Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Driving to St. Gallen Switzerland

 We left our hotel and headed to St Gallen Switzerland.

No we weren't in the Alps but in the very northern tip of the country.  we passed through a number of tunnels, some quite long, and over the Rhine River at several places.

We also passed by Lake Constance as we left the city of St. Gallen. I think my photos of the lake are after the Church and city photos.  So they will be at the end.

We crossed the border from Germany into Switzerland with little fanfare.  At most of the country borders there was not even a place you needed to stop, I guess they have done away with the idea of borders in this area.

We did stop here for about 15 minutes while Jurgen went in to file a set of paperwork for the bus.

The countryside was beautiful with rolling hills.  The crops went up the sides of the hills and made me want to paint them.  I am not a painter, but I can see why people would want to paint things!

There were some very interesting tunnels that I never figured out.  The direction we were heading was under a tunnel structure, but the opposite way was a normal road in the outside.


 The Appenzell region caught my attention because of my background with Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs.  There are 4 Sennenhund breeds, my Swissy the Greater Swiss and of course the ever popular Bernese Mountain Dogs with the coloring like Swissys but a heavy long coat.  Then there are two smaller breeds, the Appenzeller and the Entelburcher.

Both are shorter hair like the Swissy and have all the coloring of the Sennenhund, but have a stronger drive like border collie type for herding aggressively.  And here we were passing through the Appenzell region.  I have always wondered why the Kilchers who are the Alaskan Last Frontier people, who are from Switzerland, have never had a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog.  Maybe I need to talk to them.

The city we were heading for was St. Gallen.  It was built around the Abbey which was begun in 612 by St. Gall himself.

The streetlights were hung on wires that transcended the streets.  I have never seen that before!

As you can see, the day was so beautiful.  It was warm, so I was wearing mid calf pants and a short sleeve shirt and was comfortable.  Most people brought long sleeve shirts because we really thought it would be on the cool Autumn side of temperatures, but it was not.

During our walking tour of the city our guide pointed out the oriels on the outside of the buildings.  They were often added to the building separately by the building's owner.  And they added oriels with gusto.

The oriels were indicators of the owner's wealth and status.  So everyone wanted bigger and more elaborate structures.

Oriels are basically bay windows.

Here is a simple one.  But wait.  They get better and better!

This pic on the right looks down the street and you can see how many of the buildings have oriels added to them.

Here is a fairly elaborate and colorful one.  It had a copper dome on the top of it.  You can picture the women sitting in there sewing and looking down at the streets.

Below her is a two story oriel.  and it is pretty elaborate. Fruit was a symbol of wealth.

 They often added creatures to the oriels.  This one has some sort of crouching lions maybe?


 Here are two views, that is an open restaurant on the corner building.  And I loved the colors, that yellow is so beautiful and rich looking!
 This building was flying the flags of Switzerland, the Canton (green) and the city (the bear).

This is a very narrow alleyway between buildings.  They liked these small tiny spaces, I can imagine the winter wind blowing down here and making you wish you had thick woolen clothing with the furs around you.

Somewhere on this street was where George Clooney and Amal came for their wedding attire.  It was the laces and linen that brought them here.
Here is another oriel that is also two storied.  The Swiss were fascinated with the continents and often decorated their buildings with exotic statues.  This belonged to a merchant who traded to America and Africa.  Look at the pot bellied people, and the natives from America.

This was interesting to us, a pelican on a nest with babies.  She is rending her chest to drip blood into the chicks mouths.

Sound familiar?  That is the pelican on the Louisiana flag.  And you thought it was a French idea!

 Here is an interesting twist.  An oriel on the corner of the building on one of the main square!  It was said that the owner's wife could see all the goings on in the square below.

 And she used it for her gossip circles!

This was also a home of a world merchant.  There were 4 heads of men from the 4 known continents - Asia, America, Europe and Africa.  The European guy here was pretty handsome!

And he had this fox with him, can't beat a man who likes his foxy grapes!

Here is a two story oriel with balconies!  This owner must have been very rich!

This red square was some sort of an art installation that was
available for everyone to use and enjoy.
 The city was full of fountains that held clear cool water for everyone to drink. I saw many people dipping  into them with little cups they carried.  The fountains were built in throughout the city to remind the people about the water supply in the area.  Fresh clean water was something of an oddity in the middle ages.


  I still need to tell you about the Cathedral of St Gall.  But I am going to save that for the next post.  The story of the font in there is totally amazing.

Keep scrolling down, there are great photos of everyone walking about the city.

This is so Swiss!  I think of this architecture when I think of Switzerland.

 Here is Debby taking photos
 Here is our tired group waiting for Jurgen and the bus to find us again.  This is where I bought all my chocolates!
 And Ashley ready to get back on the bus after a long walk around the city!


  1. Those funny tunnels - the closed side is next to the mountain where they have avalanches. They protect the mountain side of the road and let the snow just slide off the roof on the open side. Gorgeous pictures!


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