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Monday August 22: Boston to St Moritz

Wednesday August 24: St Moritz Switzerland

Tuesday August 23: St Moritz Switzerland

A Mellow Stroll

We've had a fairly successful first day in St. Moritz.

We got up and went down for breakfast at 7:45. It was your typical European breakfast: breads, cold cuts, cheeses, and some vaguely granola-like stuff. It wasn't my ideal breakfast, but I found enough to eat.

Afterwards, we got organized and started heading down to the lake. Halfway there, I decided that it was too hot for jeans, so while Amy and Sam continued down, I hurried back to the hotel to change my pants. I also found that hurrying uphill didn't really work.

I put on some lighter convertible pants, after taking the legs off, and making them into shorts. I then hurried down to the lake and went around until I found Amy and Sam near the train station.

For the morning/early afternoon event, we did a mellow walk. We walked along the shore of the lake. At one point we saw some duck-like birds that would dive down, swim around a bit, and then pop to the surface. It was rather neat watching them "flying" through the water.

St Moritz
St Moritz
Sam and Amy on Walk
Horses and St Moritz
Sam Taking a Break
Muragl Tram
Tram from St Moritz

We continued on over a small rise to Lej da Staz (Lake Staz?). At the far end of that, we had lunch. Amy and I got bratwurst, and Sam got a sandwich and fries.

Where We Had Lunch
Sam "Hiding" Behind Amy
Mountain Looming over St Moritz

We then continued around the small lake, met up with our original route, and followed that back to the train station.

We got some round trip bus tickets, and caught the 2:22 bus one stop to get to Punt Muragl tram station. For the afternoon activity, we took the tram up Mount Muragl. This had been described as an "old-style tram". It looked more like a funicular or a steep cog railway.

Muragl Funicular

I was trying to figure out how it worked. There was no cog track, and there seemed no way to route power to the cars. Then I noticed periodically in the rail bed pairs of pulleys. I realized that it was essentially an aerial tram, but sitting on tracks rather than hanging from a cable. There were two cars, attached to the two ends of a single cable, which pulled one car up as it lowered the other one. There was only one track, so it split into two at the halfway point, so that the two cards could pass each other.

We came out on top, where there is apparently a very nice restaurant, which was also booked solid for dinner. I thought it would be freezing, but I ended up taking off my long sleeved shirt and just keeping my tee-shirt on. The sun was very strong.

St Moritz Valley
Barely Visible Glaciers

You could see a series of hiking/walking trails crisscrossing the mountainside. We were some distance from the actual top, and Sam wanted to go up there. Amy was fine with hanging around that area and not doing a lot of up, so Sam and I set off. We were probably around 8-9,000 feet up, so while the air wasn't totally thin, going up did take some effort.

Hiking Trails Crisscrossing the Mountains

We saw some sort of cross at what looked like the peak, and we made for that. Eventually, we came to some sort of large mount that formed the local high point, but there was no cross there. There was no trail there either, but we bushwhacked (except that there were no bushes) to the top. This gave us a really good 360-degree view of the surrounding area. There were small herds of cattle grazing here and there. One had to be careful where one stepped.

Panorama from Top
Sam Hiking Up
Upper Plateau
Sam on Way Down

We started down. At one point, I wanted to take a slightly longer path back, and Sam wanted to go the more direct way, so we split up. Sam missed a mild adventure. I turned a small corner and found a clump of cattle parked completely across the trail. They looked rather comfortable and showed no signs of wanting to move. I ended up bushwhacking around them so as not to get too close to them and disturb them.

Cattle Blocking Train
Big Switchbacks Across the Valley
St Moritz Valley
Another View of the Glaciers
Nearby Valley
Sam Checking out Shady Seat
Tram Motor

I met up with Amy and Sam. The tram left at 15 and 45 minutes past the hour. It was almost 4:15, so we tried to make that one, but it left just before we got there. We had a half hour to kill, so I wandered over to a nearby farm that was perched incongruously up on the side of the mountain. Maybe it was their cattle that were scattered everywhere on the mountainside.

Nearby Farm

I got back around 4:40, but Amy said that the tram had already gone down, perhaps at 4:30. Perhaps they were running it more often because of crowds.

Amy Waiting for Tram

We took the 4:45 tram down, and then caught the 5:00 bus back to the train/bus station. Amy didn't have the oomph to hike back up to the hotel, so we opted to take a taxi up and spare Amy the walk.

While Amy and Sam took showers, I went out to try to make dinner reservations. I found, however, that the place we were interested in (the place with a small stuffed bear in the stairway) didn't open until 6, and it was only about 5:30.

Bear at Restaurant

Instead of going back to the hotel, I tried to find the base of the tram that goes up this side of the valley from near our hotel. I started wandering around and I *think* found the base, but I can't find any track above it. I'm wondering if the bottom section is buried so that they could put buildings over it. I could see the track further up the mountain, and it looked like it was coming to where I think it started, but then I lost the track and couldn't follow it to the end.

Curious Round Building
Curious Round Building

I thought that Budapest was the land of a million stair steps. If so, then St. Moritz is the land of two million.

At 6, I went over and made dinner reservations for 7. Then I came back, and wrote this up. In a few minutes, we'll go over and have dinner.

 - -

I am aghast at how expensive it is to eat out here. I thought that the place yesterday was extra fancy and extra expensive, but tonight's place was equally as expensive if not more so. Either every place here is expensive, or we've just lucked out picking places.

On the other hand, Amy got her Fondue, which she hasn't had in many years.

Building Near Hotel
Interesting Artwork
Statue of Partial Man

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Monday August 22: Boston to St Moritz

Wednesday August 24: St Moritz Switzerland