Now that my lower back is improving I can now start writing and sharing about our excursions. But before I start sharing on our recent adventure in Aletsch, first I must tell you about our short get away to Klosters, a charming mountain resort situated in the green valley of Prättigau (or grassy vale) in the canton of Graubünden (also called Grisons) lah 🙂
As you may remember from a previous entry, I was whisked away to Klosters on the same day that I arrived home from spending the Hari Raya with my family in Singapore (i.e. on 8th September)! That was nearly a month ago … how time flies!! Anyway, I arrived in Zurich very early in the morning, got home in Lausanne about three hours later … and then a few hours later after having put away some of the stuff (especially the food stuff!) that I had brought home and after having packed my bag for our two nights stay in Klosters … we left again very late in the afternoon … and arrived at the youth hostel that we would be staying at in Klosters at close to 9pm! It was really a very loooong day for me … after the long flight from Singapore! So while waiting for the hubby to check us in, I could not refrain from yawning and was having a hard time trying to keep my eyes open!
Since we arrived when it was already dark, I could not really see how the hostel looked like from outside … except that it had a very homely feeling and that the single staff that handled our checking-in was very friendly! In fact … she seemed to be the only staff around as she was also the one who prepared breakfast the next two mornings as well as the person manning the reception counter! Well … I suppose they do not really need that many staff to look after the guests and the hostel during the off-peak period … because from the number of people we bumped into or saw at the car park there were only eight of us staying at the hostel during our time there!! And, we did not only have the whole floor to ourselves … but also the whole of the building on that particular wing since the others seemed to have been put up in rooms in the adjoining building! Incredible huh?
Now because there were hardly any guests except the (very) few of us … we were therefore given a room with a great view of the mountains! And we really liked the homely atmosphere … and the chalet-like look of the hostel! In fact, the hubby really liked the place soooo much that he even thought of extending our stay there! But in the end we decided not to … because we thought a much better option would be to come back to the area again … and preferably with our bicycles so that we could also do some cycling because the area seems quite popular among cyclists! Especially … when we realised that it was possible to cycle from Klosters to Davos (and I have always wanted to go to Davos!)
It was our first visit to Klosters … and prior to our visit to the area, I had never heard of the name! In fact … the hubby had decided to book our stay there only because … unlike the hostels in Davos and Pontresina (two other, probably better known mountain resorts in the Graubünden area, apart from St. Moritz which we had already been to in February this year) … the youth hostel in Klosters was more accessible for public transport users like us!
Still … we were glad to have chosen to stay there because we really liked the hostel … and I especially loved the little village! I thought it was really quite pretty even though it is not very big. Hmmm … we might not be able to go back there to do any cycling this year … now that autumn is here and as the nice autumn weather is set to change … but … I am sure that it will be lovely to go back there next year, maybe in spring to do that cycling!
In the meantime, enjoy some of the photos of Klosters we took (as usual, you can click on the pictures to see enlarged versions or roll over them to display contextual info).
The train station at Klosters (Platz). It took us slightly more than 4 hours to reach Klosters from Lausanne, having had to change trains first at Zurich and then at Landquart. Basically we had to retrace the route that we took earlier in the morning when the hubby came to fetch me from Zurich airport … and then we had to travel further south-west to get to Klosters!! So on that day, I spent 12 hours on the aeroplane … followed by 6.5 hours on the train!! So you can understand why …
… I was like this during most of the train ride to Klosters even though the scenery outside was quite pretty!! 🙂 And that night, we had a very early night … especially since we were supposed to go hiking on the mountain top the next day!
But before I share the photos of our hike on the mountain … let me show you how Klosters looks like … but … not before I share some photos of the youth hostel that we stayed at, of course!! 🙂
Soldanella … the name of the youth hostel in Klosters. Unlike the recently renovated hostel in St. Moritz, this one is an old chalet (click here for pictures of its sister in St. Moritz)! We loikeeee!!! We were given a room in the chalet on the right but had to make our way to the chalet on the left for breakfast.
From the balcony outside our room … we had these lovely views on the valley of Prättigau and the mountains.
We were also lucky to have caught the beautiful view of the rising moon over the mountains when we were resting on the balcony in the evening after our mountain top excursion.
But apart from these beautiful views … I also enjoyed …
… looking down at the terrace in between the two chalets. Did I not tell you that the hostel looked so homely? 🙂 It seemed that the staff that helped to look after the hostel lived in the room above us (the top floor with private access) and another seemed to be living in the one just across with plenty of plants on the balcony!
There was even a small flower cum vegetable patch just beside the hostel, nasturtiums growing so colourfully near and around the building as well as alpine strawberry plants growing and fruiting among the stone steps which we had to take to go from one chalet to the other! Now you know why this particular hostel scored extra points with me!! hehehe … 🙂
And then … the village itself … which I found quite lovely indeed … especially the paintings on the buildings (see further below)!!
Making our way down into the village town of Klosters from our youth hostel. The area and the streets looked unbelievably clean (which is no longer the case in Geneva or Lausanne, the hubby is keen to point out)!
Passing by chalets and old houses with colourful flowers along the way.
And a small square with a statue of a mountain goat (the emblem of Graubünden) at the water fountain with an old church (St Jacob’s) on one side. The train station and village town is just further down the road (Talgasse) from this square.
The village town of Klosters, located not far from the main railway station. Known as Klosters Platz, this is the area where most shops, restaurants and hotels are located. Another part of Klosters, called Klosters Dorf (which is the German word for village), is situated further out in the valley (the other areas of the greater Klosters-Serneus region are called Selfranga, Aeuja, Monbiel, Serneus, Mezzaselva) … complicated, no?
It is hard not to know that you are in Klosters because …
… you can see the village name on the benches! 🙂 Tastefully done, too!!
The charming Hotel Alpina located just across the train station. If we had not been staying at the youth hostel I would have loved to stay at this hotel, which also has an indoor swimming pool.
Another interesting looking hotel with beautiful paintings on its wall and beautiful painted decoration on its door and windows as can be seen in many of the buildings in Klosters! So pretty … the painted decoration, that is! 🙂
A UBS bank in the village town as well as a pharmacy housed in an interesting building with painted decoration on the windows and doors. I just loved the double pointed slate roofs of the bay window above the entrance of the pharmacy.
A discotheque cum bar in the village which we came across during our walk through the village little town with the trademark decorations found on the windows and doors.
While most of the painted decorations were done in black paint against a white background wall … however …
… there were some that were in done colours … albeit in a pastel colour so that they look tasteful and not gaudy.
And as usual I am always on the lookout for how colourful flowers or plants are used to decorate and brighten up a home 🙂 Now … do you not simply find the way the owner of that particular home on the top right picture used old children’s jeans with belt as her planters to be truly adorable??!! I lurve them!!! I also thought it was really very cute and creative of the owner of another home (bottom right) who used old plastic milk bottles colourfully painted as planters and placed them all around the balcony as well as on window sills!
It was too bad that we did not stay longer in Klosters … but … now that we know about its existence and its alpine village atmosphere … we can always come back! hehehe 🙂 In fact, just so that you know, this tiny mountain resort has the royal stamp of approval. Prince Charles is known to have been going for his skiing holidays to the resort of Klosters for over 35 years!! I can certainly understand why … since both the hubby and I fell in love (on our first visit) with the place ourselves!
And since being half asleep I had failed to take much notice of the lovely scenery on our way to Klosters, so I made sure that I did not miss any bit of it on our way back!
So here is some of the lovely scenery that we saw coming back from Klosters, after having taken a train to Davos to catch a glimpse of this very famous mountain resort.
The small, but beautiful lake of Davos as we made a slight detour to see how Davos looks like before taking the train back to Zurich! Quite lovely, no?
The impressive bridge of Sunniberg, before reaching Serneus.
Near Küblis, towards the end of the valley of Prättigau.
A group of cyclists getting off the train at Klosters Platz (left) and rows of bicycles hanging in the train carriage that we took to go to Davos. Seeing all these cyclists and the bicycles made us want to do the same!! And that is why we want to go back to Klosters to do a cycling excursion at our next visit!!
Now in case you wonder where is the photos of our excursion to the mountain top in Klosters … that will be coming up … in the next post lah! hehehe …