Thursday, June 20, 2013

A Beautiful Day in Pontresina, Switzerland

Although the weather forecast was for thunderstorms we had a beautiful day yesterday checking out the sights Pontresina, Switzerland. And "sights" up here in the Alps means mountains!

Our hotel has a hiking guide on staff and he took Ben and two other guests off on a seven hour hike along a glacier edge. It included a lunch of barley soup, beer, and hearty bread in an alpine hut, something Ben has always wanted to experience.

While he was following his bliss, Jean and I and the boys took the bus to a nearby funicular which took us up, up, up a mountain. When we got out we were surrounded by amazing alpine peaks and tempting hiking trails. Up above us we saw a red flag so we set out to walk to it. It was a bit of a challenge but we all were glad we made it as the views were even better from up there. After an hour or so we slowly walked back down to the funicular landing where there was a hotel, an elegant snack bar (love the way you can get beer so easily at the end of a hike around these parts!), an amazing children's playground, and wonderful chairs to lay in for sunbathing.

We got back to the hotel in time for the 3:00 "cake bar," a complimentary array of homemade pastries and refreshing drinks. Having been fortified by our breakfast buffet ( also included in the room cost) and renewed by the afternoon treats, the boys were ready for some Internet time while waiting for Ben to return and take them to the pool. But Jean and I wanted more mountain sights and decided to find the chair lift we'd heard about that would take us up another mountain. Finding it involved walking all the way through town and then back again, going downhill and then up in the hot sun until we finally found the turnoff. We climbed up some more and happily swung aboard the ski lift for a fairly long ride up the mountain, feet dangling from the chair the whole time. The air felt cool and clean and you could hear the rushing streams and the bells on the cows in the mountain pastures. Once we arrived at the landing It was very pretty with good views of many peaks around us. We would have liked to have hiked around some but before we knew it was time to go as the lift was about to close.

We had good reunion back at the hotel, telling each other about our day. Later we went next door to the Hotel Bernina for fondue and other local foods. We had a lot of fun at dinner; I sure am going to miss the wonderful times we've had at these family meals on this trip.

Today is a travel day as we take four trains- one of them for six minutes!- to end up in Geneva tonight.

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