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Trip Report Jakobsweg: Walking through Switzerland

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The Camino....France... Spain...it's a far-off goal of mine to walk those stretch but living in Switzerland, I decided the best way to start is in my own country.

Last week, on a spur of the moment, I decided to start walking the Jakobsweg, Switzerland's part of the Camino. The weather forecast had predicted two rain-free days, and since I already had my backpack, hiking boots and a light-weight towel from other trips, I decided to get a one-way ticket to Rorschach to start two days of hiking.

I packed my things, walked to the train station and missed the train by one minute. Feeling oddly unruffled, I walked to the nearest cafe, had a gipfeli with my Schale, and enjoyed reading the local newspaper. Then I sauntered off to the local store, bought some provisions and caught the next train. It's amazing how a mindset can alter when one has no set time to be somewhere and no sense of urgency to be completely organized. After all, this was only a two-day hike (my first one) and I won't be tackling mountains.

The train journey to St. Gallen was uneventful but I noticed what I assumed to be Syrian refugees getting on the train from St. Gallen to Rorschach. They were a young family with bags and older luggage and were a bit lost. I wished them the best in my heart and started thinking about the trip.

The path in Rorschach starts down at the harbor. Centuries ago, people crossed the lake by boat to start their journey here. There is also a starting point in Constance but this seemed to be more "official." The tourist office was closed and I had no maps, just my Iphone and the knowledge that I wanted to end up in St. Gallen that evening. Hanging around the closed office, a woman suddenly hurridly came out. I quickly asked her if there were any brochures for the Jakobsweg. She gave me two and wished me a good hike. I thanked her kindly and wished her a good lunch. And this set the tone of my two days of wandering: asking, sharing information and being grateful.

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