How do you go hiking when you don’t really like hiking? I have become a little more outdoorsy since coming to Switzerland, but I’m not really a Gortex-clad, hiking-wunderkind just yet. (Or maybe not ever. Probably not ever). I’m still mostly bribed by cheese, and very definitely open to cheating.
Wasserfallen is perfect for hiking-lite because you get to go up in the cable car and come down on giant scooters. That’s right, scooters! For grown-ups!
Full disclosure – there is walking involved. But it’s walking not hiking (although proper shoes would be advised). We arrived on a sunny May day, in the middle of the countryside less than an hour from Basel. The drive is pretty simple and takes you through some picture-perfect Swiss scenery; think cows, brooks, wooden farmhouses and honesty-box fruit stalls (we actually picked up some home-made elderflower cordial at the foot of the mountain)
If you’re too busy focussing on the route to notice the sights, don’t worry. The first part of the “hike” is a cable car ride complete with panoramic landscape views. Once you get to the top, there’s the option to go for a bit of a walk around to the summit and through the meadows, admire some more nice views or climb around the treetops in the Waldseil Park. Disappointingly, and contrary to the name, there are no actual waterfalls. But that’s not why you’re here.
Scooters. Or Trotinets. They are located at the cable car station, you can buy a ticket to use them as a part of the entry fee paid at the foot of the mountain. Then you pretty much just turn up, show the ticket, get a brief lesson on how to brake (like a bike), pop on your helmet and head off. Initially, I was a bit nervous. As I mentioned here, I don’t love going downhill at speed. Until I get used to it. Then it’s amazing. The path is wide, well-maintained and gravelled and you can either pick up a fair lick, or you can take it slowly, there’s plenty of space for overtaking or letting people overtake you. It winds back and forth through the woodland and ends up right back at the cable car station where you started. Easy. I could get to like this hiking lark after all…