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!

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.

LAUFENBURG IN A NUTSHELL

SUNDAY, 11th June

Another day exploring beautiful Switzerland. Two sister towns that form LAUFENBURG  are quite exceptional. The history of left and right LAUFENBURG as independent towns began when Napoleon, in 1801, forced areas left of the Rhine to separate from the Holy Roman Empire in the treaty of Luneville.

LAUFENBURG AARGAU – since 1803 the left part of LAUFENBURG belongs to the new founded canton of AARGAU, Switzerland.  The history is directly perceptible in the scenic, mostly intact downtown. The medieval alleys, corners, towers, wells, stairs and cobbled pathways come together to create a never fading history.  The population numbers approximately 2,000.

 

As we walked the old town we came upon a great place to enjoy our lunch. On this day there was a Fish Festival. Marquees were set up and local men were cooking and serving drinks with a choice of two fish meals – there was a great community atmosphere and we found seats at the end of a table where there was room for the four of us (Hedi had joined us today).

Having thoroughly enjoyed our fish lunch we were now about to walk to the Bridge to cross the River Rhine to LAUFENBURG BADEN, a small city in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. (Population approx. 4,300). Festivals are still an essential part of life and bring new life to the mediaeval lanes. Today the two towns are only separated by the Rhine River.

Today we had lunch in Switzerland and afternoon tea in Germany.

WALKING IN THE SWISS ALPS

SATURDAY, 10th June

At 10:30 we set out, Erika driving, for a one and a half hour drive to Breckenried where we boarded a Cable Car to Klewenalp (1600 m) in the Swiss Alps. The scenery along Lake Lucerne was breathtakingly beautiful as the day was filled with blue sky and fluffy white clouds with a temperature of 18 degrees when we arrived at the top. A number of Hang Glider enthusiasts were preparing for their jumps on a perfectly calm day  and there was a noticeable lack of tourists which added to the peacefulness of the area. We sat outside the Restaurant enjoying our lunch and soaking up the panorama of green slopes, pine trees and snow-capped mountains. My lunch was traditionally Swiss – Gerstensuppe –  Barley soup with cheese filled sausage.

Now came the two hour trail to Stockhutte. No mountain walk is on level ground so there were many ups and downs over paths sometimes stoney, sometimes smooth but all well marked with suggested walking times. We encountered professional Swiss walkers, families (some with prams), heard the bells of the cows down in the valleys and then met up with them on the pathway and enjoyed the beauty of the fields strewn with wild Alpine flowers, according to the season. Beauty at every turn but a walk not for the faint-hearted. There were times when I felt that the end was never coming but convinced myself that every step was one less to the finish line at the Chair Lift and my reward – a Magnum!

Every step of the way the love of God the Father was powerfully present.

A great day shared with friends!