The weather forecast wasn’t so good today. In fact, heavy showers, thunderstorms and suchlike were expected this afternoon and so our plans for the day were flexible. The youngsters decided to go off to Stein am Rhein and we decided to head for St Gallen, initially at least.
So, as usual, we took the tram to the station and caught the 9-0 something or other train to St Gallen.
Unsurprisingly, the city was quiet because after all, it was a Sunday morning. But we strolled around the lovely old town, taking photographs of the oriel windows which characterise St Gallen.
There are some lovely ones to admire and though I’ve undoubtedly got photographs of the very same windows from previous trips, I can’t help but take more.
This one has a delightful character holding it up.
He’s been there supporting that window for quite some time, too, by the looks of it.
Our destination is actually the magnificent Kloster Bibliothek, a fairly small but utterly breathtaking collection of ancient texts and artifacts, housed in a staggeringly beautiful library. No photographs allowed, sadly, but google Stiftsbibliothek St Gallen for images and you’ll see what I mean.
In the meantime, we’d had a text from Edward, who informed us that he and Amy were currently sheltering from torrential rain, that the weather had turned pretty violent and that Stein am Rhein was in the thick of it. About the same time, we felt a drop or two of rain ourselves and thought that, perhaps it might be a good idea to make our way to the station and put plan b into action.
With a few last shots of St Gallen, we hurried to the station and got on a train to Appenzell. This is a fun little train which goes steeply uphill thanks to the rack and pinion mechanism. Not only that, but travelling a little slower than the mainline trains, it also runs alongside the road, giving the impression of being right in the fields.
Not that these are fields as we know them, however. These fields have grass that looks like a fitted carpet.
Without fences or walls to break it up, it’s cut neatly to fit right up to the road. Gorgeous, isn’t it?
The people around here are natty dressers as well, don’t you think? This couple stepped off the train and went on their way, arm in arm with a real spring in their step.
The residents are pretty content to be here too and look comfortable on their green, grassy slope.
Upon arrival in Appenzell, our first stop is the cheese shop. You might recall, we’re rather fond of Appenzell – both the place and the cheese – and so the necessary purchase made, we moved on through the town, admiring the beautifully painted buildings as we went.
Next stop was the museum, which had been closed when we were here last Autumn.
Here was a lovely collection of the local art and crafts, exhibits of traditions and a charming video about life in the town. Even better, our Swiss Passes entitled us to free entry – what’s not to like about that?!
We could have lingered longer, spent more time admiring the great way in which this house has been opened up inside to accommodate so many interesting items.
But sadly, we had a train to catch.
Fortunately the rain had held off and the clouds had cleared a little – enough to spot Säntis there from the station platform. Our train arrived on time and we were headed back in no time.
We returned by a different but equally lovely route, via Herisau. The train was full of families and groups of friends returning from a day in the mountains and the soundtrack was happy chatter the whole way.
Along the way, I spotted “my” house. It’d do me nicely, I think!
In just over an hour we were back in Zurich, just in time for a quick freshen up before dinner. Amy and Edward had plenty of tales to share and we enjoyed a great supper at the Zeughaus. Simple but yummy!
Afterwards, we went our separate ways again. They planned to explore the city a little, find a bar or two and linger a little, whereas we were ready for home and headed towards the tram stop. That was that for today.
Or so we thought!
As we stood looking over the river, a ferry boat headed towards us and we noticed a small pier beneath us. There on the sign was “Enge” – the area of the city where we are living right now. So, Swiss Passes to the fore once again, we hopped on board and came home by boat!
On such a glorious evening, it was a delight to see things from yet another angle.
And the route, which took us out onto the lake and a little further than we thought, went past the beaches of the lakeside, still busy at almost 9pm on this Sunday evening.
Finally, it turned and stopped at the pier just below our apartment. A short walk back and we were home.
Another great day! We love it here.