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Postcard from Switzerland: Pontresina, Graubünden

21 Sep
21 September 2018.
The signs in Pontresina are mostly in German, but we are hearing – and speaking – Italian as much as we did in Ortisei. We’ve moved out of Italy, stopping at Innsbruck, Austria for a couple of nights, and now we are in the part of Switzerland wedged between Austria and Italy. I am speaking as much Italian as English. The other night the waiter thought we were French as we mashed up English and Italian in response to his preferred German. The French would be appalled. We don’t dress that well. 

The morning view from our apartment.

Most everyone is multilingual. A young grocery store clerk moved seamlessly between German and Italian, hesitating only slightly to engage her English when needed.
Our time in Ortisei went by too fast! A final night of pizza at Maurizkeller with new friends (and fans of our book!) Cathy and Gene was a fitting end. We said reluctant goodbyes to Justine, Siegfried, and Minno the cat. Always best to leave while you are still enjoying.
Innsbruck was a convenient stop to avoid a 7-hour train from Bolzano to Pontresina. (Nothing is easy in the mountains.) It was fine, certainly a pretty alte stadt and some dramatic lifts, but nothing as pleasing as our beloved Val Gardena. And it was hot. Had some decent Nepalese food for dinner. You won’t find that in Italy.

So here we are, high above St. Moritz at 8,156 feet, and I am served chamomile tea — loose tea in a basket mind you — on a wooden tray, already steeping with a timer set. #ThingsnotfoundinUSA

The funicular arrives at Chantarella above St. Moritz. Lots of cyclists surging down mountain trails.

Pontresina is very pretty and we are enjoying our junkets. The weather is cooler than it was in Italy and Innsbruck, so I might need to break out the gloves and a jacket is a daily requirement, at least to start.
One day we took a horse-drawn omnibus through a glacial valley for lunch at a hotel, then enjoyed a peaceful 4-mile walk back to town. This may be the ultimate easy-hiker hike. Of course, there was great food at the hotel by the glacier.

The horse-drawn omnibus is an easy-hiker solution. Take the carriage up and walk 4 miles back.

The Roseg Glacier from the trail. Hikers, bicyclists, and horses share the path.

The path along the Roseg Valley stretches alongside a glacial stream.

When hiking in Switzerland one must always watch out for the “suckler cows.”

Another fun transportation thing to add to the journal: we had to signal for a train to stop at a somewhat remote station. If you don’t signal, they fly by. Works for getting off, too. The transportation system is a miracle here with prices as high as the heavens that support the system. Pristine cleanliness and timeliness have a price and the Swiss are willing to charge for it.

Just across the river from our hotel is the Surovas station. Trains stop on demand only.

Surovas station. See the little red train through the trees? They glide by so quietly we have to be watching for them.

The Morteratsch glacier easily accessible by train and on foot.

This part of Switzerland, so famous for winter sports, is less refined than our beloved Val Gardena or Berner Oberland as far as hiking and transportation. It is actually very quiet now in September. There are, however, many mountain bike trails and these are very busy. I cannot imagine hurtling myself down these mountains on skis nor on a bicycle!
See you in Lauterbrunnen (The Berner Oberland) next week!
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11 Responses to “Postcard from Switzerland: Pontresina, Graubünden”

  1. Debra Meyer September 23, 2018 at 14:14 #

    Love reading about your travels, Laurel.

    Like

    • Laurel September 24, 2018 at 08:24 #

      Thanks, Deb! It’s fun to write for an audience!

      Like

  2. Chloe September 22, 2018 at 02:13 #

    Sounds like a fantastic trip. I do enjoy Italy to Switzerland, probably due to cost and food.

    Like

    • Laurel September 24, 2018 at 08:25 #

      We have a hard time deciding between the Berner Oberland and the Val Gardena. Both are terrific venues, but yes, the food and economy vote goes to Italy!

      Like

  3. Kathy September 21, 2018 at 23:59 #

    I enjoy following your travels! I can’t wait to go back to Italy and Austria, even though we were just there in 2016 and 2017. There is so much to explore and experience, and I can never get enough. Thank you for sharing your adventures!

    Like

    • Laurel September 24, 2018 at 08:26 #

      Ah, Kathy, so true! We can never get enough of Italy or Switzerland. Pontresina is new to us and quite unlike anywhere else we’ve been in Switzerland. We’ve barely touched Austria!

      Like

  4. Marcia Kakiuchi September 21, 2018 at 18:00 #

    That Morteratsch glacier has got to be one of the most places on earth. And then looking at the picture above St. Moritz – wow. Incredible.

    Like

    • Laurel September 24, 2018 at 08:27 #

      Thanks, Marcia! It is a beautiful place indeed! I would love to see it in winter.

      Like

  5. Audrey Crocker September 21, 2018 at 15:16 #

    Every thing looks beautiful. Even the train station. We miss you ! Audrey

    Like

    • Laurel September 24, 2018 at 08:31 #

      Awww, Audrey, I miss you guys too!
      Spero che il gruppo italiano ancora vi incontriate ogni venerdi. Baci a tutti!

      Like

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Promising Pontresina | PROJECT EASY HIKER - September 27, 2018

    […] For more on this canton, please hop on over to Girovaga.com for my Postcard from Switzerland. […]

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