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

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

Yodelfest

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.

Haldenstein

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.

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Smells and Sounds of Switzerland

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!)

Cows opposite

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.

Forest path

Damp woodland smells

Flower meadow

Then out in the open meadows there is the smell of all those wild flowers. Honeysuckle and roses are the most distinctive.

Hay making

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.

Church tower

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.

Schiers train

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.

Mountain stream

Mountain torrent

Water trough

Alpine Water Trough

Rossgasse Cats : the Inanimate Ones

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.

Cats 1

Cats 2

Cats 3

Cats 4

A Pussy Bank?

Cats 5

Cats 6

Cats 7

Cats 8

Flowers

Just throwing in the lovely posy of flowers for good measure!

Another Day, Another Mountain Footpath

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 :

Post auto bus

Fifteen minutes later boarded the Cable Car (only one passenger – please, close the door and send it back down) :

Fanas Cable Car

About ten minutes after that landed at Eggli :

Eggli station

Climbed the steps to the obligatory mountain restaurant :

Restaurant

Five minutes on was admiring the view from the terrace :

Eggli view

And the apricot tart :

Apricot tart

And watching the hang gliders :

Hang gliders

Before starting my descent to Schiers :

Signpost Schiers

The first part of the walk is the Blumenweg [Flower Way] :

Blumenweg

The flowers and information boards match up nicely :

The flowers match up w info

Then it gets more difficult and, after the rain we had last week, distinctly muddy.

Footpath

Nice to get onto a dry, tarmac road and be around civilisation after a while.

Me

On the Prättigau Höheweg

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.

hike map

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.

footpath sign

From the parking area we took a narrow path (not shown on the map) parallel with the Prätigauer Höheweg.

a cow blocks the way

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.

Wild flower meadows

Wildflower meadows

gentian

Gentians

a mountain view

Looking back on our path to PartnunSee

Lunch stop

The Lunch Stop at The Berghaus Sulzfluh

Alpler magrone

Älplermagrone lunch dish – now you see you it …

Empty dish

Now you don’t !

Partnunsee

Partnunsee (Lake)