Switzerland
Saint Gallen

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  • Day64

    Day 64a. Lake Constance, Switzerland

    October 7, 2019 in Switzerland ⋅ ⛅ 7 °C

    Our walking trail took us through Frauenrüti and Grub and across The Hanging Bridge over the Mattenbach River and back to Heiden.
    From Heiden we took the reticulated train down to Rorschach then the S Bahn train to Romanshorn.

  • Day1219

    A visit to Maestrani's Chocolarium

    October 28, 2019 in Switzerland ⋅ 🌧 9 °C

    Vicky was so excited when she woke this morning. After 4 weeks in Switzerland and one failed attempt, we were finally getting to visit a chocolate factory!

    On the way to Maestrani's Chololarium we pulled in at a farm with handmade wooden signs advertising produce. Needing apples we went into the corner of the big barn that had been sectioned off as a rustic shop. A very friendly farmer came out to greet us and weighed our apples. The prices were good and there was lots of other tempting plant and dairy based items for sale, but we managed to come away with just a couple of litres of homemade apple juice.

    With Martha taking up 3 bays in the visitor car park, we stepped though the doors of the chocolate coloured building. Although Vicky had looked it up online, she hadn't expected it to be so full-on Willy Wonka!

    Within the spacious, two storey building, our self guided tours (14Sfr for Vicky and 10Sfr for Will, being an oldie) took us firstly to a small cinema with seat cushions that looked like giant squares of chocolate. The film focussed on the company's quest for happiness through the creation of chocolate. Very gimicky, but so well done that you couldn't help but enjoy the ride!

    Next, the screen lifted to reveal a secret door with a spotlight highlighting the golden words; 'This way to happiness'. A whitewashed room with bright lights displayed the journey of chocolate ingredients (cocoa, sugar, milk, hazelnuts) in a fun and interactive way. There was enough info to keep the adults interested and enough activities to keep the children (and the big kids) engaged. You could shake a 'tree' to harvest hazelnuts or milk a 'cow'. There was an emphasis on Fair Trade conditions and the move Maestrani's made towards organic production many years back. There was even a mention of vegan chocolate!

    The 'path to happiness' led us through lashings of gold and brown decor and a series of themed fun discovery rooms, with glimpses through large windows at the factory operation. We got to grind and taste cocoa nibs, squirt warm liquid chocolate onto our spoons and there was a whole corridor with samples of the different types of chocolate made; banana split, white, milk, plain, salted caramel, espresso, blueberry, and their freshest nutty Minor bars, which were being deposited straight from the factory conveyor belt into the dispensing machine. It was great fun!

    Exhibits told the story of chocolate through the ages and detailed the roles of different employees, explaining what an average day would look like for a chocolate designer!

    Reaching the shop, stacked from floor to ceiling with chocolate bars, we could hardly believe there were bowls with free tasters next to many of the shelves and stands! Wandering around and idly nibbling, we allowed ourselves to buy one bar each but needed to wait a fair few hours before tucking into them!

    They say eating chocolate releases serotonin; the happy hormone. Coming away with huge grins on our faces, we reckoned Maestrani's Chocolarium had got the tastings and tour spot on for maximum levels of happiness!
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  • Day1

    Coffee in old, traditional "Kaffeehaus"

    August 20, 2019 in Switzerland ⋅ 🌧 14 °C

    St Gallen is beautiful! My flat in the hills in the north is really nice and comfortable. I will head into the old town now to see the famous Abbey of St Gallen and then might head up to a wilderness park in the north

  • Day1

    Arrived in St Gallen!

    August 20, 2019 in Switzerland ⋅ 🌧 14 °C

    My flat is really nice and well located. A girl called Josie is renting the second room and we have a large kitchen and sitting room which is great. I booked it on the way here and it was actually cheaper than the 6 bed hostel dorm in the city 🧐

  • Day5

    Saint Gallen City / Abbey, SG

    February 10 in Switzerland ⋅ 🌬 6 °C

    Saint Gall

    The compact metropolis of eastern Switzerland between Lake Constance and Appenzellerland has a charming, traffic-free old town. Colourfully-painted oriel windows are a town feature. The Abbey precinct with the cathedral and Abbey Library has been accorded UNESCO World Heritage listing.

    St.Gallen’s most famous landmark is its Baroque cathedral with the Abbey Library, which houses some 170,000 documents – in part hand-written and over a thousand years old. The library probably also has Switzerland’s most beautiful Rococo hall. The entire Abbey precinct was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1983.

    The name and foundation of the town stem from the Irish missionary monk Gallus who founded a hermitage here around 612. From 747, the then St.Gallen monastery was already following Benedictine Rule, which required the contemplative study of books and accordingly also stipulated the presence of a library. In the Middle Ages, the town developed into an important hub of culture and education in Europe. Later, the St.Gallen embroideries attracted international recognition and brought prosperity to the town.

    St.Gallen is a university town with a focus on the economic sciences. The home town of the renowned «Mummenschanz» theatre group offers a varied cultural offering with theatres and museums. In summer, the romantic art-nouveau Dreilinden-Weiher open-air pool with its splendid views over the town attracts visitors to swim.

    The excellent location in the four-country corner Switzerland, Germany, Austria and the Principality of Liechtenstein make St.Gallen the best starting point for excursions into the Appenzellerland with the Säntis, and to Lake Constance. Whether by rail or bicycle, the cycling and inline paradise of Lake Constance can be reached quickly along the Lake Constance Cycle Path. The combination of rail ‘n’ bike allows captivating tours to be undertaken which cross national borders. For walkers, the ‘Bridge Trail’ which passes over 18 bridges in the Sittertobel near St.Gallen is an experience: much about the design and construction of bridges is learnt en route. A six-hour section of the ‘Route of St. James’ leads from Rorschach to Herisau via St.Gallen.

    The Voralpen-Express connects Lake Constance with Lucerne via St.Gallen in 2:45 hours. This 149-km-long transversal travelling across the foothills of the Alps is interesting from a technical rail viewpoint, but also impresses with stunning landscapes such as the Toggenburg, Lake Zurich, and hill moor of Rothenturm.

    Winter

    Located between Lake Constance and Appenzell with its famous library, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the traffic-free Old Town delights guests with brightly painted oriel windows, pretty boutiques and cosy cafés.

    Summer

    Located between Lake Constance and Appenzell with its famous library, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the traffic-free Old Town delights guests with brightly painted oriel windows, pretty boutiques and cosy cafés.

    Abbey of Saint Gall
    In St. Gallen you'll find history at every turn. The city's landmark is the Convent of St. Gall with its Baroque cathedral. The convent, including the library and monastery archives, was added to the Unesco World Heritage List in 1983.

    Even today, the spirit of the once active Benedictine monks is palpable when you enter the world famous Abbey Library, which also is called the Seelenapotheke (healing place of the soul).

    The abbey precinct with its magnificent Baroque cathedral forms a unique historical ensemble. The Abbey Library - with Switzerland's most beautiful non-ecclesiastical Baroque hall - now contains 170,000 books. 50,000 of these are housed in the Baroque hall, where the 2,700 year old Egyptian mummy Shepenese is also to be found. The heart of the Abbey Library collection consists of 2,100 manuscripts of which some are on display at each of the current exhibitions. The entire abbey was declared a Unesco World Heritage site in 1983.

    One striking feature of the old city is its many 16th to 18th century burgher houses with their splendid and often brightly painted bay windows. The city boasts a varied gastronomy with venues ranging from the traditional first-floor restaurants to the welcoming street cafes. Here you'll be tempted to linger and enjoy local and international specialities. The town is also an ideal starting point for hikes within the Appenzell and St. Gallen region.
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  • Day9

    riding the storm

    August 29, 2016 in Switzerland ⋅ 🌧 19 °C

    We got back on our bikes and it just kept raining. I was soaked through and had water pooling in my shoes...

    Most of todays riding was on path on the side of the canal... But we greeted the Rhine near the end...

  • Day9

    storm chasing

    August 29, 2016 in Switzerland ⋅ 🌧 18 °C

    It was Jan, Bern and me heading out early on our bikes today. Sheril and Dave went to the bike shop, and Illy needed a rest day...
    The dark clouds were looming... and as we decided to pull over under the eaves of a barn to don our wet weather gear the skies opened up... The lovely owner ran over from her house to unlock the barn and let us in...and we enjoyed watching the lightning showRead more

  • Day4

    Tag 4 // Enjoy

    September 6, 2019 in Switzerland ⋅ 🌧 12 °C

    "Enjoy" heißt unser Hotel heute, für den Tag passt das nur so halb. Wir vorhergesagt hat sich der Wetter Trend fortgesetzt. Kühl und windig statt sonnig warm, dazu phasenweise starker Wind und fertig ist das Wohlfühlwetter.
    Glück hatten wir zumindest mit dem Regen, denn der hat uns verschont. Knapp scheint es gegen Ende gewesen zu sein, denn da sind wir auf nassen Straßen unterwegs gewesen, von oben kam jedoch nichts mehr runter.
    Nach einigen schönen Abfahrten war der Rheinfall bei Schaffhausen unser erster Stop. Der Weg dorthin führte ab der Schweizer Grenze über hervorragend ausgeschilderte Radwege. Bis auf ein fehlendes Schild hätten wir heute kaum eine Karte gebraucht. Das fehlende Schild hatte spürbare Auswirkungen, denn es verleitete uns unwissentlich auf eine für Räder gesperrte Landstraße. Ein äußerst freundlicher Motorrad Fahrer machte uns jedoch auf diesen Fehler aufmerksam und leitete uns zurück auf den richtigen Weg. Aber auch an Stellen wo der Radweg Straßen kreuzte hielten die Autos zumeist für uns an, so dass der Schweizer Verkehr einen positiven Eindruck hinterlässt.
    Von der umliegenden Landschaft haben wir leider nicht viel sehen können, zumiest hingen die Wolken tief und ergaben so ein trübes Gesamtbild.
    Bis Konstanz ging es fast durchgängig mit Blick auf das Wasser durch Obstbaum Plantagen. In Konstanz nutzen wir die Gunst der Stunde und setzen nochmal nach Deutschland über um ohne Währungsumrechung die Vorräte aufzufüllen bevor wir dann in schweizerischen Rorschach unser Quartier bezogen.
    Inzwischen regnet es wieder und wenn es doof läuft wird es bis morgen Abend nicht mehr aufhören. Insofern heißt es alle vorhandenen Kleider gut zu trocknen um im Tagesverlauf nochmal eine trockene zweite Garnitur nachlegen zu können. Wie weit es dann schlussendlich geht werden wir sehen, ein Zimmer ist noch nicht gebucht.
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  • Day3

    Es hat Berge

    August 30, 2019 in Switzerland ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

    Nur ein kleines Stückchen in den Süden gefahren und schon geht es auch etwas höher hinaus. Vom Säntis gab es eine fantastische Aussicht auf die umliegende Landschaft. Und im Restaurant konnte man vor der Rückfahrt regelrecht schlemmen. Zu Schweizer Preisen versteht sich.

You might also know this place by the following names:

Kanton St. Gallen, Sankt Gallen, Saint Gallen, كانتون سانت غالن, Saint-Gall, San Gallo, 장크트갈렌 주, Son Gagl

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