunny kisses!
So on a recent Sunday, we grabbed our gear and headed to the gondola station. The new "OX" restaurant next door was a true attention grabber. We got the name connection right away because according to folklore, a monk was told by God to set one of his oxes free in order to determine the location where to build a monastery.
According to the legend, the ox would not quit walking until it reached "the end of the world", where it laid down on a green pasture and passed away peacefully. Hence, this is where the Engelberg Abbey was founded.
With a bottle of water and some cereal bars in our backpack, we hopped on the gondola from Brunni to Ristis.
At the top, there were several marked snow shoe trails. Between the Schönenboden trail (2:30 h) and the Riedalp trail (2:00 h), we decided for the latter. Marked as "d" on the map below, we also highlighted it in yellow for you:
No time wasted, we took off stomping through the snow towards a mountain we named "cat mountain". We later laughed as we found out that its name was actually "roosters mountain" (Hahnen)...
Along the way, we passed a sun burned chalet which was brand marked with Roman numerals. Our curiosity caught the attention of some hikers who were resting along the sunny side of the hut.
They explained that the chalet must have been disassembled somewhere else and reassembled on site. To indicate how to rebuild the house in its new location, instructions were marked on the wooden beams.
As we continued back to the gondola station, we wondered about the rich history of this beautiful chalet...