Weekend Cabin: Gasthaus Aescher, Switzerland

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The northeast corner of of Switzerland is considered to be…well, not quite Appalachia, but not Beverly Hills, either. The Alps are lower, the pace is slower, and culture revolves more around cows. But it’s still the Alps, baby, dramatic and beautiful, and to get to the Gasthaus Aesher, you take a tram to the top of one (the Ebenalp) and then walk down. Along the way, you’ll pass the Wildkirchli, a 400-year-old chapel tucked into a cave, and then you’ll find yourself in the shade of massive overhang, on the doorstep of the 170-year-old inn.

It’s a rudimentary spot: Water comes from the rain, and there’s no shower. But there is lots of rowdy conversation and drinking until late in the night, thanks to the robust hospitality of Claudia and Beny Knechtle-Wyss and their five kids. And their 35 sheep, 20 rabbits, three pigs, three donkeys, and two dogs. No cows at the guesthouse itself, but they aren’t too hard to find.


Reservations are by phone only. Visit aescher-ai.ch.


Weekend Cabin isn’t necessarily about the weekend, or cabins. It’s about the longing for a sense of place, for shelter set in a landscape…for something that speaks to refuge and distance from the everyday. Nostalgic and wistful, it’s about how people create structure in ways to consider the earth and sky and their place in them. It’s not concerned with ownership or real estate, but what people build to fulfill their dreams of escape. The very time-shortened notion of “weekend” reminds that it’s a temporary respite.


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