And Onwards

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As I have a little less than a week left in this little city, I thought I’d post a little collection of some of my favourite things. As much for my recollection as anything.

St Gallen is a long, thin city that sits in a valley which runs, eventually, down to Lake Bodensee. You can see Germany from the top of the hill that runs up from my flat to the nearest fresh milk.

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From almost anywhere in the city you can walk for 20 or so minutes and find yourself in the middle of fields.

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This means fantastic walks in almost any direction.

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At the top of the hills to the south are the Dreilinden lakes where you can swim for free (it’s a rare thing here) in the summer:

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It’s a city of many stairs leading from each level of the city to the next:

A city of stars at Christmastime:

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and where the Christmas tree arrives by Harry Potter helicopter each year:

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And bus- and tram-lines that extend a spider-web of electricity cables over most of the city.

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If you look closely in the top mirror, you can see (upside-down) a reflection of a favourite restaurant, Focacceria.

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And just in case you accidentally find yourself in St Gallen (let’s face it, it’s not exactly on the way to anywhere), here are a couple of places that I’ve enjoyed over the past three years.

Kaffeehaus, Linsebühlstrasse 77 is one of my favourite places. It’s a few minutes walk from the centre of the old town, but it’s conveniently on my way into (and out of) town. It doesn’t hustle, it doesn’t bustle, it’s the perfect place to go to to clear your head. The owner’s quirky style (including piano, trumpet candle-sticks and industrial right-there-in-the-café coffee bean roaster) is just my taste and the coffee is fantastic. I could sit there for hours (and have done), letting the world go by without my participation.

Another coffee shop for a nice but livelier atmosphere is Franz, on the same road but closer to the city, Linsebühlstrasse 35. They also have a garden that’s open in summer and gooooood cakes.

By far my favourite bar is La Buena Onda (Lämmlisbrunnenstrasse 51). Again, quirky style, and as it’s a little way out of the main city (but still conveniently close to my flat) it doesn’t get completely packed out. It seems to attract the non-Swiss locals as well, which makes for a nice atmosphere. And there’s a piano.


There are other places too of course, the Egyptian falafel man in the market place (seriously good) the Abbey is impressive, the library, museums et cetera, et cetera.
I know I’ve complained about you along the way, St Gallen, you might be at the wrong end of the country, you might be a bit on the small side for a city, but it’s been a good ride.

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Inhabiting A Stereotype

I thought I’d start off the year with something ramble-based rather than sewing-based to indicate my intention of not being a completely sewing-based blog – I seem to have done the opposite of diversify my blog  (whatever that’s called) since I started sewing.

So welcome to the inside of my head.

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Autumn Elders

Now, I tend to get excited about the elder trees in late spring, when their dusty, creamy flowers promise oodles of flavour to add to gin, vodka or cordial to name but a few. I have to admit that I didn’t even know that the berries were anything special, or even edible. I was brought up to be wary of berries that you weren’t 100% sure about, and although I loved eating sloes in front of school friends who were convinced that they were poisonous (along with pulling the flowers off dead nettles and chasing some of my more gullible class-mates), my knowledge of autumn’s berries didn’t extend much further than that.

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Winter Wonderland

Ugh, things have piled up again in the last week, and so my backlog-clearing attempt hasn’t gained much ground. I climbed more in the past seven days than I did in the middle 6-8 months of 2014, and I’m pushing myself to improve my level, rather than just staying happily at the same level that I am after a six-month no-climbing hiatus due to the terrible summer that we experienced over here (it’s not just you, Britain!)

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Unlike in England, where as soon as Christmas is over we start to think about spring, and eventually summer (and all those long, balmy, imaginary summer evenings) in Switzerland, Christmas is just the start of the winter, and the skiing season. In fact there is an official school holiday which roughly coincides with the spring half-term holiday, that is actually called the skiferien, or skiing holiday.

At the weekend I made another attempt at learning to ski, which went a lot better than the first round a couple of years ago. This time we managed to find a hill with a manageable slope, and without family onlookers, come to watch the ausländer Continue reading “Winter Wonderland”