Rapperswil is the next station from Pfaffikon, going eastwards. The distance between the two towns is 3.6 miles: a 5-minute train ride or a walk of one hour and 10 minutes. It’s a lovely walk, especially on a sunny day. The highlight is the Holzbrücke Rapperswil-Hurden, a beautiful wooden pedestrian bridge that connects the village of Hurden with Rapperswil, across the upper Lake Zürich (Obersee). It is the longest wooden bridge in Switzerland!
Rapperswil was founded in 1220 and since January 2007 has been a part of the municipality of Rapperswil-Jona in the canton of St. Gallen in Switzerland. It is a medieval town with a castle, historic churches and buildings, and cobblestones alleys. Schloss Rapperswil dominates the town. Built in the early 13th century, it is now home to the Polish National Museum created by Polish émigrés.
The roofs of the houses are laid out in the honeycomb pattern. There is a small vineyard falling away from the castle walls with rows of vines and bunches of black grapes hanging on them. Just below them I can see a profusion of roses.
I walk down and enter the Rosengarten filled with roses, all colors and hues, big and small. I read later that the Rapperswil’s coat of arms is decorated by roses and that it is often called ‘Rosenstadt’ (town of roses) because of its three rose parks which have 15,000 plants of 600 different kinds of roses. There is also a rose garden accessible to the blind and the disabled.
Finally I wander down to the lake promenade. The town is out and about – couples strolling, children running around, joggers getting their daily run, elderly couples enjoying the sunshine…I buy a pastry and a hot cup of tea from a nearby confiserie and sit on a bench.
The sun’s rays slant through the trees. I sit back and enjoy the serene, scenic view before catching the train back to Pfaffikon.