Thursday, June 20, 2013

St. Moritz

The view from train station in Tiefencastel
I had really wanted to go summer skiing while we were in Switzerland to say I'd snowboarded in the Alps, but it turns out most of the resorts don't do summer programs anymore.  The one resort that does--Zermatt--was so far away, I just accepted that it wasn't meant to be. St. Moritz is one of the big ski resort towns, so we went there for a day trip anyway because the train ride looked so extraordinary with all the bridges and steep mountains. There wasn't a lot going on there, however, since it was the off-season. So we just wandered around to see what there was to see there. At least it had finally stopped raining, but it was still pretty cold up in the Alps.

Bianca and Portia made a fun discovery while they used the bathroom on the train ride. I guess the toilet is just an opening that drops everything from the toilet straight down onto the train tracks. They came back laughing that they could see the rocks straight through the toilet opening. I was just grateful there was a bathroom option as the train ride was an hour long.

On the train to St. Moritz
Getting off the train, we first encountered this beautiful huge lake. It really was just breathtaking.

Then we went into the city side of town and meandered along the roads. I wish we could have done some shopping, but most of the stores were closed as well. Portia did, however, secure her first souvenir of the trip--this little stuffed kitten who she named Streiffen Jewel (streiffen means striped in German) at the bistro where we had lunch. Portia gave her a German name so she wouldn't forget she was a Swiss cat. This cat does make appearances in the photos for the next several days; this could be a fun game to pick out in a Where's-Waldo sort of way. Bianca picked up some Swiss chocolates that were artwork for her souvenir. Portia ordered a "hot dog" for lunch and was quite dismayed when she got a hard roll, buttered with one little piece of ham on it. She thinks they might not know what a hot dog is in Switzerland. 

Another faucet in the town
A fountain in the city center

Bianca in St. Moritz
I'll bet you didn't know there was a "Leaning Tower" in Switzerland! Neither did we! It's not quite as grand as the one in Italy, but we thought it was funny that this trip would contain two leaning towers. It looks like it was an old bell tower and church and it still had a cemetery behind it (although it was under some sort of construction). Speaking of bell towers, one of the most magical things about Switzerland was the way the bells would chime on the hour. Every day. All day long. I really loved that.

The Leaning Tower of St. Moritz

Dandelion fields with Stierva in the distance
What is it about Switzerland that makes even dandelions charming? We would drive by field after field of yellow-dotted grass and marvel at how beautiful it all was. (I know I'd hate it if it were in my yard, of course, but it's funny what a different perspective can do for a person. After all, it's only a weed if you don't want it there.) Now Portia makes these wonderful dandelion bouquets at home, but there were some huge fields in Switzerland dotted with way-too-many dandelions, but they really are so beautiful!

We had a fun time but realized while we were there that we really do prefer spending our time in the small villages than the larger cities. 

Upon returning to our small village of Stierva that night, we stopped at the one restaurant--a family owned restaurant named Bella Vista to make reservations for dinner. Eric tried to make the reservations but he couldn't communicate. They spoke no English whatsoever. So I headed in there and really am impressed that with my meagre German skills, I can communicate enough to get us a reservation for five to have Capuns (a local dish that was really quite amazing). It was this leaf-stuffed with rice and bacon (almost like a dumpling) with a really delicious cheese sauce.

Wating for our food at Bella Vista
Kapuns were an old dish eaten by poor people, but don't be fooled--they were delicious!

They asked Portia if she wanted sausages and she said yes. Then they brought out hot dogs. This was funny because now she really isn't sure what to say to get a hot dog on her plate--but my, was she happy to see them! We spent a lot of time that night at Bella Vista, but it was so wonderful!


The St. Mortiz library front doors
Hemingway's Club

I'm pretty sure this was a mausoleum at the Leaning Tower cemetery

1 comment:

Susannah Harper said...

I LOVE Bianca's scarf! These photos are fantastic! You are quite the photographer.