(Photos by Sandy Zimmerman)
We had a wonderful experience in Val Rosegg, a car-free side valley just one and a half hours from Pontresina, in Switzerland. You can either choose walking or hiking along the trails or over the mountain but the best way to visit Val Rosegg is by horse drawn-carriages in the summer and horse-drawn sleds during the winter months. You need a few blankets for this romantic ride surrounded by waterfalls, rivers, cliffs, mountains and glacier views. Away from the traffic, all guests have to do is relax and watch for wildlife as the carriage slowly moves toward Val Rosegg. We hear birds singing then there is the sound of hoofs touching the ground and another horse-drawn carriage passes us along the way. Since the farmers do not have fences, cows often are seen crossing the paths. The bells around the cow’s necks are the method of finding them at round-up time.
Finally we arrived at a picturesque Alpine meadow and were surprised to find a lovely small hotel at the bottom of the mountain. What a scene out in the wilderness, now we had time to explore the valley, have a snack, lunch, cocktail, or check into the hotel.
The Hotel-Restaurant Roseg Gletscher will amaze you! Beside a cafeteria-style section and a full- service restaurant, their dessert trolley is famous for their tarts, cakes, pastries, creams, and puddings with wild berries and fresh whipped cream toppings.
The carriages ran six times a day allowing guests to enjoy themselves and catch the next one that suits them. We have found the meaning of “getting away from it all and going “off the beaten path”. It is hard to imagine a hotel, gourmet restaurant, cafeteria, and bar here in the middle of a forest.
One of the most exciting features of the hotel is the large outdoor terrace affording magnificent views of the glacier. The towering glacier seems so close. Many people take this side trip for Nordic skiing, climbing or hiking the glacier. www.roseg-gletscher.ch
Pontresina is located in the Southern Alps in Engadin at an altitude of 1800 meters, almost in the middle of the triangle formed by Zurich, Milan and Munich. This area around Pontresina and the neighboring villages have a colorful history and many ski areas. Pontresina offers accommodations from budget rooms, mid-range “feng shui” hotels, to elegant 5-star traditional hotels. They have 22 hotels with something for everyone.
Their restaurants are interesting with a wide variety of cuisine from local specialties, Asian, Italian, or international dishes. Each of the restaurants has their own individual choice of traditional village, quaint Engadin “Stube” and modern cosmopolitan atmosphere.
For information about the Pontresina area, things to do, side trips, unique experiences, traditional dairy farms, resorts, specials, packages, accommodations, restaurants, settings for weddings, and anything you would like to know, please see the Pontresina Tourist Office’s website. www.pontresina.ch
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