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.
After the morning ‘work’ was done yesterday I decided to head off in the opposite direction from Chur and visit Davos. Due to work on the line this summer the train only goes as far as Klosters and from there you have to take a replacement bus to Davos Platz. There is another station called Davos Dorf and although it’s all one place it must be 1.5 to 2 miles between the two.
From the station I saw sign pointing to a cable car/funicular entitled “Schatzalp”. I can’t spend long in Switzerland without being tempted to take a trip up a mountain as soon as the opportunity arises. Many of the lifts are closed in between seasons but this one was open so I jumped aboard and was soon whisked away almost into the clouds. But not quite.
On leaving the “Berg Station” (1861m ASL) I was confronted by a large hotel and the directions to the Alpinum. Along a corridor and out onto the hotel terrace the gardens stretch below. It was 8C but the air was very special, clean and fresh and clear and the views magnificent – despite the clouds.
Here are some pictures of the views and gardens of the Alpinum.
An Insect Hotel
From the Alpinum I took the footpath gently down back into Davos itself and so back to Schiers.
On the path with Davos in the valley
Snapped this bird – but no idea what it is!
Finally, here is the hotel cat taking 40 winks. He’s called Barry but that is normally a dog’s name in Switzerland – especially St Bernards.
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.