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Will Walk for Food: Winter Wandering in Switzerland

Will Walk for Food: Winter Wandering in Switzerland

Feb 10th, 2019, 01:49 PM
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 1,193
Have been checking out Capuns recipes, as I haven't tried them yet...this looks good Capuns (Swiss silverbeet dumplings) - Recipes - Eat Well with Bite
Confess I did not enjoy pizokels. Too heavy, stodgy, better in winter after walking 8 miles though
Adelaidean is offline  
Feb 10th, 2019, 05:15 PM
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Excellent TR Mel, thanks! I'm heading to Switzerland this summer, different region than your trip, but I love reading about it.

My story will be a lot more boring, more like "Will Walk for the Sake of Walking", but no doubt some fine food and fermented beverages will be involved.
Nelson is online now  
Feb 10th, 2019, 05:23 PM
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Adelaidean - As with all things, all Pizokels are not created equal. I've had a bad batch here and there (same with Capuns), but fortunately the good outweigh the bad.
Melnq8 is online now  
Feb 10th, 2019, 06:01 PM
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Following along and loving it!
Heading to Harz in Germany in spring...I miss meine Schweiz!
mokka4 is online now  
Feb 10th, 2019, 08:06 PM
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I always enjoy reading about your walking adventures and seeing your beautiful pictures. Following along while sitting in front of the fire with two feet of snow in my yard.
Paqngo is online now  
Feb 10th, 2019, 11:27 PM
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Will read trip report for vicarious pizocals!

Between work and life, I don’t have time for everything I would enjoy, and reading trip reports is one of the things I usually forego. But a Melnq8 report that covers Graubünden foods? I’m on it!

I had to wait until AFTER I had my own dinner, and then I read and re-read – and read again – the description of the Pizokels at Ustria Parlatsch. Envy!!!

And then (more envy!!!) I read your desciption of the Quark Pizokels at Ustria Casa Crusch. And that it has since closed.
Do you write these things to torture me?
(Do, please, keep writing them!)

Originally Posted by Adelaidean View Post
Confess I did not enjoy pizokels. Too heavy, stodgy
You need help. Seriously, Adelaidean -- seek help.
Actually, the one time I was fortunate enough to try pizocals, I found them surprisingly light for a pasta.
Oooh, how I would love to keep trying them, time and again, to see if I might find the ones you didn’t like!
kja is offline  
Feb 11th, 2019, 06:04 AM
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Thank you all for the comments and for following along!

Kja - you crack me up. See what you've created? It was you who got us started on Pizokels - we first had them in Mustair a few years back on your recommendation (I can't find that trip report here on Fodor's - seems they've started to delete the older ones).

As for Capuns - that's entirely Ingo's fault. We wanted to try Maluns this year, but didn't get around to them.

True, most of what we ate was definitely winter fare. For our rare summer trips to Switzerland, it's all about walking for ice cream and sorbet!
Melnq8 is online now  
Feb 11th, 2019, 10:54 AM
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I am not a big fan of Maluns. On the other hand, Pizokels are one of my favourites. Only good if made with buckwheat.

Hope you tried Salsiz in all variations, and Bündnerfleisch. And cheese!

Please keep it coming ;-)
Ingo is offline  
Feb 11th, 2019, 11:15 AM
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Having trouble posting on Fodor's today - keep losing things - will try again tomorrow.
Melnq8 is online now  
Feb 11th, 2019, 05:39 PM
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Oh yes, I remember our early discussion of pizokels -- and learning only then, AFTER my return, about capuns. : I knew to learn about the area from ingo, but hadn't realized that I should ask him about foods. I'm glad to say that I had several delightful local sausages and dried meats and cheeses while there.

The recent deletion of old posts didn't erase my report on Switzerland, and shouldn't have deleted yours, either. Have you tried finding it using google? I sometimes have better luck going that route.

And OMG, the problems posting here have been ridiculous of late! Do, please, keep trying.

Last edited by kja; Feb 11th, 2019 at 05:55 PM.
kja is offline  
Feb 11th, 2019, 08:04 PM
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Delighted to be following along Mel.

I do so much enjoy reading about your walking, eating and amazingly meticulous planning that makes it all happen for you.
Now that we are both mostly retired I am getting my DH to read your reports and maybe we can add winter walking to our travels.
Think we south Aussies might need a little more practice in the cold, as we found the -4C in Tirol pretty challenging a few weeks ago!
(It was 46C here in Adelaide at the time...)

Looking forward to reading more adventure and pondering possibilities for future travels.
love_travel_Aus is offline  
Feb 11th, 2019, 11:50 PM
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love travel, we were 'home' during that 46C heatwave. Awful.
Where did you go in Tirol? (Sorry to divert, I know mel won't mind)
Adelaidean is offline  
Feb 12th, 2019, 02:14 AM
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Hi Adelaidean

You poor things - I hope you managed to stay moderately cool.

We were in Neustift im Stubaital for four days: we were using up a credit at an hotel we had after having to cancel a longer trip last September.
We enjoyed being in a lovely hotel for relaxing but not ideal for getting around without a car.
The snow was deep and we only managed a few short walks; instead we caught up with friends in Innsbruck, and took ourselves on a couple of shorter excursions, including to Seefeld where we had a beautiful pre Christmas holiday some years ago!
We are not yet up to longer snow walks!

I envy Mel and her ability to head off in winter.
love_travel_Aus is offline  
Feb 12th, 2019, 02:47 AM
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love travel...I need to see more of Austria one day.

kja, am going to give pizokels another try, but only if no Rösti or Capuns on the menu
Adelaidean is offline  
Feb 12th, 2019, 02:19 PM
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Love winter! Just returned from an overnight stay in a small town about 90 minutes west of our home in Colorado. 13F this morning - and the wind! Ferocious! Needless to say we didn't do any walking, but instead soaked in outdoor hot springs. Delicious.

46C!!! That's the kind of heat we suffered through in the Middle East (which was much better air conditioned than Australia, let me tell you). You Australians are tough!

Good to see you here love_travel_Aus. There was a s***load of snow when we were in Seefeld on this trip too.

Last edited by Melnq8; Feb 12th, 2019 at 02:43 PM.
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Feb 14th, 2019, 02:13 PM
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Flims Day 5 –

Feeling every one of our years, we decided to get the kinks out by well, more walking. And so we set out on the gentle Wald & Wasser (forest and water) Culinary Trail, a prime example of why we enjoy Switzerland so much – the incredibly civilized approach to exercise!


We’ve walked this trail on previous visits, our efforts rewarded with nice al fresco lunches and people watching at Restaurant Conn, but we knew this time we were too early in the season; there’d be no food or free entertainment at the end of the trail.

We followed an upper track overlooking the blue-green waters of Caumasee, known as ‘the jewel of Flims’, which under ideal circumstances (unlike today) and with professional skill and equipment (unlike mine) looks something like this:

Photo credit: https://www.graubuenden.ch/en/explor...alera/caumasee

We continued walking high above the Rhine Gorge, through the ‘largest contiguous forest of Graubünden’. After passing the closed Restaurant Conn, we continued to the Il Spir viewing platform which overlooks the Ruinaulta (aka the Swiss Grand Canyon), said to be one of the most spectacular landscapes in Graubünden.


Photo credit: https://www.graubuenden.ch/en/explor...atform-il-spir

The views from here never disappoint, even on a gloomy day (although my photos certainly did).

Photo credit: https://www.graubuenden.ch/en/explor...atform-il-spir

We returned via a lower trail that led down to the shores of Caumasee, surprised to find the gates open and beckoning, so naturally we felt obliged to enter and investigate.

We then worked our way back up to Flims Waldhaus, alongside and above the closed funicular.

Our growling stomachs led us to Bistro Kaufmannfrauen, a promising venue for lunch, but alas our timing was off again, we missed their Mittagsmenu (11:30-1:30) by mere minutes.

So we tried the Bündner Gerstensuppe (barley soup), hoping for the decadent cream and butter nectar of the gods variety but getting a broth version instead. A bit disappointing, not very filling, and oddly, no bread was offered (two bowls of soup, 5 dl local red wine - 51 CHF, not particularly good value).


As we dawdled over our wine, we watched the goings on behind the counter; an employee was making some fabulous looking desserts, including Vermicelles, which she was kind enough to explain to us (made from chestnuts, butter, sugar and kirsch, topped with meringues and whipped cream). Now on the ‘must try’ list for next time.

We meandered back through town, investigated the newly opened and rather flash Stenna Center and just generally poked around.

Then it was back to the apartment to try yet another Nusstorte*, do some laundry (with directions in English woo-hoo!) and rest up after our seven mile day.

*About that Nusstorte – so far this trip we’d tried three different kinds and were disappointed – too dry, not enough walnuts - note to self – the bakery in Scuol next to the Coop has the best to date; and a dollop of fresh whipped cream never goes amiss.

To be continued…
Melnq8 is online now  
Feb 15th, 2019, 12:45 AM
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“the bakery in Scuol next to the Coop has the best to date”...

...good to know as our apartment is near that Coop
Adelaidean is offline  
Feb 15th, 2019, 06:22 AM
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Have a bite for me Adelaidean! I like it best heated and with a large dollop of fresh whipped cream. Interestingly enough, it's usually served room temp in Swiss restaurants (IME anyway).

If there's one thing I learned living in Australia it's that cake must have cream
Melnq8 is online now  
Feb 15th, 2019, 11:03 AM
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Flims Day 6 –

Spurred on by the promise of sunshine and Bill’s fascination with Pinut, we hurried up to Flims Dorf to catch the 10 am shuttle to Fidaz (free with guest card), trading a 30 minute steep climb for a five minute bus journey.


The Pinut via Ferrata ‘trek’ is understandably inaccessible during the winter (thank goddess), but we thought we’d at least try to get to Bargas, just to satisfy Bill’s curiosity.


During the season, one can take a shuttle bus from Fidaz to Bargas and Pinut. Off season, its hoof it or nothing. So hoof it we did.

Once in Fidaz we walked 20 minutes up to the start of the trail to Bargas, hoping to get above the clouds, but instead, walking right into them. It was misty and wet, the views completely obscured. We climbed steadily uphill, me grumbling about the steep snow-covered trail. We eventually bailed; choosing to follow the narrow road instead (so narrow that it was hard to envision even a small bus fitting, and had one come along, we might have had to jump off the side!)

As we reached the shuttered Berghaus we got a brief glimpse of what all the fuss was about – wow! What a lovely spot.


Bargas is at the doorstop of the Tectonic Arena Sardona, A UNESCO World Heritage Site. We were there for the exercise and the views, but evidently, this “little-known border area of cantons St. Gallen, Glarus and Graubunden is the best place in the world to observe the processes of mountain formation”, the Glarus Thrust and other geologic wonders (the details make my eyes glaze, but it’s certainly pretty up there).


The skies cleared a bit as we walked back down to Fidaz, giving us some views over the valley below. We arrived at the bus stop seconds before the bus did, (hourly this time of year), saving us the knee crunching descent to Flims.

Flims was awash in sunshine and suddenly seemed alive – a small market was underway in front of the Information Office, champagne was flowing at Stenna’s Grand Opening, people were out and about, some just wandering, others purposely toting skis (opening day for one ski lift).

We randomly chose Hotel Bellevue for lunch, surprised to find they had a Mittagskarte on a Saturday (19 CHF each). The Dubai Flavours Menusalat was interesting, the Kartoffelcremesuppe good, the Flammkuchen with sour cream, red onions, Chorizo and Gruyère fantastic – (lunch special for both, lovely Sylvaner Riesling – 63.50 CHF and stuffed to the gills).

Fully aware that shops would be closed the following day (Sunday) and that we’d need milk for our first morning in Zuoz, we picked up a carton of UHT and a few train snacks.

We eventually tore ourselves away from the brilliant sunshine, retreating to the apartment to cool our heels, organize our luggage and tidy up for the next morning’s departure.

More photos here:

To be continued…

Last edited by Melnq8; Feb 15th, 2019 at 11:07 AM.
Melnq8 is online now  
Feb 15th, 2019, 11:21 AM
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Note about that photo link - hovering over the photo brings up the arrows, clicking on the right arrow will scroll through the correct photos.

Clicking the actual photo brings up photos from New Zealand! Not sure what that's about, but I've had this same problem here on Fodor's before.

And those freaking boxes instead of apostrophes - not sure what that's about either.

Last edited by Melnq8; Feb 15th, 2019 at 11:23 AM.
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