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SWITZERLAND | Friday, 22 November 2013 | Views [750]

Swiss Alps

Swiss Alps

It snowed again, part of the early season storm that is ravaging the Alps.  Because of the bad weather we skipped going to Zermat for views of the Matterhorn, and headed south towards Lugano.  The Simplon pass was closed due to snow so we had to take the auto train through the tunnel from Brig into Italy then drive back into Switzerland. The Swiss are remarkable tunnelers, cutting off miles and miles of mountain switchbacks and icy roads.


    On the road

Of course it was snowing to beat the band when we emerged from the tunnel, zillions of giant snowflakes like crumpled Kleenex.  The higher we climbed, the heavier the snow became and it was slow going for most of the 75 km to reach our tidy apartment at Romitaggio in the town of Agarone, just outside Lugano.  During a lull in the weather we visited the WHS castle in Bellinzona, not far from our apartment.



The rain changed back to snow and I spent an anxious night wondering what the roads would be like at 7,000 feet.  We had more than 100 miles to drive to St. Moritz and another 100 or so to Mustair.  But to our amazement the roads were clear, the sun was shining and the mountain scenery was spectacular.  


    Palace Hotel, $t. Moritz 

St. Moritz will be rife with the rich and famous in another month or so but today the town was quiet and serene.  The lux hotels where “every king is a guest and every guest is a king” were putting on the final touches for the rush while several members of the Russian XC ski team were getting in a pre-Olympic training session on the fresh snow.


     Mustair Convent

We aren’t staying in St. Moritz, of course – not even in Switzerland as it turns out.  Pension Astoria, 10 km from Mustair across the border in Italy, costs half as much and is twice as nice as the Swiss options and we can eat dinner for less than ten euros.  Fabiano from Pension Astoria directed us to the most wonderful pizza we have had in yearas.


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Easter Island, 2012

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