Today I did my last everything … ironing, cooking, cleaning, serving guests. Then I took my cases to Chur Railway Station where there’s a service that checks you in for your flight and relieves you of your bags so that you can travel by train unencumbered to the airport. I’ll next see them tomorrow lunchtime in Manchester. After a quiet afternoon chatting with a new guest, Agnes and I served the evening meal outside again on the terrace.
… But then this evening I discovered the handbook Agnes must have meant me to read in advance of my starting to work here : The Sunlight Book of Housework. It was on the book shelves in my room! Surely a hint as to how the housework here must be done!
Now, I’m intrigued to see all the jobs I did :
A bit of brushing and sweeping
Cleaning the wash basins
A bit of mending
Serving the Guest Breakfasts and Sometimes Dinner
Popping the Laundry in the Washing Machine
Popping it in the Drier
All the Ironing
Plus all those travels and hikes … I’ll be glad to get home for a rest!!
It’s been a wonderful day today because after breakfast I got a lift into nearby Bad Ragaz and met my dear friend, Susanne, from Nidwalden. We spent the morning at the Tamina Gorge and the afternoon in Maienfeld. Johanna Spyri was visiting friends in Jenins near Maienfeld when she was inspired the write the world famous story of Heidi.
In the evening Susanne’s husband Ueli and their daughter, Leandra, arrived by car and Agnes and I made dinner (mainly Agnes!) and we were able to sit outside until late eating and talking. Tomorrow we are bound for St Moritz – but right now I need my beauty sleep.
Here are two pictures from the many I took today :
The Taminaschlucht (Gorge)
The Heidi House above Maienfeld
I noticed at the station in Davos that in order to capture children’s imagination and encourage them to hike along the Albula Experience Way a book has been published : Türli und Flidari auf dem Bahnerlebnisweg. Then at each Information Board as you walk the route between Preda (1792m ASL and freezing cold!) and Bergün you notice the little T&F cartoons.
Türli und Flidari auf dem Bahnerlebnisweg
On one board there’s an explanation of how the line has been built to rise so high in the Alps. It is likened to the corkscrew attached to the wee red Swiss Army knife.
The Explanation : is this really for kids?
My favourite was this one which shows in Tintin-like fashion what the third class carriages were like 100 years ago!
When in Chur last week I visited several bookshops – secondhand and new. I decided to go back there yesterday to buy a couple more English language books. I chose Rachel Joyce’s The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and John Boyne’s The Absolutist. So I’ve now added to the very few titles that I brought with me and to the five picked up in Bern at the weekend.
As I wandered up the main street in the Old Town the sun came out and I decided to hunt for another book box. Fontana Park in Chur is a pretty square just behind the main street and by a busy road.
“In its present form, Fontana Park has reverted to the boundaries of the former Baroque garden from before 1860. With its refurbishment, the park has become a multi-purpose recreation area. The flower parterre in front of the old building still has its original length. Due to the lack of historical sources, the planting has been done in the contemporary style. Changing flower beds alternate side by side with boxwood beds, and potted plants complement the floral aspect. The modern fencing means that the park can be closed off at night while retaining the required degree of transparency.” Source
Fontana Park is also another location for a reading bench and box. I rummaged through the box picked two titles for closer inspection and was joined by another lady who picked an urban gardening title. The box had been used much more than the first one I visited and the notebook is filled with children’s drawings and scribbles.
The two books were one of Engadiner Sayings; words of wisdom that have been stencilled onto houses in the region and one about local artist Angelika Kauffman.
Self Portrait of the Prolific Artist Angelika Kauffman (1741-1807)
Also in the park is a memorial to Captain Benedikt Fontana :
“The bronze Fontana memorial dates from the year 1903 and is in memory of Captain Benedikt Fontana. He was an episcopal bailiff who officiated at the southern border of the Three Leagues. He died in 1499 during the Swabian War at the battle of Calven, allegedly a martyr’s death, before the Graubünden army put the Habsburgs to flight. The monument was created by the Swiss sculptor Richard Kissling, whose works also include the Tell monument in Altdorf.” Source
Finally, I do love the Swiss window displays. This one in a jewellery and watch shop in Chur.