Dave the motorhome is parked with another motorhome in a Stellplatz outside the campsite in Chur, Switzerland. We’ve coughed up the princely sum of 18CHF to kip here as the campsite was full and would have cost more (even with our ACSI card once they added the various taxes on around here). No apologies for the number of images in this post, the sights have been truly magnificent!
This morning it was cold, but only outside! Our precautions ensured Dave was toasty on the inside and even though the waste water tank froze it was virtually empty (I know we should have just left it open but we don’t have a bucket on board) so there was loads of space for the ice to expand into – the main thing was that the heater and fresh water tank were both as snug as us.
Once we’d both had really long hot showers and thawed things out it was time to move on. Dave was a tad reluctant at first, his glow plug lights refusing to go out. But, with a bit of coaxing from Jay he was soon full of life. We wound our way along the valley to St Moritz. The first parking we found had a big ‘no motorhome’ symbol on it, so we turned around and carried on to St Moritz Bad (not the rough end, but the spa part!). Here we found a car park next to the gondola, which was taking hikers up a few hundred feet for a view over the town, and I headed over to the machine to pay. St Moritz jumped up in my estimations when I read the small sign attached to the paying machine which said ‘machine out of action, car park free’. We wandered over to the gondola maybe we should spend the money we’ve saved on car parking going for a view, but at 24CHF each (return) we it was a tad more than the car parking would have been.
Instead we walked down towards the lake and then followed it around into the town. The views all around were truly magnificent – I could very very happily live here (I said that before I saw the price of the houses!). Stopping to take in the views we slowly walked to an escalator which took us up into the town above (see why I love this place!).
Of course we still had the money we’d saved from the car parking, but all the big name shops – Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Jimmy Choo, Prada etc – were all shut. Seems it’s not worth them opening until early December when all the big money arrives.
So our car park funds stayed in my pocket and we set off to find another big name here in St Moritz – The Cresta Run. We did a bob sled run when we were skiing one year in France, so I looked forward to seeing the dedicated skeleton bob track which is built every year by the St. Moritz Tobogganing Club. It started because hotel guests were sledging down the streets in the 1800’s and causing a nuisance of themselves so the hotel owner built a run for them. It has since been used for the winter Olympics twice and has many social clubs off the back of it – which you can join depending on which corner it throws you out on! Unfortunately women were banned from using it in 1929, but that wasn’t really a problem today as after a long walk around a housing estate we finally found the start – a small wooden hut among the houses with a steep mud path running away from it. Two round bollards marked the start, but nothing else – I was a bit disappointed and had to look up on google to make sure we were in the right place – we were.
On our way back down into the town we stopped at the leaning tower of St Moritz – no I’d never heard of it either, but it seems to be quite the local landmark – below which is a life-size bronze sculpture of a skeleton rider by David Wynne. Happy we’d seen what there was of the run we headed back through the town finding ourselves at Dave having spent not a penny (or cent, or whatever it is in Switzerland!).
We headed west and picked up the bottom of the Julierpass which rose steeply above the houses around the lakes and soon we were up in amongst the mountains. Dave took it all in his stride, Charlie wedged himself in behind his bed as we made our was up to the summit. Once there we nipped out for a photo shoot before winding our way through the most amazing scenery – if you ever want to take a great road trip and see some amazing natural beauty, this road is the one for you.
All too soon we were back in tunnels and then on the motorway to Chur, Switzerland’s oldest city. The sun was dipping behind various mountain peaks casting us into brightness and shade, it was time to find somewhere to stop for the night. Pulling into the campsite I went into reception and asked for a pitch. ‘Have you booked? Only we are very full’ said the receptionist – I’d never heard those words before at any campsite!! Obviously we hadn’t booked and at that point I was contemplating going and parking next to the motorhomes for sale in a camper shop down the road – well it would be shut tomorrow so Dave couldn’t be bought! Fortunately they have a Stellplatz we can stay in, so here we are. Maybe there’s something going on in town or maybe it’s just because it’s a sunny weekend, but we have no idea why the place is full. We looked up Chur on the internet – we’re not that fussed about visiting, sure it’s old, but it doesn’t look anything special. So for tonight there’s no romantic picture to paint. We are in a car park outside a campsite on a huge industrial estate. But. as soon as we were booked in and official we heated up some of our super cheap red wine and added sugar (Dave’s version of Gluhwein) then hooked onto the campsite wifi and started skyping family and friends as it’s ages since we had decent wifi.