St. Gallen - culture in the cold

My dear friend Willow from Honolulu came back to the cold part of the world :-)
And for this time's cultural expedition I took her eastwards, to St. Gallen. A town that as a teenager I had mostly experienced as shopping paradise… But the good thing about having visitors is that you go visit the "important" stuff with them.

So off we drove on a foggy, cold morning. Luckily the fog lifted towards St. Gallen because it is on a higher altitude.

First action: eat an early lunch: Bratwurst! We had one from a street vendor with a piece of bread and nothing else, just the way it's supposed to be. Don't even dare ask for mustard! "A good sausage doesn't need mustard" is what people here believe very strongly.

Of course we had to make a round in a cheap clothes shop - it just wouldn't be the same without it!

You know it's cold when I am wearing a turban...

Then we went straight for our first church: St. Laurenzen

It has a beautifully painted interior which we both liked a lot.

Willow even lit a candle and broke into a Christmas song.

But this was just the warm up for the big cathedral! More paintings, more gold…

This is what part of a UNESCO world heritage site looks like, in case you were wondering :-)
We also visited the famous library, but photography was forbidden there.
It was rather cold but still interesting and impressive to see. There are not just the old books, the room itself is beautiful as well. And they throw in an Egyptian mummy for good measure.

On our way to the next museum we saw this funny guy:

And we had a longer stop in a shop that offered an incredible choice of Christmas tree ornaments. Most of them very unusual - all kinds of animals (even dinosaurs!), Asian themed motifs, foods, plants, even mobile phones. Willow bought some glittery mushrooms and three Swiss folklore inspired figurines.
I took the opportunity for one of my "me in a mirror" pictures.

Fortunately all the planned activities of this day were close by, so it was only a short walk over to the Textile Museum. It has its roots in the once flourishing textile industry of this region.
To this day companies like Jakob Schlaepfer produce the fabrics for haute couture designers.
"The fabric is already half the fashion"
 It's a good thing I wore a glitter pullover!
 Amazing designs!

 Amazing old embroidery

 Examples from all over the world

 Detail of a Turkish carpet
 From the age when men wore loads of little flowers!

 Hungarian lady with BIG sleeves
 Theater costumes
 All these dresses belonged to the same lady
 Embroidery machine

After all this walking around, a drive in the car was a welcome break. We drove back westwards, but only until Wil, my hometown, where we visited my parents.

Here's a view on the sunset from their balcony:
We were both still rather beaten and took a nap… When we awoke it was dark - just the right time to go out and see the Christmas lights.
Our first stop however was a quick visit to this day's third church. Especially because the have this relict - the complete skeleton of St. Pankratius. Those catholics are kind of creepy….

 This is our friend Pankratius again, this time in stone...
 Willow and my mother in front of the Hof building
 Lights in the fog
We all together went for a Chinese dinner at a restaurant where they value the tradition of turning vegetables into animals - like this carrot bird