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Switzerland.

Buchs And Werdenberg

Buchs And Werdenberg

Switzerland.

We have been to Switzerland around five times. Our first two trips were day trips from Liechtenstein. We had actually only intended to go to Liechtenstein for a day from Feldkirch in Austria, but to our surprise, the bus fare was much cheaper than expected and we discovered Liechtenstein was doing free public buses in an attempt to cut down the number of cars on their roads and the resultant pollution, so we booked a B&B in Liechtenstein for a few nights and travelled around Liechtenstein and into Switzerland. We only paid for the travel that took place across the Liechtenstein border. Our first trip into Switzerland was to Buchs; our second was to Sargans. Our third trip into Switzerland was a day trip to Basel. This was part of a journey across Europe by train ending in a holiday in Austria. On route to Austria we visited Brussels, Liege, Luxembourg, Strasbourg and Basel. We arrived in Basel by overnight train and left by overnight train so we were rather tired on this trip to say the least. Visit four involved taking advantage of a Swiss Air special deal from Hong Kong. If you travelled from Hong Kong by Swiss Air to Switzerland, you could get a free onward journey to almost anywhere in Europe. We used this deal to spend a few days in Zurich before flying on to Prague. Visit five involved travelling to Zurich, spending a few nights in Rapperswil, then heading onto St Gallen from where we visited Appenzell, then taking a train to Rorschach from where we boarded a boat across Lake Constance into Germany and Austria. In Austria we revisited Feldkirch, went into Liechtenstein again and revisited Buchs.

Switzerland is a landlocked country that borders France, Germany, Austria, Italy and Liechtenstein. It is made up of 26 different cantons. There is a German speaking part, a French speaking part, an Italian speaking part and a Romansh speaking part. Switzerland has stunning scenery with lots of mountains and lakes. It is a great place to visit, but it is expensive.

Buchs And Werdenberg.

We have visited Buchs twice. On our first visit we arrived by bus from Liechtenstein in the early evening. We were really looking for somewhere to eat as Liechtenstein was so expensive. We walked towards Werdenberg and saw the castle and lake, but did not go right up to the castle. On our second visit, we had more time and climbed up to Werdenberg Castle. We were glad we did; the castle and surrounding wooden buildings were really beautiful and the view from the castle across the lake was stunning. Werdenberg Castle is part of the ancient citadel of Werdenberg. The castle was founded in 1230 by Graf Rudolf the 1st of Montfort. Werdenberg Castle is now a museum and has been open to the public since 1956. The wooden buildings around the castle are also very picturesque.

Buchs And Werdenberg

Buchs And Werdenberg

Buchs And Werdenberg

Buchs And Werdenberg

Buchs And Werdenberg

Buchs And Werdenberg

Buchs And Werdenberg

Buchs And Werdenberg

Sargans.

We travelled to Sargans by bus from Liechtenstein in the early evening to have a look at the town and find somewhere to eat. I remember taking a look at the castle, but unfortunately the photos I took of it are not in Hong Kong and may in fact just be lost all together. What sticks in my mind about the castle is that it had one extremely tall tower jutting out above the rest of the building. Sargans Castle dates from 1291. Sargans was once part of the Holy Roman Empire. Over time the castle gradually fell into a state of disrepair. The Municipality of Sargans bought the dilapidated castle building at the end of the nineteenth century and renovated it. Today Sargans Castle is a museum. In 1983 it was the Swiss Museum of the Year. It has a historical restaurant and an ancient wine press.

Basel.

We only went to Basel for one day. I remember looking over the River Rhine and walking down to the banks of the river, then crossing the river on a little ferry. There are four ferries across the Rhine. These are all located between Basel's five bridges. The ferries are called Wilde Maa, Leu, Vogel Gryff and Ueli. These ferries are powered by the natural movement of the river rather than by motors or oars. I also remember a large fountain containing various machines that moved the water around. To me the machines looked like spinning wheels and sewing machines. This fountain is known as the Tinguely Fountain. It was created by local artist Jean Tinguely. He specialized in creating moving pieces of art. The Tinguely Fountain is located in front of the Stadttheater. As the water is just moved around pointlessly and repeatedly, some regard the fountain as symbolizing the futility of life. Basel Cathedral is a large red sandstone building with twin towers. It is located on a hill looking over the Rhine River.

Basel

Basel

Basel

Basel

Zurich.

Zurich is a beautiful city located on Lake Zurich. There are plenty of places on the lake where you can go swimming. There are also lots of ferry rides. In addition to swimming in the lake, we also swam in part of the Limmat River. This had a very strong current. The current carries you along at speed without you having to put much effort into swimming. You have to grab on to something at the sides of the river to get out though rather than getting swept away. Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland. It is home to many banks and financial institutions. Most of Zürich's historical sites are located within the area on either side of the Limmat River, between the Main railway station and Lake Zürich. Zurich has many impressive churches such as the Grossmünster which is a Protestant church with two towers, the Fraumünster Church with its tall clock tower, and St Peter's Church which has a shorter clock tower. Zurich has two funiculars: the Rigiblick funicular and the Polybahn funicular. The Polybahn is more central.

Zurich

Zurich

Zurich

Zurich

Zurich

Zurich

Zurich

Zurich

Zurich

Zurich

Rapperswil.

Rapperswil is located on Lake Zurich. You can get here by train or paddle steamer from Zurich. We spent a couple of nights in Rapperswil and absolutely loved it. Rapperswil is also known as the City of Roses and has several rose gardens. It also has a deer park, a castle, a main square where you can find its town hall, lots of churches and monasteries and several places where you can swim in the lake. Rapperswil Castle dominates the old town's skyline. The original castle dates back to around 1220. Due to wars and periods of neglect the castle gradually fell into disrepair. In 1870 it was leased by a Polish émigré, Count Wladyslaw Broel Plater. He had fled from troubles in Poland and settled in Switzerland in 1844. At his own expense he restored the castle and opened it as the Polish National Museum in 1870.

Rapperswil

Rapperswil

Rapperswil

Rapperswil

Rapperswil

Rapperswil

Rapperswil

Rapperswil

Rapperswil

Rapperswil

Cows In Zurich.

On our first visit to Zurich there were life size fibre glass models of cows everywhere. We devoted a lot of time to tracking them down and photographing them. We especially loved themed ones. For example on the lake there was one on a diving board heading for a swim, at the hospital there was one on a drip. The idea of these cow sculptures originated in Zurich in 1998 and was the brainchild of artistic director Walter Knapp. The concept was bought by an American group and renamed Cow Parade. This is now the largest and most successful public art event in the world and has been staged in over 75 cities including: Chicago in 1999, New York in 2000, London in 2002, Tokyo, Brussels and Dublin in 2003, Prague and Stockholm in 2004, Mexico City and Sao Paulo in 2005, Buenos Aires, Boston and Paris in 2006, Milan and Istanbul in 2007. At the end of a cow parade event the statues are auctioned off and the money raised by them is donated to a variety of different charities.

Cows In Zurich

Cows In Zurich

Cows In Zurich

Cows In Zurich

Cows In Zurich

Cows In Zurich

St Gallen.

After Rapperswil we spent a few days in St Gallen. St. Gallen is in the northeastern part of Switzerland. It is located about 700 meters above sea level and is one of the highest cities in Switzerland. It gets a lot of snow in winter. The town of St Gallen developed around the hermitage of Saint Gall which was founded in the 7th century. St Gallen has many lovely old buildings as well as the Abbey of St Gall. We also went to the Drei Weieren, the Three Ponds, to swim. These ponds were originally dug out by monks to satisfy the water requirements of their monastery. Later water from these ponds was used to put out fires and as a raw material in the bleaching industry.

St Gallen

St Gallen

St Gallen

St Gallen

St Gallen

St Gallen

St Gallen

St Gallen

St Gallen

St Gallen

Appenzell.

From St Gallen we took the Appenzeller Railway to Appenzell. Appenzell Village is the capital of the smallest of the Swiss cantons. It is surrounded by beautiful mountainous scenery and has some wonderfully painted old wooden buildings. We bought some Appenzell cheese while we were there. This was delicious but completely smelled out our hotel room. We ate most of it on the ferry crossing Lake Constance and had to eat it on the outside deck due to the overpowering smell.

Appenzell

Appenzell

Appenzell

Appenzell

Appenzell

Appenzell

Appenzell

Appenzell

Rorschach.

We knew we were leaving Switzerland by catching a ferry somewhere on Lake Constance. I chose Rorschach because I have a degree in psychology and associated the town with the famous ink blot personality test. In fact that test is not named after the town but named after its creator Hermann Rorschash. We did not spend a lot of time here, but had a walk by the picturesque lakeside then
boarded the ferry.

Rorschach

Rorschach

Rorschach

Rorschach

Posted by irenevt 00:49 Archived in Switzerland

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Comments

We met the Cow Parade in Edinburgh in 2006 or at least there were lots of painted cows all over the city when we were there. It was pretty funny. No one had thought to paint a little Highland Cow though. That would have been really cute.

by Beausoleil

The cow parade certainly got around. I've come across camels and horses, too. Thank you for visiting.

by irenevt

In Zürich, I once stayed in a small hotel right by the Polybahn, so I could see it from my window.

by Nemorino

Hi Don, Hope all is good with you. Zurich was a very nice city. We especially loved the lake. Thank you for visiting, Irene

by irenevt

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