On this wonderful August day, I found myself wandering around Rapperswil-Jona. Having spent time getting lost and attempting to climb mini-mountain wearing thongs. I decided to take advantage of the beautiful sunny weather and try catching the ferry to Zürich.
It made sense. The Zürichsee is huge and stretches 40 kilometres, so why not enjoy an easy ride, a day out and get to see the sights? At least that was the plan.
So I hopped onto the train from Hinwil to Rapperswil intending to catch the ferry. Little did I know that I’d end up spending an age exploring a picturesque medieval town. And then sunbathing on the banks of Lake Zürich.
I started my journey as I planned – by going to find out where the ferry sailed from. That took me to the harbour. Which, on a day with blue skies and crystal clear water, had excellent views of parts of the Altstadt, or the Old Town.
Wandering around you realise that there is a winding network of narrow medieval streets and old buildings with intricate wooden features and vibrant colours to explore. On such a lovely day there were plenty of people around, but the whole place was clean and quiet.
I ended up walking through a few of these narrow streets while trying to navigate my way uphill.
Something is both fascinating and unusual about having what appears to be an original wooden facade, lined with window boxes full of flowers, right next to a modern car.
The narrow streets also make it more difficult for the sun to reach the ground. In turn, that means that there is plenty of shade on offer to shelter you from the heat – and it was welcome on such a day.
It isn’t all as contrasting though. Further along, I encountered a bright, cheery and light part of the town. And although if you look closely you can still see a few cars, the same old style buildings, all colourful and cheery, as well as the plants, old lamps, bicycles and thatch roofing outweigh it. It almost feels like a history trip.
Let’s all agree to ignore the concrete bollards, yeah?
Back to the long-winded story.
Rapperswil is known as the town of roses, for all the vibrant flower displays and gardens littered around. I’m sure you can see from the few pictures I have that the place is full of greenery, and that’s just on the buildings.
If you go up to the castle you can see the courtyards filled with blooming flowers. The whole place looks very pretty. The castle is also elevated, so a quick walk around and you can see right across the town, over the lake and onto a mountainous backdrop. Need proof?
I can say that on all my travels, this is currently the prettiest town I’ve ever visited.
All the walking and open-mouthed gawking from the trip came to an end. It was time for me to catch my ferry and head into the city, across the lake into Zurich.
So I called my short time in Rapperswil to an end and headed back down to the water, to wait for my ferry to arrive. I’m sure you’ll agree it isn’t a bad place to have to wait around.
Next time I plan on spending a lot more time digging around, savouring my time in the gardens, and doing everything much more slowly. It’s an amazing place to spend your time. Rapperswil is super relaxing and I can’t wait to go back!