Monday 7 June 2010
Today we hiked. Well, actually, it was more like a stroll but the surroundings and scenery would almost convince you that we were hiking. Sallie had suggested this particular outing and we are delighted she did so. We drove up the valley from Surlej a bit and then turned off to Pontresina where we parked the car and set off on our “trek” up the Val Roseg. I guess it’s about an eight mile stroll up the valley floor on a steady but relatively modest incline. On both sides the peaks rise precipitously and majestically, the surface of which is covered with dozens and dozens of cascading waterfalls feeding the river which we hiked along. We encountered very few fellow travellers and it was simply magical. Ms Playchute annoyingly and continuously identified most of the wild flowers which were wonderful. What it must be like in a week or so when there are more out?
We knew there was an establishment at the top of the valley providing refreshment where we were anticipating securing some lunch but we weren’t quite expecting the grandeur of the hotel/restaurant we encountered. The setting is simply stunning with fantastic views of the mountains and glaciers and it seems there has been a lodge here for more than a hundred years. Having worked up an appetite we were mightily appreciative that they were still serving meals when we arrived. And this wasn’t your ordinary “pub grub” – this was five star dining in a twenty-five star setting. We sat on the terrace admiring the view with only four other fellow adventurers and had a magnificent meal. Then, the return journey down the valley was conducted via horse-drawn cart which we shared with one other couple. We did pass a convoy of three other horse-drawn carts coming up the valley as we descended. I am guessing a party had just arrived at the station in Pontresina and were booked into the hotel for the night, the hotel laying on the traditional form of transport. Simply magical.