St. Gallen, In the Country So Nice They Named It Schweiz

We left Folgensbourg and spent an afternoon and overnight near the Basel train station. (Thanks for the lift into Basel, Nicole!) Because of the freaky argument that erupted in our hotel hallway in the middle of the night – the police came, and the furor eventually ended – we were comped free Frühstück (breakfast) at the hotel. Yin and yang, people.

Next day, we left for St. Gallen, a city neither of us had heard of before July.

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The largest city in eastern Switzerland, St. Gallen is a university town with proximity to Lake Constance (Lake Bodensee in German), the rural area known as Appenzellerland, and some UNESCO-designated world heritage, too. (Huh. Seems this is also Mummenschanz’s hometown.)

St. Gallen has a centuries-long textile heritage, too — from 17th century linen to 19th century embroidery and present-day haute couture laces. And remember the embroidery on First Lady Michelle Obama’s Presidential inauguration gown? St. Gallen, again!

Although we were keen to do more countryside walking, a spate of summer weather — and two incredible thunder-lightning-rain storms — meant that, apart from two outings via train, we stayed closer to the apartment we’d rented for our six days/five nights in St. (say “sangkt”) Gallen.

Here are some views of St. Gallen, drawn from our city walks. The city rises against some hills; our apartment (in the the coral-colored building) sits halfway up. Go further, and you’ll discover woods, pasture, and cows with bells around their necks.

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We looked at the Drei Weieren – three lakes above town – then strolled around the city center. We found an area covered in a faux red carpet, many decorative bay windows, and a big cathedral. The city is named for St. Gallus, an Irish monk who was monking along in the region when he came upon a bear, which he tamed.

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One night we headed out looking for a good Swiss meal. Cafe Gschwend is where we found it. Behold a delicious plate of Chnusperli vom Zander mit Tartarsauce, which you will not be surprised is something very close to fish ‘n’ chips. Dining on an upper terrace is a big deal here, as it should be.

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Now for a couple of journeys outside town, which deserve their own blog posts. Time to ausfahrt.

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