Holy Cow!! Literally, the Swiss take their dairy cows seriously which is just fine with me! Almost all the items I bought for souvenirs have some type of cow on them and you can’t drive anywhere without seeing a few cows out in the pasture. There are even a few cows across the street from out hostel. Speaking of hostels…the one we are staying at in St. Gallen couldn’t be more different from the hostel in Hamburg.
I’m not sure that I would recommend staying in this one to someone. The rooms are fine, they are dorm style with bunk beds and each room seems to have a sink and lockers you can rent to keep your things in. It is just the atmosphere of the place that gets me.It is not very bright and cheery here and of course not having access to internet isn’t helping anyones mood. Word of advice if your are planning on staying in youth hostels in Europe and want internet, check and see if you will need a phone to use to receive the internet codes for access. This hostel required that you use your phone to entire a code, then you would receive a text with the code for internet access. Well this would be fine if you wouldn’t end up with a ridiculous roaming charge if you could even get your cell phone to work over here in the first place! Anyway, if you have no interest in having internet it’s not something you have to worry about either way!
Well, after spending the morning visiting the newest milling plant in Switzerland we headed off to visit Mt. Saentis. Saentis is the tallest Alp in this part of Switzerland at around 8,209 feet in elevation. It was an amazing sight to see from the ground below but we got the opportunity to ride a cable car, I guess that’s what they are called, up to the peak! At the top they have a structure that houses a meteorology center as well as a telecommunications center. But for visitors the site also houses several restaurants as well as a shop to buy souvenirs. It is several stories high and from the top level you can walk right outside to take in the view! No unfortunately, even though it was nice and sunny at the bottom of the mountain once we made it to the top the weather had changed drastically and we were only able to get a few clear view of the surrounding area. After those first few moments it became very windy and cloudy so pictures were not very good. Nonetheless it was an amazing thing to be able to experience and if you are every in the position to travel to Mt. Saentis then you simply must go to the top! It is something I will never forget.
After spending a few hours on top of the mountain we all were feeling a little on the light headed side and decided to head to a small village near Saentis. It was a cute town that, finally!, had open shops so that we could get in some shop time before our trip is over!!
We spent an hour or so there then headed back towards St. Gallen taking what was supposed to be a short cut… Thirty minutes later and we were no close to St. Gallen than before and we were stuck in nine-seater vans going around 180 degree turns. It was not the most fun experience ever even if the surrounding countryside was nice to look at. Moral of that story, buy a good map and double check your Garmin or GPS directions before blindly following them. It will save you some headache, I think, in the end.
Well tomorrow we will be spending all day at the Buhler company headquarters and will be practicing some hands on milling… It will be a learning experience to say the least but hopefully a fun, if not dirty one!!