We’re back up in the Engadine mountains with our caravan. Today we headed off to Pontresina, the village at the bottom of the “Piz Albris” (3166 metres above sea level). Pontresina, is well known for a one of the biggest capricorn populations in the “Swiss Alpes”. In spring they come down the mountains in search of the first patches of spring gras…. …and we were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of theses “Kings of the Alpes”.
We’re back up at our caravan in the Engadin in Silvaplana (1815 meters above sea level). It was a bit chilly this morning (4°C/ 39°F) with a northern wind blowing (made it felt a lot colder), but the sun was shining and so we decided to take the panoramic trail to St. Moritz. From our Campsite in Silvaplana we headed up through the village. With the trail being south facing and the exercise of climbing up hill, it didn’t take us long to warm up… …through the village of Champfèr… …back up to the trail… and down to St.Moritz… …and the sighting of this little squirrel, (on our way down to St. Moritz) made the kids day!
We’re spending the weekend in the Appenzellerland (an area in the east part of Switzerland). A beautiful spot! So join us on our hike down the “hoher Kasten” and see for yourselves (that is when the clouds aren’t in the way)… We started in “Brülisau” (921 metres above sea level) and took the cable car up to the top of the “Hoher Kasten” (1’784.5 metres above sea level). From there we hiked back down the mountain. A hike that takes about 1 and a half hours (if you walk all the way). …nearly down, time for some refuelling at the restaurant “Ruhesitz”… The boys decided to have a little fun on the last couple of kilometres of the hike. They rented scooters at the restaurant and whizzed off down to “Brülisau”… ..and the rest of us walked and enjoyed the authentic and beautiful scenery.
Today is our last day of our summer holidays, which also means our last hike. We took the train this morning from “Zuoz” (the village we’re staying in) to “La Punt-Chaumues-ch”. From there we hiked up the hill. The first half in the bright sunshine with the temperature at about 25°C/ 77°F (which felt a lot hotter), the second half of the climb (thank goodness) was in the woods! When we got to the top, we followed the path above “Madulain”… …down to a little stream, where we had some lunch. Feeling refreshed, we took off on our last leg of the hike to “Zuoz”. Even if we’re a bit tired after a hike, it’s always worth the effort!
Another day, another hike. “Ils Lejins” is a 3 hour hike, that goes from lake to lake, up on the mountain “Furtschellas”. It starts at the top of the cable car station (2313 meters/ 7585 ft above sea level). The first bit is a 300m (984 ft) climb up to the first lake. And a dip in the lake, was every bit worth the steep climb, just look at our happy doggy! From then on it was more or less flat… …not that, that means we didn’t need refuelling… …we hit the trail again, only to see our first marmot! (For you it’s that tiny spec on top of the pile of rocks) The way back to the cable car, was spectacular views and beautiful lakes all the way. (And of course a couple of rocks had to be thrown in the lakes on the way.) With tired legs (well some of us) we enjoyed the ride back down in the cable car.
Our latest adventure, was a 50 minute walk, to “Vadret da Morteratsch”. A once majestic glacier that is rapidly melting, which was made very clear by the markers along the way, showing where the snout used to be (1880, 1900, 1920 etc.). We started of at the restaurant Morteratsch, crossed over the railway tracks and hit the trail. The closer we got to the snout, the more our surroundings turned from luscious green to ragged rocks. The last marker shows where the snout was in 2015…only two years ago! We explained about the glacier melting to the kids, although the younger ones probably aren’t old enough to understand. Their main concern was who could make the biggest splash, by throwing rocks into the icy streams. MerkenMerken MerkenMerken MerkenMerken
Yesterday we took a leisurely stroll (45 minutes) under blue skies from “Celerina” (the village next to St. Moritz) up to the mountain lake “Lej da Staz”. If you like, just come along… The lure of the ice cold lake proved to be to great for some of us… …after a lot of paddling and trying to catch fish (by hand), it was time for a bite to eat and to head back. MerkenMerkenMerkenMerken MerkenMerken
So, here goes! Day two… After a more or less good nights sleep (due to the altitude and our daughter falling out of bed).We packed our bags and headed downstairs for breakfast. We enjoyed a delicious spread and even saw some rays of sun. All in all, things seemed to be looking up! Full of energy we started our hike back. Only for the weather to take a turn for the worse, as soon as we took off… …but although we didn’t have the best weather… …we still had a great adventure!
We’ve been wanting to stay in a “SAC Hütte” (a hut catered and financed by the Swiss Alpine Club). These huts are very remote and the only way to access them, is by hiking. As they are extremely popular, we had to book our stay at the “Spitzmeilenhütte” in February. Which means of course that we couldn’t choose the date depending on the weather, and that can turn out to be a little tricky as you will see… We started our two day hike, in a slight drizzle, by taking the cable car from “Tannenboden” to “Maschgenkamm”, hoping that weather would be better at the top of the mountain. The weather was slightly better at the top, but a lot cooler (only 10°C/ 50°F in comparison to the 22°C/72°F when we left home). With a strong wind blowing, we started our 2 and a half hour hike still hoping that it might brighten up. Allas we were in for worse, as a half hour before we reached the “Spitzmeilenhütte”, the rain set in. We reached our destination …
Yup! We’ve got the camping bug and are back at our favourite lakeside campsite in the Klöntal. After enjoying ourselves so much last time, we packed our stuff on Friday and headed off to the mountains. This time we couldn’t resist a hike in our panoramic surroundings. So on Saturday we got our walking boots on and took the path up towards the “Chäsalp”… …but half way up the steep climb, we decided to take a ridgeway path to “Richisau”. We thought it would be easier for the kids… (we weren’t the only ones out for a climb) …what we didn’t realise, was that parts of the ridgeway path really were on a ridge… …but all the hard work was well worth it for this view… …and of course for this delicious piece of chocolate cake! After the long and adventurous hike we took the easy way back… …the good old “Postauto”. MerkenMerken MerkenMerken