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Graubuden or Engadin or how confused am I?

Graubuden or Engadin or how confused am I?

Apr 11th, 2009, 07:43 AM
  #1  
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Graubuden or Engadin or how confused am I?

Have been to Switzerland twice - Bern, Luzern, Berner Oblerland, down to Chamonix France, Lugano, Lausanne, Neuchatel, Sion, Fribourg.

Now thinking of going back (we loved it so much) and heading into the East portion. Perhaps going to the Berner Oberland for a few days first and then over to the Graubuden. We would like to see the towns that are "worth" seeing (OK, I don't want want anyone to get angry here!), for their architecture, novelty, or just plain beauty, and yet get into the countryside easily. Do we need a car? Will it be easy enough to take the railroad and Post Buses with luggage? Should we make a base of 2 or 3 different towns along the way or just stay put in one?

Does the Graubuden include the Engadine valley? Want that to be part of our trip.

It looks like an enormous area so any advice, given what I've said above, for a week's itinerary (just the Graubuden portion) would be much appreciated.

Timetable - early or mid September.
kenav is offline  
Apr 11th, 2009, 08:03 AM
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Graubünden is the canton (like Bern for the Bernese Oberland) and the Engadin is the southeastern part of the canton Graubünden. Often the neighbouring valleys Val Müstair, Val Poschiavo and Val Bregaglia are included referring to the 'Engadin' in a tourist regard, but accurately they are valleys of their own (like the Engadin is the Swiss part of the valley of the Inn river).

With one week time I would concentrate on the Engadin plus neighbouring valleys and skip the rest of Graubünden. Seriously, while the other areas of Graubünden are beautiful, too, the highlights are to find in the Engadin.

I'd probably start with 2 or 3 nights in Scuol or Guarda to explore the Lower Engadin and then relocate to the upper Engadin to explore this region. Base yourselves in Sils, Pontresina or Celerina (second best choices: Silvaplana or Samedan) and do day trips from there.

So called *musts* are IMO the Bernina pass train ride to the town Poschiavo and back, maybe including a cable car ride to Diavolezza for the spectacular glacier views. Also, a day trip to the Bregaglia valley with a visit of Soglio is not to miss. Another must is IMO the hike Muottas Muragl to Alp Languard (funicular up and chair lift down). And then there's the horse-drawn carriage ride into the Fex Valley (possibly in combination with cable car/hike Furtschellas) or the Roseg Valley.

I.
Ingo is offline  
Apr 11th, 2009, 08:05 AM
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PS: definitely no car. Public transportation network is fabulous. Also, if you stay in a hotel in the Upper Engadin for 2 or more nights then public transportation (and often cable cars/funicular/chair lift) is often (mostly) included. Would be a waste not to use it.
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Apr 11th, 2009, 08:32 AM
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Thanks Ingo - As far as public transport being included in hotel stay if it's more than 2 nights - does this come from the hotel? Thought we might have to get a Swiss Pass. What about the Bernina Express. Is that a "regular" train or does it cost extra?
kenav is offline  
Apr 11th, 2009, 12:08 PM
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It's a program that most of the hotels in the Engadin participate in. It comes with no additional cost. The hotel gives you a pass for it. Please note, this is only in the Upper Engadin. Would be economical to get a Swiss Flexi Pass that you can use for the other destinations IF your hotel in the Upper Engadin offers that sort of pass.

The Bernina Express is a train that doesn't stop at each station, has panoramic windows and is in general more comfortable. But it runs on the same route as the regional trains - thus I'd prefer the regional trains.
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Apr 12th, 2009, 02:15 AM
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Excellent info from Ingo. Right on target, as usual.

Ingo: have you done the Uina Schlucht in Unterengadin yet?
http://www.sesvennahuette.it/die_uinaschlucht.htm
kleeblatt is offline  
Apr 12th, 2009, 07:48 AM
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schuler - Where is this place that you mentioned? I looked at the website but it's in German only. Is it in Austria?

Have anything to add to Ingo's comments? Any suggestions on places to stay (lodging)? Are you Swiss or just knowledgeable about the country?
kenav is offline  
Apr 12th, 2009, 08:41 AM
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Schuler, yes, I have done the Uina Schlucht. It is absolutely amazing, but a very, very long hike. I did it in ONE day from S-charl ... Talk about being crazy. LOL Believe me, this one's not for your trip, kenav.
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Apr 12th, 2009, 10:03 AM
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I only know the Unterengadin a bit. For a nice, reasonable pension, I'd recommend Pension Plaz in Sent. Many people rave about Guarda and Hotel Meissner.

There's a touristic program in Scuol and Sent that involves the Uina Schlucht. We were able to take a bus to Italy and then walk 2 hours to the Sesvenna Hut. Then we continued our hike through the Uina Schlucht down to the valley. There, a bus met us and brought us back to Sent/Scuol. It's a long hike, not too strenuous but a lot of down hill walking. Very interesting though.
kleeblatt is offline  
Apr 12th, 2009, 12:26 PM
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schuler -

Wow. Don't know if I'm up to the hikes you seem to take (and Ingo). Where in Italy did this bus leave you and how long was the ride?

All that hiking alongside the edges may not be for my hubby. (He doesn't like cheese and is afraid of heights and yet loves Switzerland!) However, standing at the edge of cliffs or mountainsides is anxiety provoking for him. What if a big wind came and blew him over? Gets really weak in the knees. You get the idea. So up the mountain, but no edges.

Getting back to the original paragraph above - What, if anything, was special about this hike trip?
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Apr 13th, 2009, 01:29 AM
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The hike tour is sponsored by Scuol Tourismus and takes place in the summer once a week. There's a taxi that takes you to Sudtirol right to the Schlinig chair lift. It's a 6-7 hour hike, not really strenuous but the Uinaschlucht is not for someone who is afraid of heights. Sesvennahütte is a cool chalet/restaurant that offers good food, good company and free schnapps as an after lunch/dinner drink.

Gehzeiten: Schlinig - Sur-En 6 - 7 Std.
Teilstrecken:
- Schlinig - Sesvennahütte 1,5 - 2 Std.
- Sesvennahütte - Schlinigpass 30 Min.
- Schlinigpass - Uinaschlucht 30-40 Min.
- Uinaschlucht - Uina Dadaint 30 - 45 Min.
- Uina Dadaint - Sur En 2,5 Std.

The path was carved out in the stone cliffs as a path towards Italy. It's views look straight down the ravine and it's a bit of a "roller coaster feeling" with dizzying heights.

Anyway, you need good hiking boots, poles are recommended and need to be in somewhat good condition. Someone with bad knees should not do this hike (I know because my knees are showing their age and they started to ache the last hour from the downhill walk.)

Another thing to do in the area is Samnaun, a modern village high in the mountains known for its cheaper prices due to its duty free status. You can get good food, cheap sugar, cosmetics, gas and cigarettes there.
kleeblatt is offline  
Apr 14th, 2009, 05:31 AM
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Think gong to Shaffhausen and Stein am Rheim and then down to the Engandine is doable ( in 1 1/2 - 2 weeks)? Want to see interesting towns as well as the scenery.
kenav is offline  
Apr 14th, 2009, 02:09 PM
  #13  
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Perhaps go to St. Gallen first? Worth it?
kenav is offline  
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