After Rapperswil the usual walk is only 16.5km to Einsiedeln, a huge monastery in Switzerland which originally was the starting point for pilgrimages from here to Santiago. I did this walk three times and enjoyed it very much every time as it is leading through nice forests and very picturesque landscapes. The photos are actually from my first walk just after my return from Spain.
When coming from the pilgrims’ hostel of Rapperswil you first walk through the nice old town and downwards to the station. There you take the pedestrian underpass to reach the other side of the train station and then walk on past school buildings to Lake Zurich. This is where one of the nicest parts of that day starts: The wooden bridge leading from Rapperswil to Hurden, giving you a very nice view over Lake Zurich. From there the way is leading on quite evenly to Pfäffikon.
On the way there you’re passing another nice spot: If you want to drink or eat something there’s the time for it, because right after Pfäffikon the way is leading up rather steeply for several kilometers until St. Meinrad. I really loved the look back to lake Zurich from a bit further up the road. There’s another possibility to have something tro drink or eat at restaurant Luegete, from where you also have a nice view over the lake. I prefered leaving it out though, as I perceived it as a slightly posh place. On this walk the way is leading through a nice forest. You barely walk on concrete in the beginning… …and when you come out of the woods you simply exchange them with very nice landscapes. Some time after leaving the forest there comes a shed with a very nice saying on it: “Just open your eyes – everything is beautiful!” I think that’s very true and that’s something pilgrimage is teaching us as well. It’s simply that when moving forward with as speed of 120miles per hour you barely see the beauty around yourself. And we are living in a very fast moving society. So slowing down to 5miles per hour gives us a totally different view of the world as long as we are open for it. Slowness actually enables us to see the beauty around as, notice that everything is beautiful in its own way and to really enjoy that. After walking for only few more kilometers you reach St. Meinrad, which is about in the middle of the walk. There’s a nice restaurant and the small chapel is worthy a visit as well. There you also reached about the highest point of the day. The way is leading downhill after St. Meinrad and there’s not that much up and down afterwards. You also come across several nice farms and have a great view over the surrounding mountains and dwellings. You cross the historic bridge of the devil just afterwards and then walk upwards again for a little while until you reach the Camino leading towards the Sihlsee and giving a nice view on Sihlsee and Aegerisee. If you’re contemplating to take a rest, there are two shelters awaiting you which are especially built for the pilgrims. Many of them lay down stones there or made crosses on the walls. This is actually where I met a Hungarian pilgrim the third time I was walking the part of the way. She had started in Budapest and was walking all the way to Santiago in one go. That’s just wow – I wished I had that much time! I would definitely love to do so as well. My leg of the day ended in Einsiedeln after an endless walk over concrete. It takes like forever to reach the monastery once you reached the outskirts of the town. Guess it felt like this as I really don’t like walking on concrete…But anyway. The first times I reached Einsiedeln I was walking into cultural happenings again. The first day they just were having a village fair and the second time there was an Indian mass. Yes, you can trust your eyes…an Indian mass. They were singing very nicely and finally came out of the monastery in a huge procession. Unfortunately I didn’t bring my camera the second day and absolutely regretted it… Hope you enjoyed the pics – I like them very much 🙂 This had actually been the nicest walk since Rorschach. I am really curious of what’s coming after. Certainly there will be many more nice towns, landscapes – and strenious walks 😉 Stay tuned!