“Talalpsee” has such a nice ring to it that says “mountain lake.” And, while the way up to it is something…the way down by kick scooter is something else!
To get started, the journeyer who takes public transport is best off riding to Filzbach Sportzentrum station. We, however, upped our comfort level a notch this time by driving there in our coach and four — that is, four hikers (Katja, our friends Mario and Conny, and yours truly), which cut our collective carbon footprint by half at least.
There is a ton of parking by the Filzbach SFH chair lift’s valley terminus. For early birds, that is: when we return from our hike, the parking lot is unrecognizable.
And, what does “SFH” mean, you may ask? “Strong Faster Hiking”? Google spits out various other meanings for the acronym, among them the Urban Dictionary’s “so f……g hot.” But, I seriously doubt that this is it either.
Never mind. A short distance from the parking lot we set foot on a small path that branches off downhill at first. In no time, though, we find ourselves traversing difficult terrain: past the grazing Swiss national animal, the rather steep climb takes us through fields, forest, and pastures. But, hiking sticks would be a little overkill — so steep it really isn’t.
It takes us less than an hour at a comfortable clip to reach the plateau where we continue another 20 minutes across the flat terrain to reach the Talalpsee.
Talalpsee – a mountain lake with lighting effects
In whatever way the daylight plays on it, the little lake never ceases to present a majestic view. Occupying about 7 acres and 2.3 meters at its deepest, you have all of it in view and circling it does not take long.
But, thanks to a picnic stop and innumerable photo sessions, we take another 50 minutes to complete the circuit around it.
The “Swiss Family” leisure magazine has seen to it that picnicking here is nice and easy for the family that hikes together: we stop by one of the many — prominently branded — fire pits the magazine sponsors throughout Switzerland in popular hiking venues. It even comes with its own cache of meticulously stocked firewood!
There’s a crazy lot of things to see in this place. It comes complete with plaques explaining how the geography hereabouts came to be.
For example, we learn that the nearby Sardona rock shelters, listed as a UNESCO world heritage, resulted from natural processes.
To top it off, the sun now also pushes through the heavy clouds to bathe the overwhelming scenery in brilliant new light.
I hope my cell phone camera managed to capture it to some degree. Actually, my Huawei P10 is really hard to embarrass, even under difficult lighting conditions.
Mountain restaurant Talalpsee
Naturally, there has to be the obligatory restaurant here. At least when the weather is good; in bad weather, it battens down the hatches and closes!
Besides all sorts of local produce, such as that served on the cheese and sausage plate, they also feature a “Waldfest” here (“forest feast”). Having never experienced one, I gather my courage and order it.
And what do I get? a cold cervelat smoked pork sausage, no less. Huh? Never mind, after all it does come decorated with pretty little mountain flowers… Ok, slather on that mustard and have at it!
I skip the after-Waldfest coffee, because this seasoned hiker knows that the next restaurant, the Habergschwänd, is less than an hour’s walk from here.
We rouse ourselves once more, “put one foot in front of the other,” this time to overcome a few steep gradients on the path that takes us over pastures with more of the ubiquitous national animal and some rocky stretches. With a view of Lake Walensee thrown in for good measure!
Already during our ascent, we had wondered about this odd signage:
What emergencies? And hours of operating what?
Aha! While we’re sitting over coffee and cake, it slowly dawns on me: From this point on, no more hiking anywhere whatsoever. I’m about to get my hands on a trottinet a.k.a. a kick scooter!
As usual in such situations, I must wield all my persuasive wiles. Until Katja finally gives in and puts on a helmet. Probably, so she can save me when I go flying headlong while trying to take a curve on the way down.
And so it transpires that we hurtle down the mountain at a breakneck 40 Km/h no less, curve after curve, dung hill after dung hill.
Of course, we are not recommending this high speed by any means to anyone. Let it be said, however, that remaining seated to lower the center of gravity helps stabilize the run somewhat.
For practical reasons, you ride the trottinets during said “hours of operation” down as far as the chair lift’s valley station. After you return it, they will piggy-back it on a chair back up to the top again.
Can’t beat that for being practical!
Well, the hike is also quite nice, but the downhill trip is pure awesomeness! What a thrill ;-)
Opening hours of Restaurant Talalpsee
In good weather:
Monday – Friday 10.00 – 20.00
Saturday: 10.00 – 24.00
(If there are no guest, closing time is 20:00)
Sundays and general holidays: 10.00 – 19.00
In bad weather, only open by reservation.
Tel. +41 79 691 02 21
Opening hours of Restaurant Habergschwänd
Summer: 09:00 – 16:30
Winter: 09:00 – 16:00
Tel. +41 43 888 53 02
Hours of operation for the Kerenzerberg chair lift
Monday – Friday: 09.00 16:30; last trips uphill and downhill
Saturday / Sunday: 08.00 – 17.30 last trip uphill and downhill
By inclement weather: 09.00 – 16:30
Hiking route and elevated pulse statistics
Check out the interactive hiking trail map here.