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Yesterday morning I left early and after saying my farewell’s to Andy, Effi, Penelpe, and Aurora, I walked downwards into the early morning towards Rapperswil: the City of Roses on Lake Zurich:
The sun was coming up from behind over the mountains and it was a welcomed sight.
I stopped and had a brief conversation with these Swiss sheep, before again setting off on my way and making a mental note to stop having brief conversations with sheep along the way.
At around 10:30am I walked into the beautiful city of Rapperswil and was reminded of my km ahead on my journey:
This is the Camino route through Switzerland. Soon there will be a fork in the path and I’ll need to choose whether to continue onwards through Interlaken and Thun, or whether to go via Luzern and Bern.
The wooden bridge at Rapperswill which leads across Lake Zurich, with the Alps in the background:
I’m addicted to Swiss cheese…
… and Swiss chocolate. Both are very reasonably-priced when buying at Migros supermarkets.
I decided to share some of my siesta bread with these two ducks. I even had a short (monologue) conversation with them. Once the bread was over they quickly made themselves scarce.
From Rapperswil the climb goes steep and up; for 3 or 4 hours (and I was steaming up that mountain after the cheese and chocolate). It was a wonderful walk and I began drawing closer to snow-topped mountains:
When I made it to the top, I found myself in the village/town of Einsiedeln. I popped into a bar to ask for some water for my bottle and was invited to sit down for a beer: bought by one of the locals there. I sat with good company and enjoyed every sip of the local brew.
A monastery up the road you say?
This was great news to find out in the bar and I began walking the 500 metres towards Einsiedeln monastery to see if I could grab a bed for the night:
I was invited to sleep in the Pilgrim Dormitory room, along with 4 other pilgrims. There is no charge but they do ask for a donation. Fair I think. Dinner and breakfast were provided, together with apple juice from the region (Moscht). The post picture btw is of this Moscht: it’s very healthy as there isn’t any added sugar and is essentially 100% apple juice (with some sediment). The 4 other pilgrims were all from Switzerland and were charming. As is my usual custom at night, I snored and shouted out in my sleep. It wasn’t an issue for anyone. A good night’s sleep in a comfy, but sagging bed. Be advised that they do close the main gates to the monastery by 7pm so if planning on staying here then make sure to get here before then. They let you out in the morning at 8am and btw, it is a Benedictine monastery.
Lovely stamp in my Pilgrim Passport from the monastery (right).
Well, today I have a walk!
From here (Einsiedeln) it’s an approx 500 metre climb upwards into the mountains, and then a 1,000 metre walk downwards. The other 4 pilgrims are going to be taking an easier route because they are a little older. I would have loved to join them but after yesterday’s walk I feel that my body is ready for another day of challenging walking. I feel almost at the peak of my fitness after getting on for 4 weeks of walking (this Saturday). It’s a sunny day and I am looking forward to again walking in some snow underfoot shortly…