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Cross-country skiing in the Engadin

Whenever I hear "Prossima Fermeda- ", I smile. It means we are back in Graubünden. During the past few weeks, we've been twice to the Engadin to go cross-country skiing.

It's not a surprise that there are plenty of ski trails in the Engadin as it is home to the annual ski marathon, held this year on March 8. Take your pick of difficulty and what you'd like to see while skiing: mountains, open valleys, river, forests. There are so many trails, it can be hard to choose!

Our first visit wasn't only to ski, we had also bought tickets for a steam engine train ride in celebration of the 125th birthday of the Rhaetian Railway. The ride started in Samedan, where we were staying, and took us past Zernez to Scuol and back. We enjoyed every whistle and cloud of steam. The sun was out and the snow glistened as we passed through snowy forests and little villages.

Once back in Samedan, we went to the spa to soak in the mineral baths. Dinner was a delicious ending to a wonderful day. We had made reservations at La Padella, a restaurant belonging to Hotel Donatz. While I began my meal with a light green salad, my husband enjoyed the white wine soup. For our mains, my husband ordered the perch served in a crust of almonds and outstanding roasted rosemary potatoes, and I decided on a local specialty, Pizokel, a buckwheat pasta dish somewhere between pasta and Spätzle, served with vegetables and cheese. For dessert we split the gratin of oranges served with vanilla ice-cream. The entire meal was fantastic and we are still thinking about that meal!

Before we left, we headed out on our skis into Val Bever, a quiet valley between Bever and Spinas. The ski trail winds through the trees and along the river and is one of the most beautiful ski trails I have been on.

Then, we returned to the Engadin to go cross-country skiing in Val Fex, a quiet valley south of Sils. There are no cars or ski lifts in this protected area. It's just you and nature. We decided to ski in, leaving our luggage with the pick-up service and headed to the ski trail.

It wasn't easy. The trail is hilly and the snow was very slippery. I had trouble skiing up the slightest incline and felt like my arms would look like Popeye's by the time I reached the hotel! The last of the sun's rays followed us into the valley, but the evening fog was close behind.

 

We finally reached Hotel Fex (our 17th Swiss Historic Hotel!) and settled into our room. We were very happy with our stay at the hotel. The room smelled of Swiss stone pine, it was very quiet, the food was delicious and the hospitality a delight.

Unfortunately, it snowed all day Saturday. Although the snow was badly needed, it made it difficult to ski. While it was easier to ski uphill due to the stickier snow, it was hard to see. Snowflakes were constantly flying into my eyes and I kept them to the trail rather than being able to look at the landscape. Not that I would have seen much anyways. But there were a few photo opportunities along the way.

 

There are still plenty of trails in Engadin we would like to try. Though that will most likely have to wait until next season.

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Aunt Gail says:
Feb 16, 2015 06:44 PM
Oh how I yearned to be on this beautiful adventure with you both. Since our trip to Vals, and being totally taken by the gorgeous scenery, I know that I would have been just as taken with this place. You had perfect weather on the first day, but even with the snow falling, I could feel the stunning beauty of this amazing place through your fabulous photographs. Thank you!
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