All Packed and Ready Go …

My bag is ready for tomorrow

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


Vacuum cleaning

Some ‘Hoovering’


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!!

Home again!


What a Finale!

Today Agnes hired a car in order to take me to the places I hadn’t been during my stay! What a challenge. But we did pretty well.

We walked around the Cresta See. You have heard of the Cresta Run (I saw it in St Moritz last Saturday). well, this is the Cresta Lake near Flims. A natural lake deep in the forest with paths and picnic spots and safe bathing areas. Of course, it has the expected restaurant and other facilities too.

Cresta See

Cresta See

Cresta Run

The Cresta Run

Then we drove to Vals where the world famous spa baths designed by local architect Peter Zumthor are built of local granite. We decided not to indulge our senses here but to wait until the end of the day.


Vals Dorf

So after looking around the village of Vals itself, looking in at the Landi shop (always worth a peep)

Swiss Babygro (Onesey??)

Cute Swiss babygro


And they really do have yodelling fests!

we picknicked by the little shrine/pilgrim church of Santa Maria da Campo.

Sta Maria da Campo

On our way back Agnes diverted to Schloss Haldenstein near Chur for which I had a brochure and had thought worthy of a visit. Indeed it is! It’s a very special rose garden. In the summer there are outdoor theatrical and operatic performances. We had coffee/apple juice in the delightful garden overlooked by Chur’s mountain Calanda.


The Schloss

Apple juice

The Apple Juice and Garden

Then (after a supermarket shop) we drove back to Bad Ragaz for the icing on the cake – a two hour session at the Thermal Baths of Bad Ragaz. Wonderful! I didn’t take my camera with me but this is what it’s like.

In Chur today

It’s hot and muggy here today and we have new guests from Germany. So I worked on the room this morning and after a late lunch I thought I’d have another trip to Chur. I wandered through the old town to the Arcas Square where there’s another Lesebank. I had a quick look but decided to carry on reading my own book on a shady bench on the opposite side of the square.

Arcas Square

In Arcas Square (above and below)


Then I visited the Cathedral (Kathedrale St Maria Himmelfahrt). Is it old is it new? It’s an excellent combination of both. A recent renovation in sympathy with the old.

Then I looked in a dress shop [Boutique Ivka] and was finally tempted by the lovely owner to go in and although I explained that I was not going to buy she seemed happy to show me various very tempting items and I even tried some on … but did not succumb. Some very lovely, flattering pieces in stock!

Finally, though having seen myself in the full length mirror, I still headed for Marron the cafe opposite the station where you choose a piece of Plum Tart (or whatever) and a tea (Vanilla and Rooibos, in this case) and watch the world (or at least the city of Chur and the train to Arosa) go past.

A Bookish Afternoon in Chur

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.

My Books

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.

Fontana Park Chur 1

Fontana Park

Fontana Park

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 Lesebank

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.

Engadine sayings

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.

Angelika Kauffman

Self Portrait of the Prolific Artist Angelika Kauffman (1741-1807)

Also in the park is a memorial to Captain Benedikt Fontana :

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.

Window display

Chur and A Kleenex Sofa

This afternoon I was in Chur again and I posted about my visit here. I had visited already on Sunday. It’s a lovely city with a characterful Old Town of traditionally painted buildings, narrow alleyways and many ornate drinking water fountains.

Chur alleyway

A Chur fountain

Chur is located by the River Rhine and mountains tower above the city. The busy station is a starting point for several panoramic train trips.

Chur Station

Glacier Express

The Glacier Express

However, in addition to inspecting a Reading Bench and sipping a drink at the birthplace of the artist Angelika Kauffman I spotted this lovely Kleenex Kouch (they call it a Kleenex Sofa) in the window of a sewing machine shop.

Kleenex Sofa

Schweizersiches Volkstanzfest Chur 2013

“We don’t work on Sundays!” said Agnes this morning. “Well, only when there is a guest changeover.” A young couple left this morning but we can sort the room tomorrow as there are no new guests this evening.

Dance Festival programme

So we took the train together to the nearby city of Chur and visited The Schweizersiches Volkstanzfest [The Swiss Folk Dance Festival] which is being held in a field there this weekend. Swiss country people congregate every 3 years in their folk costumes, or Trachten, for dancing, music, food and drink and general enjoyment. Every Canton has its own distinctive outfit – especially the ladies. Austrians and Germans also participate.

Dance Festival in Chur

These beautiful outfits cost thousands of francs to buy – all handmade and embroidered – or hours and hours of work if they make them themselves.

Bernese costume

A Bernese Tracht


More Costumes

Back view