Winter Monaco

Only 248 of 350 were open. 248 kilometers. Of slope. All in the same resort. They say it’s the oldest mountain resort in the world, host of the second Winter Olympic Games edition in 1928.

If it wouldnt have been for G.’s visit, I probably wouldnt have gone to St. Moritz too soon. I went there 3 summers ago, and it didnt knock me off my shoes. Nice and all, green, mountains, but I didnt see anything special.

Luckily G. had a “thing” for St.M., so we went on Sunday, and I had the revelation: winter is not like summer :).

Engadin, the area of Eastern Switzerland encompassing the Rhaeto-Roman language area, is one of my favorites, the “parallel Universe”. And now I added the winter dimension to it.

Following the King Kong syndrome, we climbed the highest easily accessible point around, Piz Nair (=”the black peak”, in a delicious rhaeto-roman language), for a view on the St. Moritz valley and the Alps surrounding it.


After a tomato soup and some älplermakkaroni, which tasted special at 3057m :), I headed down on skis (G. took the cabin back). I managed to NOT avoid the steep slope I had seen from the funicular


but I survived


with a little slip outside the slope in the big snow – an oddly familiar sensation from last winter.

The delight was finding the way down among numerous slope options, all with entertaining names – this language is so funny to me it drives me nuts. “Trais Fluors”, for example, is clearly “Three flowers”, it is pronounces almost identical to “trei flori” in romanian, it resembles all other “latin” languages, but it not like any one.


Speaking of the language, on the way back we listened to Radio Rumantsch, in this language (reminder: it is almost extinct, spoken by ~40,000 people, but it is still one of the 4 official languages of Switzerland). It is an odd combination of spanish, portuguese, italian, with some weird germanic sounds like “ü” sprinkled across. Very entertaining.

But before heading back, we checked out the “city center”, where usually there is some “activity” – and indeed, there was a group of folk dancers,


who came on horse carriages now waiting for them on the side


We went down to the lake level,


to admire the resort upwards,


the horse rider making rounds on the snow-covered hypodrome


and the mysterious “snow dust” rising towards “downtown”.


Like G. put it, it is like a “winter Monaco”.


We left the mountains just before it got dark,


And got home 3 hours later.
Back to work.

Anyway, now it’s clear – for some things, season matters.

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