Easter Monday in Rapperswil, Switzerland
There is no shortage of quaint, fairytale villages with scenic mountain/lake backdrops in Switzerland. But I've been wanting to visit Rapperswil for a long time and today was finally sunny and warm enough to attempt a mini day trip with a 3-month old. Rapperswil is located on the shores of Lake Zurich, but is part of the canton St. Gallen. It has a 13th century castle, a picturesque city center (Altstadt) and numerous rose gardens (more than 16,000 roses!).
Easter Monday is a holiday here (along with Good Friday), so we drove the 45 minutes to Rapperswil together as a family (you can also easily take the train or a boat - if you're on Lake Zurich). It was the longest car ride we've done yet with Baby, so I sat in the back and we only had to pull over once for a screaming meltdown. (As we approach our 800 mile road trip to England in a few weeks, my nightmares of traveling with a Baby have been increasing.) But we made it, the sun was shining and it was a really nice afternoon of exploring such a cute town.
Since it was a holiday, most of the shops were closed, but plenty of restaurants were open and serving meals and drinks in the sun-drenched squares. It really is a cute, pedestrian-only Old Town with winding cobblestone streets and pastel shuttered houses. We walked up the hill to the castle (Schloss Rapperswil) and church, where the views overlooking Lake Zurich are gorgeous. It was so clear today we could see all the snow-capped mountains in the distance too. And the castle grounds are also inhabited by deer! We didn't tour the castle, which now houses a Polish museum, (it didn't seem pram-friendly) but we'll definitely be back to explore when Baby is bigger.
There's a nice promenade along the lake with more hotels, restaurants and bars. I even managed my second attempt of outdoor nursing. Now that the weather is warmer it's a much nicer option to sit on a bench by the lake and feed Baby, rather than in a crowded coffee shop, where I'm super self-conscious. We then wandered back to the main square (Hauptplatz) and ate lunch outside near the Rathaus (and Baby napped in the sun). We were lucky to find an outdoor table at Restaurant Rössli, where we had burgers, fries and beer. And speaking of beer, Rapperswil is well known for its Bier Factory brewery (where several years ago I had bought Warren a beer brewing course for his birthday ). It wasn't open today, but I've heard they do a nice happy hour as well.
It wasn't a big excursion, but it was our first family adventure and a nice way to enjoy the last day of a long weekend. I definitely want to go back though when then rose gardens are in full bloom and to visit the nearby Kinder Zoo.
Check out some photos below!