Sunny Swimming Day

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Today the weather was already looking much more hopeful when opened my wooden shutters and looked up the valley.

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It still looked rather misty in the other direction.
Nonetheless we had decided to repeat the visit we made on my last Friday last year and take a dip at the Thermal Baths at nearby Bad Ragaz.

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First we took a walk through the golf course and through a wooded park. On one of the lakes was a sculpture of yellow figures sitting in a circle. With his back to them, ignoring their chat or contemplation, sat a heron.

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We then spent about 3 hours in the pools. I especially liked the outdoor pool with a natural water temperature of 36.5 -perfect. Now and then the water would bubble up to massage our backs.

Lunch at the Cafe Therme on the poolside was cheese and onion flan with a cup of tea. We could actually lie on the sun loungers and contemplate the fir tree covered slopes.

NEWS

There was a major rail accident yesterday in Canton Graubunden caused by a land slip derailing some carriages and causing some injuries but fortunately no deaths. Today the Glacier Express has been diverted to our Praetigau Valley taking the beautiful line up and over Davos. From the Swiss Railways website :

Disruption: Thusis – Tiefencastel (RhB)
13.08.2014 23:24:02

13.08.14 until 15.08.14
00:00 23:59ChurSamedan RE/D , S/SN/R , ARZ/EXT

Disruption:
Between Thusis and Tiefencastel on the Chur – St.Moritz line, no train services are operating.

Trains RE Chur – Thusis – St. Moritz are cancelled.

Replacement bus services are operating Thusis – Tiefencastel – Filisur – Bergün/Bravuogn.
The stations Preda + Spinas are not served. Between Bergün/Bravuogn and Bever (- Samedan) there is no replacement service possible.

Passengers travelling from Zürich HB / St. Gallen / Chur
– to Thusis should take the S-Bahn S 2 xx:48 (+10′) to Thusis.
– to Tiefencastel, Filisur + Bergün/Bravuogn should take the S-Bahn S 2 to Thusis and change in Thusis onto the replacement bus service to Bergün/Bravuogn.
– to Samedan, St. Moritz + Poschiavo, Tirano or vice versa travel via Landquart – Klosters – Sagliains.

The trains GLACIER-EXPRESS Zermatt – St. Moritz are being rerouted via Vereina. The trains do not stop in Thusis, Tiefencastel, Filisur + Bergün/Bravuogn.
The trains BERNINA EXPRESS Chur – Tirano are being rerouted via Vereina. The trains do not stop in Tiefencastel, Filisur + Bergün/Bravuogn.
The trains BERNINA EXPRESS Davos Platz – Tirano are being rerouted via Vereina. The trains BEX Davos Platz – Tirano make an unscheduled stop in Klosters.

Please allow for a longer travelling time.

Reason: Landslide

Duration of interruption indefinite.

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Sunday Lunch in the Alps

Before Susanne and Ueli drove home this afternoon they decided we should have a walk and lunch together at a nearby place recommended by a friend of Susanne’s who originates from this area.

Gasthaus Fädara

The Gasthaus Fädara

It’s just a twenty minute drive up hill and through the village of Seewis to the car park for Fadära. A further twenty minutes on foot and you arrive at the restaurant to make a reservation and just to finally work up an appetite you can walk a for further twenty minutes (and back) to a viewing point called Fadära Stein (stone or, in this case, cliff).

View 1

View from The Fädara Stein – looking up the Rhine Valley (northeast)

View 2

View down the Rhine (south) towards Chur

Fädara terrace

Restaurant Terrace

Sunny and warm on the restaurant terrace – a group of ladies in their traditional costumes were dining together in the cosy Alpine restaurant.

Costumed lady

Susanne and I shared this typical dish of the region. It’s a bit like small dumplings in a pesto and cream sauce with, of course, the ubiquitous cheese, plus hazelnuts. Needless to say it disappeared very quickly along with glass of, also local, riesling.

Pizokels

Hausgemachter Bündner Pizokels

On our way back to the car Ueli saw a ribbon fluttering in the meadow and rescued one of those postcards where you send it back to the organiser to tell them where you found it. I discovered when I got home that it came over the border from Austria – in fact not so very far away! It had been released into the air by wedding guests the day before.

Postcard

Please return this postcard to the newly-weds and tell them where you found it!

In Heidiland!

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 :

Tamina Gorge

The Taminaschlucht (Gorge)

Heidi House

The Heidi House above Maienfeld

The Wine Way

Weinwanderweg

As it’s Sunday today (I’m halfway through my stay now) after lunch we took ourselves off (Agnes and I) to Malans to try out part of the Weinwanderweg. It was a lovely sunny, warm afternoon after a week of cloud and cold and rain. The train journey takes about 8 minutes and Malans is a ‘stop on demand’ so you ring the bell if you wish to get off.

A vineyard

Vineyard near Malans

Info boards

An Information Board Along the Route

The route is well-signposted and passes countless vineyards, some perched almost perpendicular to the footpath. At first there’s a loop from the station and you climb up to get a good view of the vines and the the Rhine Valley.

Malans

Malans

Centre of Malans

The centre of Malans

The path passes through the village of Malans and then along a shady forest path emerging briefly onto a quiet road near the village of Jenins.

map reading

On the other side of Jenins A remembered a particularly nice restaurant where we could sit in the sunshine and taste the wine for ourselves.

Weinstube Alten Torkel

The Weinstube Alter Torkel

The destination

As we are here we had better taste the wine to make sure it is good

The view

The View was OK too – the Rhine Valley and Chur

View towards Bad Ragaz and former monastery

And this way towards Bad Ragaz and the former Monastery at Pfäfers

As we had taken the walk slowly inspecting trees and flowers and admiring the view we soon realised that we would have to hurry down to the station in Maienfeld. But there was a call to Luciano who was on the way back to Schiers and he kindly diverted to pick us up so we could back in good time to welcome the next guest arriving by car from Belgium.