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Switzerland 2000
A Photo Journal from Bavaria to Italy
August 9 to September 2, 2000

The Engadine (Inn River Valley)

We traveled by train from Lugano to St. Moritz. The Alpine landscape was a series of severe peaks and valleys, and even the train route took a circuitous 6-hour journey by way of Zürich. By a stroke of luck our train ride happened to fall on a gray, rainy, dismal day - the only real bad weather day of the trip! Through the mist, we managed to capture an example of one of the several spectacular tunnels along the route.

The last leg of the trip took us through the Inn river valley, Engadine in the Romansch language. The canton of Graubünden is a lightly populated, relatively remote section of Switzerland. We met very few tourists, which is surprising because the valley and the villages are so beautiful that the Engadine should be classified as a World Heritage site all the way to the Austrian border. We used Kompass map # 148, Inntal Radweg, as our guide. The path leaving St. Moritz was wide and level but it didn't last long.

In Switzerland, easy riding is often a short-lived commodity and the route took us away from the river and into the hills bordering the Swiss National Park. The scenery was superb but after 20 miles of dirt-biking on our hybrid and road bikes with panniers, it was time for a change. We had lunch in the delightful village of Zernez and biked on the main road the last 20 miles to Scuol, Switzerland. The road had a couple great downhill sections, one being at least 3 miles long.

Scuol has many thermal springs in the area and we visited the futuristic Bogn health spa in the center of town. In addition to services such massage, sauna, tanning, and curative mineral waters, there are huge indoor/outdoor bathing facilities. Inside there are several pools of varying temperatures, mineral content and salinity. Swim through a channel leading outside and pick your therapy to ease those tired cycling muscles. Float around the perimeter of the pool with the artificial current, sit under a massaging waterfall, or find a water jet with just the right pressure to relax and enjoy. It was a fun, gigantic hot tub!

We have left Switzerland and spent the night in Landeck, Austria. Landeck is a moderately sized town in the Inn valley which appears to serve as a ski center for the area. The valley is wider and since the elevation has been dropping since we left St. Moritz, the forests are thicker. We are on the way to Innsbruck and the end of our journey.

We had one final adventure along the bike route. While stopping along the river for a rest we observed a group of rafters pulling out of the water. The raft captain took his wet-suited party to a nearby bridge for a celebratory plunge into the icy mountain water. After they emerged from the river, Pam struck up a conversation with the captain and he invited her to take a jump. Donning a wetsuit, Pam intrepidly climbed to the edge of the bridge with the captain and took the dive as seen in the photo to the right. Afterwards, we had a leisurely lunch at a country restaurant across the road and noticed clouds building to the west. Our dallying cost us later in the day. About 10 miles outside of Innsbruck the sky opened and it began pouring. Arriving in Innsbruck, drenched and muddy, we were in high spirits. The trip had been an unqualified success and talk had already begun for next year's adventure. The next day we took the train to Munich. It was not over quite yet, fortunately we planned an extra day for sightseeing in the Bavarian capital.

Uf Wiederluge!
Auf Wiedersehen!

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© 2000 Bob Parry


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