Thursday 30 June 2016

Day 13

Wherever you look on Zermatt you can see the mighty Matterhorn

I had read that the 5 See walk was meant to be very good so I caught the funicular and cable to Blauherd  2571 mt
The pathways were a bit thin, rocky and some very steep drops
 But stunning scenery

The mounations reflected in the lake

The walk continued down through the woods: more step thin paths!
Eventually 9 miles later bringing me back to the village

Wednesday 29 June 2016

Day 12

The day I've been waiting for
It seems like ages since I booked the Glacier express
I had the coach to myself for the first 30 mins. I had pre-ordered lunch. You could also have chosen a 3 course meal, or order off the menu. I took along my own little bottle of wine
The prices on board weren't cheap! I travelled all the way to Zermatt : 7 hours, but you can get on later and get off earlier so it doesn't have to be a long journey. The train went to a height of 2033mt, just above Andermatt .  The views were just amazing 

 Another day of fabulous weather

I chose to travel first class. There wasn't a huge amount of differencebetween 1st and 2nd: you still had the panoramic windows
But there was definitely more room in first and the tour companies tend to take over a lot of the 2nd class compartments so some of them were really noisy. If you are thinking of doing this trip - book it! It was amazing.
Zermatt is a totally different place to St Moritz : it has a pulse! The might Matterhorn towers over the village 

And the place is bustling with people and personality. A total contrast!

Unfortunately the weather is forecast for rain and storms tomorrow, my good weather luck may have just run out!!

Day 11

I have been so lucky with the weather - another fabulous day
Took the early lifts and cable cars and went up to Piz Nair  (3057 mt)
The snow up here was pretty solid
I spent the rest of the day walking. My first walk came to a dead end because the snow hadn't cleared. I felt like the only person in the world and as I sat and worked out a new route a fox crossed my oath - thankfully not too close!  The walk down was a long one with more amazing views

 10 miles in all.  I shall be glad to sit down on the train tomorrow!
St Moritz is expensive. The scenery and the walking was amazing but the place itself seemed a bit souless.  There were no bustling streets or people eating outside. I don't know if it's different in the winter, I  suspect not

Monday 27 June 2016

Day 10

I spent a lot of yesterday eveing trying to plan where I wanted to walk today. I was still pretty undecided and de idea to head for the train. This is the same line as the Bernina Express to Tirano but you can do the same route on a normal train. I sat opposite a couple who told me some of the best walks
So I got off at Alp Grum
Had 10 minutes and caught the train back to the previous stop and had a walk around the lake
Caught the next train to the cable car up Diavolezza. A priest got on at the last minute and proceeded to get out his rosary beads....We all shared nervous smiles! Anyway we got there safely
Glaciers and snow!
Took the cable car back down and walked - what a walk. There was every kind of scenery
 Fields and rivers
 Walking through the woods...the smell of the pine!

And (mostly) all in the glorious sunshine. 10 miles walked: I think I will sleep well tonight!

Day 9

Today was spent mostly on the train.  I had 2 changes to make.  The inter rail planner app has been indispensable. You type in where you are and where you want to go and it brings up your options. Plus so much more
The journey from Chur (Switzerland ) to St Moritz was amazing
 Lush green fields and rivers
 The same route that the Glacier Express takes

It was a long trip, just over 5 hours in total. The weather wasn't brilliant so a good day to be on a train. However we went through a long tunnel and came out in brilliant sunshine to St Moritz
Another beautiful location but very expensive. However, if you stay for more than one night you get a card that gives you free transport on the busses, all the local cable cars and lifts and some of the trains.  I will be putting this to use!

Saturday 25 June 2016

Day 8

Zell am See to Innsbruck
Another fabulous day. Sat and knitted by the lake whilst waiting for the train. Had two different ladies come and talk to me about knitting.  I can get by with my German and understand more than I can talk, so I got the gist of what they were saying

There's definitely worse places to knit!
I continued with this shawl on the train. I had to change trains to get to Innsbruck : no problems everything is so well signposted.
I've been to Innsbruck before. It's a lovely place. You need to remember that when you get off the train, in the majority of places, you won't be getting a good first impression. When I've booked my hotels Ive made sure they are close to the centre rather than the station

It was crazy hot again today but storms were forecast. I had enough time to look around
Before the rain came
So obviously I had a great excuse to finish off the sock I'd been working on!

Friday 24 June 2016

Day 7

Amother bluebird day. Only cloud on the horizon was the referendum result!
Caught the train to Kitzbuhel. This was the only time so far on the trip that I thought I might have problems with my ticket. He told me to take it out of the wallet and then scrutinised it and reluctantly gave it back. Up to now all the conductors have been fine with it
I got off the train and realised I'd left my scarf on there just as the doors were closing. Luckily the universal language of waving and gesticulating meant that the lady sitting opposite me was able to throw it out of the window 😀
 Kitzbuhel was pretty in the sunshine. Another place where I have skied before. We stayed in this hotel about 32 years ago!!
I I walked up to the famous Hahnenkamm lift and ride to the top 
The views were spectacular again
 Wall to wall mountains. I walked for about 2 hours (still rather stiff from yesterday! ). Luckily I had my hat in the 32 degree heat!

On my return journey I stopped in St Johann in Tirol. Look what I found
Obviously I bought some!!
I had wondered about this journey and my ticket as I was starting and returning from the same place: obviously I needn't have worried!

Thursday 23 June 2016

Day 6

Zell am See
Woke up to the most amazing blue bird day.  Today was all about the walking. I did go out and buy myself a hat ad it was forecast to be 32 degrees
I  managed to get myself on a bus up to the cable car
The schittenhohe cable car takes about 5 mins to get you up to 2000 mtrs.  The views were breathtaking

Blue skies and mountains

 I have only ever skied on the Alps before and it did feel weird getting g off the cable car and then not just ski-ing down.  I was 17 when I last skied here!! I'm pretty certain we would've skied down here ...

 The walks were fabulous but once you got to your destination it looked a long way back (see that building in the distance!)

The paragliders were everywhere you looked. Rather them than me!
And all that walking meant a well deserved rest
Whilst I was sitting here I started talking to a german lady: me with fragmented german, her with fragmented english: it's one of the nice things about travelling solo: talking to people you probably wouldn't normally. She asked if I liked travelling alone. I  think if you are careful with where you go and what you do then travelling solo is fine. The alternative of course, is to stay at home and not travel at all! Of course it would be fantastic to have someone to share all this with, but better to travel alone than not at all!