May 14: Swiss Camino Day 5

Well, the final day has come and gone, and my right butt cheek is pretty happy it’s ended, but the rest of me wishes we were walking for longer.

Today we did a shorter stretch of 16km from Rapperswil to Einsiedeln, to finish the first third of the Swiss Camino, but because there was a fair bit of uphill it took us about six hours (with stops). See here if you want a detailed description of our whole journey, written by people from the Camino.

When we walked the middle section of the Swiss Camino in 2012 we started in Einsiedeln, so it was a logical end point for this trip. We can now say we’ve walked across two-thirds of Switzerland.

Leaving Rapperswil, you walk through the city, past the marina and onto a wooden footbridge which crosses the Lake of Zürich. What a great way to start the final day, listening to all the birds nesting on the lake, which is a nature reserve. Once across, we walked along a train line for a while, and then headed up, up, up to St Meinrad, where we stopped for a quick sugary drink and then started, for me, the highlight of the trip.

This section, between St Meinrad and Einsiedeln, is the postcard vision we have in our head of what Switzerland looks like – snow capped mountains, lakes, fields, cows, little wooden houses and glorious greenery. I kept taking photos of the same section of landscape, hoping to properly capture its beauty, but, alas, no picture can portray just how awe inspiring it is. You’ll have to come see for yourself!

Another highlight was being charged by a little cow. Unfortunately I didn’t get any photos of that, but I would have loved a video of him bouncing in front of me, being all threatening, and me running away flailing my walking sticks in the air.

When we arrived in Einsiedeln, home of a very huge monastery, we were shocked by how many people were there, but it is a religious public holiday in Switzerland today, so maybe we shouldn’t have been too surprised! Because of this we didn’t go into the church, as we’d seen it on our previous trip.

We stopped for a much-needed late lunch and then caught the train to Bern and then the bus to Wohlen. It took just over two and a half hours to get home. While walking that 10 minute path from the bus, we felt the first spits of rain, and as I type this, at 10.30pm, it’s raining heavily. Our decision to compress the five-day walk into four days was a good one, because the weather has quickly turned from amazing to miserable.

Signing off for now. The photos once again will tell a better story than me. I think I might start a new section on this blog about walking, with the various hikes we’ve done, but need to work out if the time it takes to set it all up is worth it. Would you like to see more photos of other walks around the UK and Europe?

We haven’t slept well the previous two nights, so hopefully being in our own bed will put everything right again, including that strained butt cheek??

Wishing you a wonderful day.

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