Hiking the Swiss Alps of Adelboden and Pontresina


02 September 2015

Departure day from OurChalet!

Because of road construction and possible traffic delays, we decide to take the 0834 bus instead of the 0854 bus from Adelboden Oey to Frutigen. Well, that turns out to be interesting because the 0834 bus never shows up and the 0854 bus doesn’t stop because it is already full. An extra bus has already been dispatched and comes by at 0858 and, ahem, drives quickly down the valley to get everyone to the Bahnhof on time. In fact, we are a minute early.

Interior of Inter-City express train. Nice!
Interior of Inter-City express train. Nice!
Village along the Rhaetian Railway from Chur to Samedan.
Village along the Rhaetian Railway from Chur to Samedan.
Church along the Rhaetian Railway.
Church along the Rhaetian Railway.
One of the many viaducts along the Albulabhn.
One of the many viaducts along the Albulabahn.

Thus begins our long day of travel. We started with the bus to Frutigen, followed by a short walk to the Bahnhof to board the Lötschberg RegioExpress train to Bern. We switch trains in Bern and continue on to Zürich. There, we have to make a fast transfer to the Chur train. In Chur, we leave the Schweizerische Bundesbahnen (SBB) rail system and enter the Rhätische Bahn (Rhaetian Railway) system. The train from Chur to Samedan takes us on the Albulabahn (Albula Railway) and we are fascinated by the variety of bridges, viaducts, and spiral tunnels. One last train and we finally arrive in Pontresina.

Train schedule from Adelboden to Pontresina.
Train schedule from Adelboden to Pontresina.

In advance, I had printed out the train schedule which includes the platform for each train. This was helpful to making train transfers quickly and efficiently; i.e., not having to check the departure board in each station. In some cases, there were only minutes before one arrival and the next departure.

Restaurant conveniently located beneath our hotel.
Restaurant conveniently located beneath our hotel.
Dinner by candlelight.
Dinner by candlelight.

Once in Pontresina, there’s still a long uphill walk from the Bahnhof to Engadinerhof hotel. We arrive at the hotel and our room is ready with chocolates on the pillows and a hand-written welcome card on the table.

After settling in, we wander around town and learn that restaurants are expensive. Well, we already knew this but the menus posted out front were a gentle reminder. We visit the COOP store to buy some trail foods then head back to the hotel restaurant. I order a simple spaghetti with tomato sauce dish and the seasoning is both nuanced and delightful. (I would order this several more times during our week-long visit.)

A narrow section of Via Maesta (Main Street) in Pontresina, Graubünden, Switzerland.
A narrow section of Via Maesta (Main Street) in Pontresina, Graubünden, Switzerland.
Fountain along Via Maestra.
Fountain along Via Maestra.

After dinner, we decide that we need to walk after a long day of train rides and end up at the Sta. Maria Kirche just as the 8 o’clock bells ring. The ringing continues for several minutes and is an auditory treat. We walk around the church grounds and spend some time viewing the headstones in the cemetery—some of which are especially ornate.

We wander through the village until it gets dark and then return to our hotel to have a dessert of strawberries and cookies.

Sta. Marie Kirche in Pontresina.
Sta. Marie Kirche in Pontresina.
Evening lights bring a beautiful glow to the old buildings in Pontresina.
Evening lights bring a beautiful glow to the old buildings in Pontresina.

What an interesting day!

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