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Published: August 30th 2019
Today I leave the lovely Tirol and Sue’s for Switzerland. Most of this trip was about checking out cities for the tours next summer, but I also wanted to spend a couple of days in Switzerland towards the end of my adventure. One of the main reasons is that I had it in my head to take a trip on the Glacier Express that runs from St Moritz to Zermatt (although you can opt to do sections of it too). Sue kindly gives me a lift to Innsbruck station where I catch the Railjet (such fantastic trains) from Innsbruck heading to Zurich. I have to change at Sargans and Chur, but in typical Swiss fashion, these trains all connect up, so there is no hanging around anywhere. It really is a delightful journey. From Innsbruck the train heads west through dramatic scenery, into the most westerly province in Austria, Vorarlberg. This is where Andy spent his year abroad - teaching conversational English to groups of girls aged 16-19 years! We pass through St Anton am Arlberg, better known as a fabulous winter ski resort. I think my train cuts through Liechtenstein very briefly as I get a text from EE telling
me all the things I can do for free whilst in Liechtenstein. As soon as I look at it I get another one telling me all the same thing about Switzerland. Actually, following this EE thread from the last 19 days is fascinating as it shows all the countries I have stayed in (and travelled through).
I am hugely excited about my hotel stay tonight. It isn’t directly in St Moritz, but at the top of a nearby mountain, and to get up there, you have to use the funicular railway. The hotel is called Romantik Hotel Muottas Muragl, and this was yet another tip from the website www.manatseat61.com
. He raved about it and said if you get the opportunity, you really should go. I decided I should like to do it especially after looking at the hotel’s website and reading the rave reviews.
On arrival at St Moritz station, I simply have to stroll off the train and onto the #1 bus which is standing right outside the station. I take the bus for only one stop, albeit this is quite some distance away and get out at Punt Muragl. This is the
The highest spot - snow on top
bottom station of the funicular railway. The hotel stands at 2,456 metres, so all hotel guests have to use the funicular. In fact, my room key card is waiting for me at the bottom station and I feel this is a really nice touch. The train costs are included in your room. You can, if you want, go up and down as many times as you want using your room key, but once up I have no intention of leaving that wonderful spot!
Check-in isn’t supposed to be until 3pm but my train/bus/funicular combination gets me there at 1.30pm. The charming ladies at reception tell me my room is already prepared and one of them shows me up to Room 105. It is absolutely delightful. There is the most amazing view from the window, and a fantastic scent of pine, as most of the room is made of it - the bed, the furniture, the door etc. I would love to hang around in the room, but even more I would like to make the most of being up here this early - especially as the weather is good at the moment and you can see the
mountains in all directions. I have been watching the weather forecast throughout the entire trip, but especially for this part. This hotel stay and the trip on the Glacier Express will for sure be even more fabulous if the weather is kind and you can see the amazing views. For weeks the forecast promised rain for my last few days, but right at the last moment, it changed and promised much better weather. I am delighted, and now I have a lovely walk heading up from the hotel.
Lots of people come up to the hotel for the day. There is a fantastic restaurant here with a huge terrace. There is a large and really lovely children’s play area behind the hotel and there are paths in all directions - heading up, heading down to the valley and some others heading across to other nearby peaks. All these paths are signposted so clearly (Trish and Bill - we should come here for a hiking holiday!!). The signposts even indicate the approximate time it will take you to get to wherever, and whether there is a mountain restaurant etc. In the area fairly close to the hotel there
are a few sculptures, created out of natural materials. One of them is simply called The Drop and is meant to signify the various forms of water - ice, sleet, rain etc. Also close to the hotel is the world’s most accurate sundial. It is called Sine Sole Sileo (Latin for “Without the sun, I fall silent”). Muottas Muragl is one of the sunniest spots in Switzerland. The hotel was opened in 2010 and is the first Plus Energy hotel in the Alps. The sundial was installed here on the mountainside in 2012. It shows the time to an accuracy of just ten seconds.
After a lovely wander I return to the hotel, shower and head to dinner. All the tables are positioned by the windows with breathtaking views. Dinner is definitely not inexpensive but it is absolutely divine. I thoroughly enjoy the food, the wine, the view and the entire experience. After dinner I have a short stroll outside to try and catch the most fabulous sunset peeping through dark, moody clouds.
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