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Published: September 19th 2018
After some discussion last night on possibilities for today, we decided to visit Bad Ragaz and the Tamina Gorge. What a great choice it was.
Bad Ragaz is a town in St Gallen Canton near the border of the eastern Graubünden Canton. It is a Spa and Resort with supposedly restorative waters from a spring from up the Tamina Gorge. A bus takes you up into the gorge to a large building and chapel and we walked from there into the gorge. What a revelation this was after the Gorge we visited the other day in GaPa. This gorge is narrow too, but has huge, straight up soaring rock walls for 100s of meters. Above you can see where the water has eaten away at the limestone to form a crevasse to the daylight. Way below, the water has cut a stream of rushing water. It wasn't wet and there was an excellent track into the gorge. The gorge was discovered to have warm water by a monk back in the 1300's and over the years people were bought up for 'the cure' until more recently in the 1800s a bath house was built which is now a museum, convention
rooms and large dining area for special occasions. The baths no longer operate in this location but down in the town there are baths and wellness clinics.
Towards the end of the trail a tunnel has been blasted and the further we went, the warmer it got until we reached the source of the heat which was hot water pouring out of the rocks into a pool and then into insulated pipes down to the town. Already, with the warm water running over the rocks, stalagmites are starting to form.
Back at the building we had lunch and explored the various rooms. On display was more art sculpture, information on the history of the hot springs, the baths and private rooms.
We walked back down to Bad Ragaz on the road and feeling enclosed by the high valley sides of slates, limestone and metamorphosed rocks with quartz veins. In Bad Ragaz we walked through the town to the lovely park with bright flower beds, lovely trees and very expensive looking hotels around it. In the park were art sculptues, all part of the exhibition which is held here every year. Some were really fantastic and others just
One ot the sculptures in the park
Guess who is one of the odd ones out?
awful. All, of course, had very high price tags.
We then drove out of the main valley and high up onto a plateau looking down over where we had been earlier until we reached a new beautifully proportioned arched bridge over the same valley. After viewing, we drove over it and headed way up into the valley head where two electricity dams had been developed. Putting those in must have been a nightmare. New roads in had to be made and farmers relocating. For the life of me I could not see why anyone would want to farm such steep countryside. At home it just wouldn't be done unless it was on thousands of acres. On the narrow plateaus were a couple of villages with clinics for health or psychiatric problems. By all accounts this area had several but why there in that difficult terrain I cannot imagine. It was all very enlightening to us to see just how Switzerland makes use of every available piece of land and puts in amazing roads to access it.
Late in the afternoon we returned to Bad Ragaz and back onto the motorway to St Gallen. It was quite a day
The arched bridge over the narrow gorge
This was a beautifully proportioned bridge running in a curve which cannot be seen in this photo
with a lot to take in and remember because it was a part of Switzerland that we had not anticipated. Bruno also finally found an area of St Gallen Canton that we had not visited before!
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