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.
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.
So after looking around the village of Vals itself, looking in at the Landi shop (always worth a peep)
Cute Swiss babygro
And they really do have yodelling fests!
we picknicked by the little shrine/pilgrim church of Santa 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 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.
We have no guests for two days so having caught up with ironing and having done several machine loads of laundry yesterday I’ve had a pretty free day today. There’s now another heap of ironing but I’ll get on with that later. I could have made another excursion today but decided to mooch around the chalet reading and resting and generally catching up with emails and texting after the weekend’s activities. I did pop down to the little Co-op supermarket at the other end of town.
I can post plenty of sights of Switzerland and have been doing so but there are also some very distinctive smells and sounds which are impossible convey over the internet. (I suppose I could search Youtube for some cow bells and you’ve already heard the yodelling!)
The cows in the field opposite
Opening the dining room and kitchen windows this morning we could sniff the freshly mown hay. Hiking through the pine woods there is also a damp pine needle smell.
Damp woodland smells
Then out in the open meadows there is the smell of all those wild flowers. Honeysuckle and roses are the most distinctive.
Neighbours loading up the hay – 21st century style
The most prominent sound here at the chalet is the tinkle of cow (mixed with goat) bells. There’s a donkey in the field opposite as well and he/she brays from time to time. Then there are the church bells that seem to ring around noon every day.
And there’s the birdsong when out on the mountains and meadows. Unfortunately we can also hear the road, which, although some distance away can be quite loud at times, presumably due to the nature of the valley formation. I do love to hear the sound of a train coming and always look to see the red carriages disappearing up or down the valley.
When out hiking you can always hear the sounds of rushing water as the streams and waterfalls tumble their melted snow water into the valleys below and the gentle tinkle of the spring water piped into an often fancy water trough.
Alpine Water Trough
In addition to dear Raki, Hera and Lucy the chalet is also home to a rather large number of inanimate cats. They come in all sizes and colours and even shapes and are made of all sorts of materials and some are even 2 dimensional. Here are just a few which I took without moving from the ground floor.
A Pussy Bank?
Just throwing in the lovely posy of flowers for good measure!
On the Wine Trail yesterday we went past a Cable Car Station so this morning when Agnes said that after doing breakfast, the ironing and a couple of other ‘chores’ I could take the rest of the day off I asked her about the aforementioned Cable Car. “Oh, there’s a much nearer one with much better views,” said Agnes and she then proceeded to tell me about the Postbus to Fanas from Schiers Station and the cable car to Eggli and the restaurant high up there at Eggli and the footpath down to Schiers. How could I resist.
So I took the 1.30pm Post Auto from the station :
Fifteen minutes later boarded the Cable Car (only one passenger – please, close the door and send it back down) :
About ten minutes after that landed at Eggli :
Climbed the steps to the obligatory mountain restaurant :
Five minutes on was admiring the view from the terrace :
And the apricot tart :
And watching the hang gliders :
Before starting my descent to Schiers :
The first part of the walk is the Blumenweg [Flower Way] :
The flowers and information boards match up nicely :
Then it gets more difficult and, after the rain we had last week, distinctly muddy.
Nice to get onto a dry, tarmac road and be around civilisation after a while.
When the jobs were done today we went for a hike from nearby St Antonien. It’s a small village – quite popular with tourists and visitors as it has several restaurants, hotels and a tourist information centre.
I should explain that Agnes looks after a sick person on three nights and the temperature must be static at 25C. So after so much air conditioning over 3 days and with no new guests arriving she was eager get out on a “Wanderweg” – hiking path. The other Workawayer, Luciano from Sicily, drove us to St Antonien and accompanied us on our excursion.
From the parking area we took a narrow path (not shown on the map) parallel with the Prätigauer Höheweg.
We passed cows going up to the mountain pastures (Transhumance – just like we learned in school all those years ago), meadows full of wild flowers including gentian, crossed rushing streams, admired the mountain views, had lunch at a mountain restaurant and walked around a lake before heading back down via the Höheweg.
Looking back on our path to PartnunSee
The Lunch Stop at The Berghaus Sulzfluh
Älplermagrone lunch dish – now you see you it …
Now you don’t !