Continuation of the previous post trip
Breakfast at the Nira Alpina Hotel;
Views from the Nira Alpina Hotel
St Moritz - Top of the World
This plush high Alpine major resort town, at an elevation of about 1,800 m above sea level in the upper Engadine .is situated on the southern slopes of the Albula Alps, below the Piz Nair (3,056 m or 10,026 ft) and is overlooking the flat wide glaciated valley of the eponymous lake: Lake St. Moritz. also hosted the Winter Olympics in 1928 and 1948.
Although St Moritz received some visitors during the summer, the origins of the winter resort only date back 158 years ago to 1864, when Swiss hotelier and tourism entrepreneur a true St. Moritz hotel pioneer Caspar Badrutt (1848–1904) almost single handed was responsible for the origin of several modern winter sporting activities, providing opportunities for fun and frolic on the picturesque cold slopes outside his first hotel in St Moritz
This marked not only the start of winter tourism in St. Moritz but also the start of winter tourism in the whole of the Alps
Since the early 1980s St. Moritz is also promoted and known as Top of the World. The expression was registered as a trademark by the tourist office in 1987.
Mentioned already around 1137–39 as ad sanctum Mauricium. way after the Celts and Romans who already, appeared there, the village was named after Saint Maurice, an early Christian saint from southern Egypt said to have been martyred in 3rd c Roman Switzerland ,while serving as leader of the Theban Legion,
It has attracted pilgrims, where they drank from the blessed, bubbling waters of the Mauritius springs in the hopes of being healed
In 1519, the Medici pope, Leo X, promised full absolution to anyone making a pilgrimage to the church of the springs. In the 16th century, the first scientific treatises about the St. Moritz mineral springs were written.
St. Moritz developed rapidly in the late 19c; the first electric light in Switzerland was installed in 1878 at the Kulm Hotel, and the first curling tournament on the continent was held in 1880. The first European Ice-Skating Championships were held at St. Moritz in 1882 and first golf tournament in the Alps held in 1889. The first bob run and bob race was held in 1890.
By 1896, St. Moritz became the first village in the Alps to install electric trams and opened the Palace Hotel. A horse race was held on snow in 1906, and on the frozen lake the following year. The first ski school in Switzerland was established there in 1929.
Among the other summer/winter Attractions offered at the stunning St Moritz area is:
The Red Alpine Train from St Moritz to Preda
A segment of the Bernina Express Alpine train , which we boarded this morning (departs every hour as of 9:am) and which operates by Rahaetiah Railway,
is a 12 km spectacular train ride (out of 130km of Abula/Bernina line) from St Moritz to this popular ski/sledding Alpine landscape of Preda- where the train dropped us in
30 minutes ride.
The railway is among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites (since 2008) defined
"as a technically advanced example of high mountain landscape management and as the most spectacular narrow-gauge railways in the world".
The train pass through few tunnels, including the famous Albula Tunnel at an elevation of 1,820 m (5,970 ft) above sea level, Opened for traffic in 1903. it is amongst the highest tunnels in the Alps, and it length is 5,865 m (19,242 ft).
The northern portal of the tunnel is at Preda, in Bergün,and the southern portal at Spinas, in the Bever valley. It connects the Albula Valley with the Engadin Valley, and, in so doing, passes under the watershed between the Rhine and the Danube a few km west of the Albula Pass.
in 2010, the Rhaetian Railway announced the construction of a second tunnel alongside the first due to construction problems in the first. Work is still being done.
Sledging on Preda/Darlux-Bergun Ran
When the temperatures drop below freezing and the first snow falls, thousands of local and foreign sledgers, like us, make a pilgrimage to Preda-Bergün between December and March, .since the most popular and winding snow roller coaster in Switzerland are there to enjoy..
The small village of Preda and the famous toboggan track provides a thrilling excitement on wooden sledges. from where a well groomed 6km sledding track leads steeply down to charming town of Bergün.
The sledges are being rented at the train station in Preda , once getting off the train.
Then after sledding down on a run to Bergun, open ski lift chairs lefts you and the sledge to the mountain's top, from where speeding down the steep slops on the long Preda-Bergun ran, is both an amazing and scary thrill.
David and I, each had our own sledge and Inbal and Leo shared one. We all tumbled down off the sledge few times, but eventually manged to control the ride.
Not only brave 6 years Leo , but also us had the fun of our lives, although it was not the first time we sledged in the Alps.
Going to the Chair Lift at Bergun Site
On the Chair Lift
Leo on the Chair Lift
On the Peak of the Mountain
Bergun Village - where the long sledge run starts/ ends and where the sledges are being returned at, is a most quint mountainous resort, with few most charming hotels
from which ski/sledge in/out is a true comfort.
Passes, for the train, entering the sledge site, and for the lift chairs are bought at the
St Moritz train station, prior to boarding. Although we got All day Passes, in hindsight,
getting passes for 1-2 times run, was more then sufficient enough for us.
We lucked out with a clear sunny gorgeous weather, which facilitated an amazing visibility of the white dramatic Alpine landscape's views. However spending most of the day out-doors in the fresh freezing Alpine air, was more then enough "cooling off" for me from the previous "heated" week,. At the end of the day, returning with the train back to St Moritz, the exhaustion truly knocked us off.., so rescued at the hotel's warmth, revived us. for the rest of the inaction "touch down" evening.
The Nira - Alpina at Night
TO BE CONTINUED.........