INTO INNSBRUCK

SUNDAY, 18th June

Tonight we sleep in Innsbruck after departing Zurich this morning on a train to Bregenz where we had a stopover just long enough to enjoy a schnitzel lunch before boarding the train to Innsbruck. This was the route we needed to take as there is work being done on the line from Zurich to Innsbruck. It was most picturesque.

INNSBRUCK is the capital city of Tyrol in western Austria. The name translates as “INN BRIDGE”. The city is located in the broad valley between high mountains. Innsbruck is an internationally renowned winter sports centre.

Having arrived at our Hotel Zach mid afternoon we had an introduction to some architectural history of this area by walking through the Old Town.

 

Innsbruck’s Trademark is THE GOLDEN ROOF which is situated in the medieval Old Town. On the orders of Emperor Maximilian l, the splendid balcony with 2,657 fire-gilded copper tiles was added to Archduke Friedrich lV’s residence. The stone relief on the balcony shows Maximilian’s wives.

FAREWELL TO REGENSDORF, SWITZERLAND

SATURDAY, 17th June

Today has been a day to stop and to try to take in all that we have been so privileged to share with Erika over the past ten days – what a wonderful hostess and Tour Guide. We have caught up on washing, accompanied her to the Shopping Centre and have packed cases ready for an early start in the morning when we move by train from Switzerland to Austria. At 19:30 Pat and I walked in the local area in bright sunshine to complete our memories (and photographs) of the area in which she lives.

A SPECIAL THANKYOU TO OUR FRIEND.

MURTEN/MORAT – THE CITY BY THE LAKE

FRIDAY, 16th June, 2017

Today has been a “TRAVEL BY TRAIN’ day, making good use of our Eurail Pass. This enabled Erika to have a break from driving . We set out at 09:00 on a bus to the Regensdorf Train Station taking a train to Zurich Hauptbahnhof, the next train to Bern (at 10:06) and the third train to MURTEN, repeating the route to return home at 21:00.

This medieval town in the heart of Switzerland has a Mediterranean feel. Approximately 76% of the population is German speaking (hence, MURTEN) and 13% is French speaking (MORAT).  It is the Lake District’s main town in the Canton of Fribourg. The lakes are MURTENSEE/LAC DE MORAT, NEUCHATEL and BIEL. Today’s  cityscape was mostly built during the 17th and 18th centuries.

TODAY we strolled the cobbled streets of the town and walked around the rampart walls which were built in several stages, the lower 15 layers of stone dating from before the town’s construction in the 12th century.

The Main Street (Hauptgasse) and Arcades, the Baroque-styled town enhanced by various arches.  Even today business signs must be kept simple – neon lit signs have been banned helping to keep the charm of the old town.

Fountains in the Town –

An afternoon on the Lake –

TOP OF APPENZELL – SOND WILLKOMM

THURSDAY, 15th June

Another day in Switzerland when I have had great difficulty in choosing photos to include in this Post. The scenery is truly something to behold. Erika drove to Brulisau where we boarded the Cable Car for an 8 minute ride to the top of Hoher Kasten, a vertical ride of 870 metres.  It is 5,890 ft. above Sea Level with many walking trails and an Alpine Garden. Along the Europe Loop Trail are 300 types of plants in their natural surroundings. At the top is a Revolving Restaurant but the weather was so beautiful that, when lunch time came, we decided to sit outside to enjoy the schnitzel.

There is a 360 degree panoramic view where we could see into six European countries, namely Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Principality of Liechtenstein, Italy and France. Cloud drifted across the scene from time to time but the Rhine River was always evident.

APPENZELL – The car free village of APPENZELL is situated in a beautiful landscape of rolling hills alongside the River  Glatt. It is well-known for its colourful houses with painted facades. It is known for CHEESE. The history of APPENZELLER cheese goes back 700 years. The cheese is still made in individual cheese dairies but is marketed under a joint brand name. The cheese makers never divulge the secrets of its production. If I could only eat one food for the rest of my life I am sure it would be cheese. Erika has stocked up on many Swiss cheeses for me to taste and APPENZELLER is high on the list.

 

CITY OF ROSES ON LAKE ZURICH

WEDNESDAY, 14th June

RAPPERSWIL-JONA

The unique charm of this small town on upper Lake Zurich with its beautifully preserved buildings and houses dating back to the Middle Ages draws visitors from around the globe. The population is approximately 27,000.  We enjoyed strolling the alleys of the historic area which is protected as a national monument. There are twelve catholic and reformed churches in RAPPERSWIL-JONA.

ROSE GARDEN  The coat of arms of Rapperswil-Jona has always had two roses. In 1958 the Tourist Association promoted – “more roses in the City of Roses so that the City of Roses really does become a City of Roses”. Now, from May to October, more than 20,000 rose bushes of approximately 600 varieties bloom. The Rose Garden we chose to visit is next to the vineyard at the Capuchin Monastery.

SELEGER MOOR

The SELEGER Moor covers 12 hectares of public park and another 12 hectares of tree nurseries. The Park, established in 1953, is in Rifferswil and is the largest rhododendron and azalea park in Switzerland. It is set in the middle of open country surrounded by intense agricultural land. There are many very large old trees which give a great canopy for the growing of Tree Peonies, Hydrangeas, Ferns and Bulbs and there are wet areas with ponds displaying beautiful water lilies. The dedicated gardeners are constantly busy with maintenance, a major part of which is dead-heading the millions of flowers. We enjoyed our stroll through the area.

Another great day in Switzerland!

ST. GALLEN (PLUS!)

TUESDAY, 13th June

Today 3 became 4 at lunch time when we went to Romanshorn on Lake Constance (Konstanz) to meet Anna, one of Erika’s friends. We met at Restaurant Hafen on the marina. Once again we had beautiful weather, enjoyed the meal and the surroundings and especially enjoyed the company. After Anna retuned to work we walked along the Lake and through the gardens – a clear, calm day!

ST.  GALLEN (OUR NEXT STOP)

Architecture from different eras characterises St. Gallen’s cityscape. We strolled through the attractive Old Town with its quaint narrow streets. Exactly 111 Oriel Windows adorn the facades of houses in the pedestrian zone and they bear witness to the  successful textile buyers who used to live here.

The Town Church between Abbey and Town – the city of St. Gallen owes its very existence to the Abbey of St. Gallen. Still today the abbey precincts form the inner core of the town.  “On 5th April 1524 the preachers of the municipal church St. Laurenzen were ordered by the town council to keep to the holy scriptures (clearly, definitely and according to the correct Christian interpretation when preaching – without mixing in any human extras which are not founded on the Bible). On this basis, the core of the church was thoroughly reorganised in a new way. The city of St. Gallen recognised neither Pope nor Bishop, and restructured not only the church service but also all teaching and charity for the poor. In theological terms, the Zurich reformer Zwingli was taken as the reference point. Luther’s teachings were also important…..”

Cathedral of St. Gallen – Constructed from 1755-66, St. Gallen Cathedral is one of the last monumental sacred buildings of the late baroque period and features eastern and western rotundas that symmetrically frame the nave and chancel. The choir stall, comprising historic organ and 84 beautifully carved seats is an artwork in itself. The eastern crypt goes back to the 9th century.

Abbey Library of St. Gallen – founded 719, the library is one of the most significant historical libraries worldwide. With around 170,000 volumes (handwritten manuscripts, early prints and books), the library is home to a unique collection that reaches back to the 8th century. Today’s library hall, which also features exhibitions, was built between 1758 and 1767 and is considered one of the most beautiful libraries in the world.

Winterthur Rose Garden – the decorative rose garden (Rosengarten) lies directly above the Old Town on the  Heiligberg. There are dozens of healthy roses,(2,900 bushes) from 300 different varieties, in a beautiful peaceful setting – an oasis of calm.  The Villa and garden belonged to the Reinhart family from 1911. The rose garden was set up in 1964 when Winterthur celebrated 700 years.

A PERFECT CLIMAX TO A WONDERFUL DAY!

ISOLE DI BRISSAGO – parco botanico

MONDAY, 12th June

Today our day began at 09:00 and ended just after 21:00 with many hours driving time for Erika. From Regensdorf we headed towards the Island of San Pancrazio, Lake Maggiore. This meant driving through the GOTTHARD Tunnel.

THE GOTTHARD ROAD TUNNEL runs from Goschenen in the Canton of Uri to Airolo in Ticino in the south and is 16.9 km (10.5 m) in length below the St. GOTTHARD Pass, a major pass of the Alps. It is currently the fourth longest road tunnel in the world.

On arrival at Porto Ronco where we were to board the Ferry we had time to enjoy lunch overlooking the Lake, with a view across to the Island.

THE BOTANICAL GARDEN of the Canton of Ticino is located on the island. Founded in 1885 by Antoinette St. Leger, it is owned since 1950 by the Canton and the municipalities of Ascona, Brissago and Ronco sopra ASCONA. Sub-tropical plants are cultivated on more than 2.5 hectares thanks to the climate, with mild temperatures and high precipitation. The core of the collections are species from five Mediterranean regions of the world: the Mediterranean region, the Cape region of South Africa, the Californian coast, Western Australia and Central Chile.

What joy to be in such a beautiful place. Thanks to Erika for being our Tour Guide once again and for the hours of driving involved.