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Trip report: A Covid lull in Switzerland, Aug-Sept 2020

Trip report: A Covid lull in Switzerland, Aug-Sept 2020

Old Sep 18th, 2021, 01:51 AM
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Trip report: A Covid lull in Switzerland, Aug-Sept 2020

I didn't get around to finishing writing this up to post last year, so a lot will be out of date now, but hopefully it may still be of some interest.

I mentioned in my last trip report that 2020 was supposed to be a special year, and I had several trips cancelled due to Covid-19. As things began to open up again in August of that year, I decided to book a last minute solo trip to Switzerland, to the beautiful Graubunden area which I had not been to before. I had considered Italy, but was put off by requirements to prebook museums etc, without very good website options to make said bookings. Switzerland seemed much the same as normal, with low numbers of cases. So I booked myself a fortnight in Klosters for the end of August/beginning of September. Was this a good idea? I began to worry when just before I left, the Scottish government decided to quarantine returning travellers… Would England follow?

Anyway the die was cast with everything booked and paid for, and off I went. I flew from Heathrow at 9 am, and was concerned about public transport so decided to (a) get a taxi and (b) do it the night before and have a night at the Hilton Garden Inn right at Terminal 2. This could not have been more convenient – clean, comfortable and surprisingly quiet. Making my way into the airport early next morning was slightly disturbing though, as the car park through which one transits was almost empty. The trip then nearly ended before it began…

I checked in, dropped my case, and went through security bright and early. Five minutes or less later I thought to myself, let’s check my boarding pass to see where I’m sitting. No sign of boarding pass. I went back to security as I knew I had it before going through, but they hadn’t picked it up. Luckily, I can’t be the first person to do something so silly, as I was told to get a new one at the airline desk flightside, which turned out to be trouble free, despite lots of panic on my part.

Heathrow was pretty quiet, with many of the cafes shut. My plane seemed full, though; every seat was taken. The flight was with Swiss Air – no meal provided, but a free drink and small piece of Swiss chocolate, which was a nice touch. I already had a transfer ticket to Klosters (and a half fare card). At Zurich airport train station, I had a light lunch at a café, and then got the train to Zurich Haupbahnhof. This was fine. The train from Zurich to Landquart was a bit more of an effort with my luggage, and the last change, Landquart to Klosters, was extremely challenging as the train had a very high step up, and was set a little way back from the platform to boot. I only managed with my baggage thanks to some very lovely fellow passengers, who helped me.



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Old Sep 18th, 2021, 01:57 AM
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Arriving at Klosters Platz station in pouring rain, another problem raised its head. I had neglected to establish the precise location of the hotel (although I knew Platz was the closest station), assuming that there would be a taxi available.

No taxis. Pouring rain, and no idea where I was going. Traveller in distress.

I eventually asked the very nice man in the station ticket office in my best (i.e. rather rudimentary) German, and he directed me. With a vague idea of where I was headed, I set out, barely able to see due to the driving rain. Eventually I found the hotel which was actually a very easy 10-15 minute walk once I knew where it was. Feeling bedraggled and sad, I managed to check in. My cabin bag was not waterproof and everything in it was damp at best; luckily my main case was a nice new Samsonite so only one set of overnight things were beyond use and went straight in my laundry bag.

As I was already wet I thought I might as well go the whole hog, and headed for the pool and a reviving swim before dinner.

The Silvretta Park Hotel, where I was staying, is a nice unassuming 4 star hotel which is well priced for the region and overall good value for money. It was built in the 80s, which is fairly obvious from elements of the décor, on the site of an older hotel of the same name. The park part of the name is, it turns out, misleading, as there was virtually no outdoor space. The Silvretta Park itself is a public open space by the river on the opposite side of the road, which had once belonged to the hotel but no longer. They are currently building at the back of the site, which might also have been a garden area at one point, although I did not enquire.

My room was on the 2nd floor, and was a good size. The bed was on the firm side of comfortable, and the pillows on the softer side, but overall fine. The bed linen was clean but I noticed one of the pillowcases had a hole in. The bathroom featured a proper bath with shower attachment; décor was definitely very 80s, but again it was fine. It was very nice to have an empty fridge (ie not filled with minibar items I didn’t want), which I used to chill drinks for the evening or for taking out with me.

There were two major negatives: the wardrobe had two sections (shelves and hanging space) but only one door, so you had to decide which section was open to view and to access from insects and dust – I was not impressed. The other thing was that the room opened to a terrace which was shared with other rooms, and with a rather flimsy looking door – I didn’t feel all that safe. I definitely didn’t feel comfortable sitting out there in the evenings as I would with a private balcony, and only did it twice. It did have a lovely mountain view.

One of the best things about the hotel was the pool, which was a lovely size. It could have done with being a couple of degrees warmer (I cramped up a couple of times) but there was a lovely warm plunge pool which I realised after about five days could also be used as a jacuzzi. Coronavirus restrictions said only 10 allowed at a time, but I wasn’t worried about that – I’ve never yet been in a hotel pool with that many fellow guests, and this was no exception. Quite often I was in it alone (concerning given the cramping). There was a lovely cosy lounge on the 1st floor which was completely unused due to coronavirus conditions, with an unstaffed bar. I sat there a couple of times for a quiet read before dinner. The little library was shut off from use with crime scene tape.

Other coronavirus restrictions affected meals. Dinner had two sittings, 6 or 8. I picked 8, which was an excellent idea as it meant most evenings I could go for a swim and then have a bath after my days sightseeing but still be in time for dinner. The actual food was a bit hit and miss. It was beautifully cooked, but with slightly to much keenness to undercook. Pink chicken is really not acceptable under any circumstances. However, they were very sweet about making changes. (Staff generally were lovely and helpful, but not awfully cheerful and friendly. Sometimes a bit inconsistent in terms of remembering things, eg that I couldn’t eat mayonnaise and bringing butter instead – occasionally they did remember and brought it unprompted, sometimes I had to ask, once they only remembered to serve the bread about five seconds before the main course turned up.) Puddings were more disappointing – literally every single one was either based on eggs or cream, neither of which I can eat. They did let me have ice cream/sorbet instead; it wasn’t the best (over-frozen Stracciatella and artificial tasting strawberry), but the mango sorbet was lovely and I had that most evenings. No Coke Zero/Light was available, only a cheap local substitute, another disappointment from a 4 star hotel – it was available everywhere else I went in Switzerland. Breakfast was poor for me – no pain au chocolat or other pastries other than croissants (which admittedly looked good but I tend to find too sweet/rich), the yogurts had too little fruit in, fruit was steeped in something (aniseed?), and I mostly ended up skipping breakfast or having it out. (There was a nice little café near the station which offered fantastic pains au chocolat, but sadly not open every day and never before 8, so no use when I went out early.)
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Old Sep 18th, 2021, 02:06 AM
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Sunday morning I woke feeling more cheerful, despite the aforementioned disappointing breakfast. It was cloudy and cool, but dry. I walked to the station, where I intended to buy a Graubunden Pass. These allow for five days free travel within Graubunden in 14 days for 135 francs. I was doing this for convenience rather than to save money, because having researched prices I didn’t think I would actually save anything. Luckily however, the lovely man at the station suggested that instead I buy the General Abonnement, which is a local season ticket pass for free travel within the Graubunden every day for up to a month, as they were doing a special deal which was actually cheaper than the Graubunden Pass. This really was good value – 115 francs with my half fare card.

I wanted an easy day so I had identified a few pretty towns I wanted to visit. I decided on getting the train to see some pretty towns in the area. I had originally planned on Guarda, but just missed the train heading in that direction, so got the 10.01 to Zuoz instead. The first part of the journey went through the long and distinctly unscenic Vereina Tunnel before emerging into green hills and river valley. At Zernez station I spotted the post bus to Glurns, the delightful walled medieval town in the South Tyrol I visited in 2018. I then walked uphill to the old town of Zuoz, which was charming. The old churches of St Luzi and SS Barbara and Catherine had been heavily modernised inside, but were very peaceful. There was an interesting old building, La Tuor, the former village prison, sadly not pen to the public.

I had a snack at a nice café, where I was entertained by a very fluffy fat sparrow, presumably one of this year’s babies now fending for himself. The weather was now brighter, and I walked back to the station, using a different path. I really liked Zuoz.

I then got the train to Zernez, also nice but not quite as attractive. It was a shame that the castle there, Schloss Planta Wildenberg, had very limited opening hours (it looked like 5pm on Tuesdays as part of the village guided tour in German and that was it). Had a late lunch consisting of pasta so al dente as to be actually hard, but quite tasty.

Finally, I headed for Guarda, but was so feeble as to be put off by a long and steep uphill path from the station to the actual village. The connecting bus was almost an hour away, so went back to the hotel to have a swim before dinner.

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Old Sep 18th, 2021, 02:16 AM
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The forecast was good for Monday, but it dawned very cloudy and cold again. Today I got the 9.01 to St Moritz. I had visited briefly before and thought it very pretty, but not had time to see any of the museums. Arriving at St Moritz around 10.20, I had a snack at the station café before getting the bus up to the Val Aruons stop, just at the entrance to the St Moritz Bad area. There was a really stunning lake view from here which I paused to enjoy before walking back uphill a short distance to the Engadine Museum.

This was a beautifully presented museum of old house interiors from across the Engadine area. They handed out ipads with an audio tour loaded on it – very well done indeed. I would recommend this museum highly. I just missed the bus back into town, so sat on a carved wooden seat made from an old tram stop with a fabulous view of the lake until the next one came along.

I had been the only visitor at the museum, but it was a bit busier in town. I had lunch at the Confiserie Hanselmann, which was a bit disappointing – the bread in my toast with ham and cheese was stale and the ice cream had ice crystals in it. Due to Covid there was a queue to get in.

After lunch I popped into the Berry Museum, which was a total waste of money. 15 francs for basically a few not very good paintings and a tiny amount of late 19-20C furniture. The only thing of any real interest was a nice old sleigh. It was one of the few museums requiring masks to be worn. I walked back to the station, where I almost got on the wrong train! This was the one day of the trip I didn’t get home in time for a swim before supper.


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Old Sep 18th, 2021, 02:21 AM
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Having decided breakfast was not up to scratch at the hotel, I had bought a pain au chocolat in St Moritz, which I enjoyed on the terrace on Tuesday morning. Then I headed to the station where I got the 8.29 to Davos Platz, and changed there for Filisur. There was a special old train, the Nostalgiezug, a bit later, but I didn’t think it was worth waiting for. Instead, I got to see it drawing in at Filisur and thought the open carriages looked cold and uncomfortable anyway.

On the train, I had prebooked my seat on the little ‘choo choo train’ called the Landwasser Express, which takes a scenic 30 minute route from Filisur to beneath the iconic Landwasser Viaduct. It turned out that prebooking was unnecessary as everyone else just paid the driver in cash. We drove through the charming little village of Filisur and past what purported to be the highest nursery in Europe, although it seemed to be mainly evergreen trees and nothing particularly pretty. The journey however was quite pretty, with wooded hillsides and rivers.

The viaduct is genuinely impressive, and we had a half hour stop here, which was a good amount of time to wander round, get some photographs (and we saw a train going over the viaduct) and have an icecream from the snack kiosk. No toilet facilities, though, which meant that back at Filisur station there was a queue for the one ladies’ loo.

Returning to Davos I was uninspired by the Platz area, so got the train on to Davos Dorf - a real benefit of my Abonnement card. It was hard to find anywhere open to eat, but I eventually found a backerei/konditorei attached to a Spar supermarket which was OK. I then walked to the Davos Heimatmuseum, which was delightful. It was much less professional and contemporary in its presentation than the Engadine Museum, but felt very homely, and I enjoyed it very much. A particularly memorable exhibit was the dollshouse style model of a TB sanatorium, complete with bloody cloths.

Home for a swim then dinner, where there was a bit of a saga over salt. I asked for some salt as I had French fries; they said yes, but it didn’t come; I asked again, they said they would have to ask the chef if it was allowed. I was flummoxed by this, especially as I could see the bottles of salt on shelves behind the staff, but waited patiently. Eventually, they produced … a bowl of tomato sauce. Which I didn’t even want 😉 Eventually I managed to explain what I wanted, but it was all a bit cold by then.
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Old Sep 18th, 2021, 02:33 AM
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It was a glorious morning on Wednesday, with only a handful of clouds marring a blue sky and a heartstoppingly beautiful view of the mountain peaks, with the green slopes reflecting the bright sunlight. I enjoyed the beautifully scenic train journey through the green hills of the Prattigau valley to the junction at Landquart. My Graubunden pass only covered me in Graubunden, so at Landquart station I bought an onward ticket to Rapperswil on the Zurichsee. I had been attracted by the description of it as a city of roses and wanted to make the most of a lovely day. I changed trains in Ziebelbrucke, and was quite anxious about the tight connection, but there the connecting train was at the opposite side of the same platform, and no hassle at all.

I reached Rapperswil at about 10.30. I liked the attractive old town, where there was a good selection of cafes for a mid morning snack. I selected one in the main square (Hauptplatz), where they had a delicious lemon cake, rather like a less sweet lemon drizzle. Duly fortified, I climbed up the steep flight of steps to the old parish church and the castle. Unfortunately the castle was closed, but I was allowed to tag along with a school group.

Afterwards, I walked along a high promenade with fabulous views of the lake, and down another set of steps to see the famed rose garden. My knee was troubling me quite badly, so I needed to hold on tight to the iron railing, and it was so hot I had to wear gloves. I was a little disappointed in the garden, as it was much smaller than I had expected, but roses are always beautiful.

I walked on to the lake. I rather fancied a boat trip on the lake, perhaps to the island, but my knee made it impossible to climb down onto any of the boats, which was very disappointing. I sought out lunch, only to find everywhere seemed to be serving big meals when I only wanted a snack. After doing more or less a complete circuit of the old town, I found a nice bar-café, Ricardo’s, with a cool back room and a tasty hot sandwich. Walking back to the lake, I got an ice cream from a genuine Italian gelateria.
Having abandoned my fond hopes of a boat trip, I got the 2.33 train back to Ziebelbrucke, changing for Landquart, and there for Klosters. I enjoyed the day, but perhaps organised it badly – I realised afterwards that the castle was properly open in the afternoon.


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Old Sep 18th, 2021, 02:36 AM
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Thursday morning dawned chilly but fairly bright, and having woken early I got the 8.32 train to Scuol-Tarasp. At that station, I transferred to the 9.35 bus to S-charl, a scenic bus ride into the Swiss National Park. The bus was packed with mainly elderly walkers armed with walking poles. We travelled down through part of the pretty old town of Scuol into the steep valley, and pine woods. At one stop I was delighted to see the bus driver delivered a selection of parcels – a true post bus! We drove uphill, following the course of the river; the scenery was quite harsh in places, but beautiful. Eventually we reached the tiny hamlet of S-charl, where all the walkers who had not disembarked at points along the way got off.

It was now delightfully sunny and warm. There was a choice of half an hour or three hours until the return trip, so I had a lovely cold drink at one of the handful of inns and decided on the earlier one. I wouldn’t have minded staying longer, but not three hours. Only one local elderly lady joined me on the 10.45 bus back to Scuol, although a couple of walkers got on part way.

I got off the bus in Scuol at the post office stop as I spotted a nice café-bakery over the road. I enjoyed a delicious lunch out on the terrace overlooking the old town and valley below, somewhat bothered by an intrusive wasp. I would have liked to see the Engadine museum in Scuol, but it had very unfriendly hours, opening only at 4 pm, which would have made a very late return home.

I then got the 1.23 bus to Tarasp Fontana, the stop for Schloss Tarasp. We crossed the valley by means of a modern bridge over a steep chasm, then took a steep winding road up to Tarasp, getting magnificent views of the opposite hillside. From the bus stop there was a very steep uphill walk to the old village which took me about 15 minutes, and then an even steeper walk up a gravel pathway past a tempting café to the castle entrance. I was in good time to buy a ticket for the 2.30 tour, joined by around 30 others. We were asked to wear masks, and to leave bags in a locked room.

Entrance to this impressive castle is only by guided tour in German, but they had a nice handout in English I could read with the salient points. The castle itself was great, but I was not impressed by the modern art either by, or collected by, the Swiss artist Not Vital, who owns the castle. (Yes, it is his real name – I asked the guide.) The tour was interesting but quite tiring, lasting about an hour. I staggered down hill (hampered by dodgy knee) and stopped off thankfully at the little café where I admired two cute spotted horses in the field at the side and enjoyed a reviving cold drink.

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Old Sep 18th, 2021, 02:39 AM
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Then it was back to the bus stop in time for the 5.05 bus to Scuol-Tarasp station, and the 5.41 train to Klosters. This was the only day it was too late to swim. More bad news that evening, as it was announced that Switzerland had been added to the quarantine list for the UK, so I sent an apologetic e-mail to my boss as I would need to WFH fully for two weeks, just after two weeks off for my holiday. Lucky the hotel offered free wifi!

Rain was forecast for Friday afternoon, with worse for the weekend, although the morning dawned bright and mild, so I changed my original plans and got the 8.25 train to Chur, changing there for Arosa, in the valley parallel to Klosters and Davos. The train left Chur on tracks outside the main station like a tram, but it was definitely an ordinary train. The hourlong journey from Chur to Arosa climbs steeply up, and is very pretty.

By the time I got there, it was pretty cold, with occasional showers. I followed the signs for the famous Squirrel Walk. It was quite steep getting to the starting point, surprisingly high in the woods above the lake, and only the prospect of cute furry squirrels kept me going. It was definitely much harder going than the squirrel walk in Seefeld last year. But there were indeed lots of adorable dark red/black squirrels to coo at, and I doggedly ignored my knee. The squirrels seemed largely uninterested in the nuts other walkers were hopefully offering. Some came up to sniff, but spurned them.

The walk ended at the peaceful village of Maron, where I got the bus back to Arosa. I had lunch at a random café-bakery. I contemplated either going up in the cable car to the bear sanctuary, or getting the bus to the local Heimatmuseum at the opposite end of Arosa, but my knee was hurting quite a bit from the walk, plus the journey back to Arosa was quite long, so I just got the 2.49 back to Church, and then back to Klosters in time for a reviving swim.

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Old Sep 18th, 2021, 02:50 AM
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The weather was even worse than predicted on Saturday, with heavy rain pouring down, prompting another change of plans. The pretty little river Landquart close to my hotel had turned an ugly khaki brown with the mud from upstream, and there were deep puddles at the station. I got the 8.31 to Chur. Today’s train was one of the Glacier Express ones with big picture windows, so it was a shame the view was of sheets of rain. Luckily the rain had slowed to a drizzle by the time I got to Chur.

It was a very easy straight walk from Chur station into the old town, and I found a very nice café for a drink. I then ventured out into the gloomy drizzle to get to the Rhaetian Museum, which had plenty of interesting information and exhibits about the history of the region. While there, the weather worsened, with a return of the downpour and outbreaks of thunder.

The ground was quite slippery due to all the rain, and my knee really didn’t fancy the steps up to the cathedral, so I made my way back in the direction of the station through sheeting rain. There was a really very nice café (the Café Maron) close to the station, which was well patronised (partly due to the weather), and due to Covid restrictions one had to queue outside for admission. I was so cold and wet I really wanted a hot meal, so ordered the Bundner Cordon Bleu, a delicious dish of fried ham and cheese. Then it was an early afternoon train back to my hotel and the pool.

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Old Sep 18th, 2021, 02:50 AM
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Rain was forecast to continue all day on Sunday, so another indoor option was required, and I made the long journey back to Zurich, via a change of trains at Landquart. It was still just drizzle when I left Klosters, but the train journey saw us descending through thick fog, and by the time I got to Zurich it was a case of almost swimming through really heavy rain.

My destination for the day was the Landesmusum, a really outstanding modern museum of Swiss history. This was one of relatively few places were masks were mandatory – quite understandable, because it was one of the busiest places I saw in Switzerland. I started with a drink in the museum’s own café, and then deposited my bags in a locker. It was a really impressive museum, with some very high tech presentations.

I had a late lunch before heading back to Klosters. There was an awkward moment when the ticket inspector didn’t like the look of my half fare card, but I was confident it was in order, and no one else objected to it. It finally stopped raining by the time I got back to Klosters.
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Old Sep 18th, 2021, 02:51 AM
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More rain was forecast on Monday, but it dawned clear and surprisingly bright, with clouds but glimpses of blue sky as well. In the hope that the weather stayed reasonable, I headed for Maienfeld, which I had originally planned for the weekend. I got the bus from Landquart, which took me through the pretty village of Malans with rows of vines and some charming houses before entering an area of woods, fields and orchards. We reached Maienfeld at 10.05, and only then did I remember that the connecting bus to the Heididorf (a bit of a cheesy tourist trap by all accounts but with cute goats) only ran at weekends – the reason I had originally planned it for said weekend. Oops. I could have walked, but it would have been quite steep and involved walking along the pavementless road, and my knee was quite painful already. A nice looking café was shut, so I found a bar where I was shocked to find the Coke Zero was out of date the previous February and tasted awful. One expects better of Switzerland. The only saving grace was a cute doggy to say hello to, a bit like an Irish wolfhound but brown, and very friendly.

Disappointed, I waited for the next bus to Bad Ragaz, an attractive spa town with graceful architecture. I really liked it, but there were no specific attractions and most shops and restaurants were closed. I had a delicious but quite expensive lunch before wandering around what shops were open. Then I got the bus back to Landquart and train to Klosters. The impending rain finally materialised during my afternoon swim.

I think it rained most of the night, as next morning it looked as if it had only just stopped, and it was pretty chilly. I headed to Landquart again, and bought an onward ticket to Buchs. There I got the local bus for a two minute journey to Werdenberg, where I had discovered there was a castle. This was a last minute choice but an excellent one. It was less grand than Tarasp but a lot more fun! It was quite a steep walk up a gravel path to get there through drizzly rain, and to be honest I struggled a bit at times, but made it in the end.

There were few visitors; in fact almost all of the time I was on my own as I explored the castle and its displays to my heart’s content. There was an ingenious audio visual presentation of the history of the castle using a lantern and shadow box arrangement. It had stopped raining by the time I was through, but I found it hard work going down ill again as it was now a bit slippery and the gravel was loose. There were some quite scary moments especially as I was on my own on an unfrequented path, and if I had fallen and broken something it would have been some time before I was rescued. This is a definite concern when travelling alone!

Having got down to street level, it was quite along wait for the bus, so I walked back to Buchs, where I found a restaurant for lunch. I had planned to go on to St Gallen, but decided time would only a allow a short time there, so I headed back to Klosters.

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Old Sep 18th, 2021, 02:53 AM
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My knee was excruciating the next day, perhaps because of the stiff walk down from Schloss Werdenberg. I staggered to the station and picked up a pain au chocolat for breakfast from the nearby café, which I ate on the long train journey to Disentis-Mustair. This involved rather along wait at Chur. The journey beyond Chur was very scenic, especially after Trin, as we entered the upper Rhine valley. A large number of my fellow passengers were walkers who transferred to busses at stations en route.

The principal attraction at Disentis is the monastery, perched close to, but high above, the railway station. Naturally this meant climbing up quite a lot of steps. The abbey building and church were beautiful, but I was a little disappointed with the museum – not nearly as interesting as the one at Mustair St John which I visited two years earlier. I had lunch at the station while waiting for the train home. I would have liked to take a different route, south to Samedan and then return to Klosters from there, but at this time of day it was only doable by the prebooked Glacier Express, so I just went home, admiring the glorious scenery from a different angle.

My knee was still hurting quite badly the next day, I wonder why 😉 I rather fancied a side trip to Liechtenstein. This involved train to Landquart, changing there for Sargans, where I got the bus to Vaduz. Vaduz was a pleasant if undistinguished little town in a pretty setting. The national museum was quite nice. There was a joint ticket with the Schatzkammer, or treasure chamber of the Grand Dukes, which was in a separate building down the road and contained the crown jewels and some Faberge eggs. Security was high, with a kind of pressure chamber system for entry. I was the only visitor. The main museum was OK, but had more of a regional museum feel to it. There was a special display of headwear worn by Liechtenstein ladies, some of which was most peculiar.

On my way home, I got off the train at Kublis to get the bus to Klosters, because I wanted to see where it went. It travelled down to the floor of the valley and back up, and I quite enjoyed the 30 minute ride. The village of Saas was very pretty with chalets with flowers in the windows, and we passed a farmer making hay on a very steep slope and got a lovely view of the snow capped mountains at the end of the valley. At the bottom of the valley was the village of Serneus, where three black Labradors got on (with their two human companions of course). The weather was glorious again now, and we also saw a pretty waterfall.

Having got off the bus, I stopped for a drink at the bar attached to the Piz Buin hotel before heading to my hotel for my daily swim.
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Old Sep 18th, 2021, 02:54 AM
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Friday was my last full day. I had a pain au chocolat in the nice café near the station before getting the train to Davos Platz. There I caught the bus for the hour-long scenic journey to Susch, across the Fluela Pass. We passed through ruged rock strewn scenery and past some pretty little lakes and mountain streams. On the return journey the bus unexpectedly terminated at Davos Dorf rather than Platz, and I failed to get off, and as a result I was stuck in a locked bus for about 20 minutes. I’m afraid I had a panic attack which lasted for some time after I was released.

This was the point at which I stopped writing up my notes because it was so distressing to relive. A year on, I can take it up again😉 At the time, I receovered by getting some sugar in me via some doughnuts from the station shop, and after a while I felt a bit better though still a little tearful. I caught the 1.30 train back to Klosters, catching glimpses of the blue Davosersee and the boats on it through the trees. Back in town I wandered through the village streets, found a conditorei for lunch, and then visited the very charming little Nutli Hueschi Heimat Museum in the upper part of the village. It was their breadbaking day, using one of the original outside stone ovens, and I bought a loaf of bread to take home. (As it turned out it came in very handy, as my pre-booked food delivery the day I got home was messed up, and as I was isolating I wasn’t able to go out to shop – so I lived on tinned soup and this bread for several days. It was very nice!)

A last swim in the pool was another mini-disaster as I cramped up quite badly. I managed to get to the side OK, but was rather shaken, to say the least. Last dinner was disappointing, with undercooked chicken again.

I checked out at 8 am next day and staggered to the station with my baggage. A kind person helped me with the stairs, and I got onto the train with no difficulty this time. There was an easy transfer at Landquart. At Zurich I needed to change again, and the first train going to the airport was very full with standing room only. I waited for the next, which had loads of seats free. I had left plenty of time, so the return journey was hassle free after that.

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Old Sep 18th, 2021, 04:23 PM
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A nice trip report - although I am sorry to hear about your bad experience with the bus. Things like this always seem to happen when you are unfamiliar with the lie of the land, and feel invariably worse that when at home. I once got stranded at a bus stop in a small Italian village when the buses were on a holiday timetable, and I speak little Italian. I had been dropped there by a friend's mother and all I knew was that there seemed to be no buses, didn't realise anything about the timetable. This was in the days before mobile phones so I couldn't call anyone. After a while a car pulled up at the bus stop - two guys who I had met at a party two days before offered me a lift. I just thought about the fact that I didn't really know them and politely declined. After several hours a bus did come, and I got to my destination by nightfall. But I was a bit nervous, because I hadn't even booked accommodation in the next city so I would have to negotiate that too. It was OK in the end and made a story I could tell people, but boy was I worried!

Thanks for sharing your trip, you give a lot of good detail. I liked hearing about the three Labradors on the bus!

Lavandula
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Old Sep 19th, 2021, 01:32 AM
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I enjoyed reading your report.
You weren’t feeble not wanting to walk uphill to Guarda, that is a very steep walk! Shame you missed it though.
Zuoz is on my radar for next visit.
Thanks for sharing your experiences.
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Old Sep 19th, 2021, 06:41 AM
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Enjoyable read, especially as we visit the Engadine often and are preparing to leave for Switzerland in a week. And I'm very much looking forward to at least one visit to Confiserie Hanselman for some of their lovely Nusstorte!

That road to Guarda is indeed a killer and it's a shame you were unable to coordinate with the small post bus that usually meets the trains. We've timed it incorrectly ourselves, but had to wait for the train at the bottom and not the bus to the top!

Zuoz is indeed a lovely village, we spent 5-6 nights there a few winters ago, had snow up to our eyeballs.

You've piqued my interest in Glums and Werdeberg, and reminded me that, as a wine drinker, Maienfeld and Malans are still high on my wishlist.

Curious if you found Klosters a good base? We've visited it a few times to walk to Alp Garfiun, and considered basing there one year, but talked ourselves out of it, Scuol winning again instead.
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Old Sep 19th, 2021, 07:07 AM
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Yes, I was happy with Klosters as a base. The public transport in Switzerland is so good - a few changes/longish journeys for day trips, but I don't mind those. The journeys are scenic in their own right and I can read in tunnels and less pretty bits.

Lavandula, your experience sounds much worse! I think everything is more overwhelming when you're on your own - a travel companion to share the disasters with makes things less scary

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Old Sep 19th, 2021, 03:22 PM
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>Lavandula, your experience sounds much worse! I think everything is more overwhelming when you're on your own - a travel companion to share the disasters with makes things less scary <

I quite agree - a travel companion helps you put things in perspective!

Lavandula
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