We had been told by a Swiss couple that we had met that we ‘must’ go up Mount Rigi and do a round tour of the area via funicular, bus and train. Easy to say, but how to do it!
Unusually for the Swiss, the websites were a bit confusing and so research became a bit cloudy. One of our mantras when we travel is to try not to back-track on our steps but to see something new on the way there and on the way back. Our meanderings around the web showed us that we should start at Arth-Goldau and then take it from there.
Wit hthe help of a great lady dressed in a SWiss Railway uniform and armed with a ticket machine, we found out a route.
This is how it works – when you approach Arth-Goldau watch out for the Swissbahn (railway signs) and then head towards the ‘Rigi’ signs – a separate station. When you book your ticket, ask for your parking ticket as well, as there is a special parking area for the Rigi passengers.
Our selected route: Arth-Goldau to Mount Rigi summit by funicular train (40 minutes) called RigiKulm; then take another funicular from Mount Rigi summit down the other side of the mountain to Vitznau. Then walk out of the station across the road and take the Brunnen bus. This 40 minute bus trip to the Brunnen Station, takes you all along the banks of Lake Lucerne (this area is called colloquially the ‘Lucerne Riviera’.
At the station, jump aboard the Alt-Golthau express which is the Zug-bound train, and 10 minutes later you’ll be at your car.
A great day out.
Within the St Gallen Cathedral precinct you will find the Abbey and its magnificent buildings. Housed in the library is one of the largest collections of Illuminated Manuscripts, dating back to 1215, in the world. Over 200 hand written and illustrated editions are on display and used by scholars and researchers alike to this day. In addition, the library houses over 200,000 ancient books making it a magnet for academics.
The public are allowed to enter into the sterile main area, taking off your shoes and padding around in large Swiss slippers (think clogs but in felt!!). One of the other attractions is an Egyptian Mummy purloined from Egypt in the 15th Century and dating back to 1,500BC. All very amazing and humbling.
St Gallen is right on the eastern side of Switzerland (Swiss German) and consequently is one of the most ‘German’ of Swiss cities. The old city is very beautiful and characterised by over 100 ‘windows’ or extended rooms which jut out into the street on the first floor above you and you troll along the busy lanes and streets.The area is totally pedestrican and chock a block full of shops, restaurants and bars.