Sunday, July 21, 2013

Hiking at St. Moritz

It has been quite awhile since our (a gang of phd students) last hiking trip together. Initially planned for Creux du Van which requires very high physical fitness, we have decided to change our trip to something moderate, St. Moritz Emerald trail, Grisons-Lombardy stage 1, due to the rainy weather recently.

St. Moritz lake
Woke up 5 in the morning, (perhaps the earliest of the year) we departed from Zurich HB heading towards Chur and then St. Moritz, and it took us 3.5 hours! Since we were moving in a large group (of 9 people), it was quite an challenging task to get the seats where we can sit together. We managed to do it for the Zurich-Chur trip, and almost did it as well for the Chur-St. Moritz leg, only to find out that the seats were reserved. As the train was quite short, we had to separate into 4-5 groups and were sitting with our backs facing the front, for 2 hours! I spent most of the time sleeping though, as it was quite uncomfortable and I was sleepy anyway.

Soon after our arrival, I was certain that this hiking trip is going to be a great one - what picturesque scene of mountains, lake, and gentle sun. We started our hike by walking around the St. Moritz lake before going slightly uphill to the mountain lake, Lej da Staz.
Lej da Staz
Its color was almost black, in a contrast with the St. Moritz lake which was blueish. We spent some time for technical breaks and followed the route suggested by the website towards St. Moritz Bad. The landscape was a great remedy for us who have been living in the cities for a long time, and the forest was full with lots of interesting flora and small animals. We kept on going for like one hour and reached an Olympic ski jump site. It looked like an abandoned place with the grasses growing wild, but should be awesome when it is covered with all the snows during the winter time. After a few minutes walk, we arrived at Lej Marsch and conquered an area near the lake to begin our picnic. The floor was very soft and the soil was somehow wet. We can even trigger an earthquake by just stomping on the floor.

Olympic ski jump
After our lunch break, we moved on to the next lake, Lej Nair, which was pretty small. Along the route we started to see more "civilizations" and beginning to return to the normal world. Since we still had some time to spare, we jumped into a local restaurant to enjoy some ice creams and beers while enjoying the sun and mountains. It was really a nice place to enjoy your life after retirement and we even joked that everyone of us can buy one unit each of the apartment there. Then we can become neighbors and do hiking together. Ha, I am not sure if I could afford a house at a place like this in Switzerland!

small waterfall with stones around
Recharged with energy, we continued our journey to the lake Silvaplana and walked past Crap da Sass castle. There was also a small waterfall with lots of vertically aligned stone arranged by somebody. As the rain started to pour, we have decided to get back to the St. Moritz station instead of walking for another hour to Sils under the rain. Everybody was tired like hell and even fell asleep on the way to the train station. We used different route back, passing Lanquart before reaching Zurich.

Since we have spent "lots of energy" for the hike, we have decided to award ourselves with a dinner at Ah Fatt's place. As usual, we finished a tableful of foods within an hour and finally reached home after spending 18 hours outside.

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