Wander, Wonder, Write

The Pfannenstiel Trail above Lake Zurich

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” 
—Margaret Atwood

Today we hiked the Pfannenstiel Trail from Forch to Meilen, the one we’d planned to take last Wednesday.

We made it to the Rehalp S-Bahn stop this time without getting distracted and purchased tickets that proved to be the wrong kind. Or perhaps they were the right kind, but they had to be stamped in advance and there was no stamp machine on the platforms nor in the train. I worried and rehearsed my “I’m so sorry I’m so stupid” speech just in case somebody came to check our tickets. Fortunately, that didn’t happen. 

The instructions told us to follow the “Panoramaweg” signs from Forch station, yet with eyes wide open, we didn’t see any of those. There were plenty of other signs, though, and whenever the road forked we either chose Pfannenstiel or Meilen.

We didn’t bring any water with us, believing there would be plenty of fountains along the way, as they are ubiquitous in Switzerland. Not this time. We couldn’t fill our bottles until we reached the Restaurant Hochwacht, which was about halfway our walk.

Did we hike the intended trail? Possibly. We did find one of the mentioned highlights on our path, the 30meter tall lookout tower with panoramic views above the treetops. (Yes, the featured photo is made from that spot!)

From the restaurant it was a picturesque and easy way down to Meilen along a creek with waterfalls, and from there we took the train back—with correct ticket—to Zurich. 

Unadventurous as it may sound, D and I had a great time, talking about the second book we’re writing together, and being in nature. Although we encountered other hikers along the way, it was never crowded and often we saw nobody in front of us on the path. So if you find yourself in Zurich and want to spend an afternoon on your feet, the Pfannenstiel Trail (11km / 7 miles) is a good choice. 

For a map and instructions, visit the Switzerland Mobility site (in English).