Having traipse all over Zurich the day before, it was time to take a trip to the outskirts of Zurich. We took an hour’s train ride to find ourselves in the town of St. Gallen. Of all the places, we chose to come here because of the Stiftsbibliothek located in the Abbey of St Gallen. A UNESCO heritage.
The town itself is explorable on foot so pack your comfy shoes and prepare to walk your way around town. We were there early and since it was the weekend, nothing was open. We were the only visitors there. It is advisable to choose a day where there’s less visitors or be there pretty early because the Stiftsbibliothek is not bookable and it’s a first come first serve basis. And since it’s a really small room, they don’t allow to many visitors at the same time, nor do they allow photography.
Devoid of tourists
“Why is it so famous?”
“It’s the oldest library in Switzerland and it holds at least 2,000 books and manuscripts that dates back to the early ages. Some are placed on display although we might not understand the written language.”
“There is one thing you should look out for — The Magic Square.”
Admission is CHF10 per person but it’s free with the Swiss Pass, which is why we took the trouble to visit this place.
Tip: Check out the magic square of 4×4, filled with the numbers from 1 to 16, which amount is the same when you add the numbers horizontally or vertically.
UNESCO Heritage (click to enlarge)
The rest of the abbey can be visited but as with old dated places, photography is not allowed. It seems that the flash from the camera could destroy the pieces in some chemical way. Or probably that’s another way of saying, “if you want to visit it, you have to come over here”.
Where are the people?
(to be continued)
Switzerland is also well known for its beautiful lakes. And we had been taking advantage of that coupled with the Swiss Pass that allows us free access onto the boats. So we are here now in Zurich and yes, you’ve guessed it, we’re going on a trip around the lake. There are a couple of ways you could do this, either follow in our footsteps and just enjoy a roundtrip on the lake (around an hour or so), or you could drop off at any stops and make your way back via trams or foot.
Be sure to check out the timetables, as they are not available at all hours.
“Let’s queue up and make sure we get the seats at the back.”
“Those are the ones with the good views and you can avoid the water spray, if there’s any.”
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We haven’t even walked halfway down the famous Bahnhofstrasse when we headed to the edge of the Limmat River. We were heading to check out the Fraumünsterkirche. Unfortunately, someone was having their wedding there and the place was closed for the day.
The backview of the church.
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We have now arrived at Zurich. A two-hour train ride from Lucerne. Switzerland is really a very small country with a really good transport system. Imagine having able to travel the length and width of the country in just under 6 hours. We could have a weekend at some small Swiss village and be back in town for work on Monday. That’s really life.
Zurich is NOT the capital of Switzerland, Bern is.
Contrary to popular belief, Zurich is NOT the capital of Switzerland, that moniker falls to Berne. The only accolade that made Zurich so popular is that it IS the largest city in Switzerland. And it is also the first place that a tourist would arrive at. Hence the mistake.
Another well known fact is that Zurich has been ranked at the top of the highest living standard city in the world for a few consecutive years. This makes it a better known area rather than Berne itself.
Most expensive street in the world.
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