Arosa and the Bears

28 August 2019 | 0 comments

Switzerland…aaaah….perfectly pointy mountains, pristine houses and gardens, trains running like clockwork, efficiently signposted walking paths, cute little marmots peeking out of flower filled alpine meadows, everything neat and tidy. Just what I expected and love. I did not expect the bears. Big, furry, brown bears.

The people of Arosa decided to rescue three badly treated circus/restaurant bears and provide them with a very reasonable slice of their lovely mountains, complete with a small patch of forest, pools and rocky outcrops. Granted, all this comes at the price of being gawped at by the many visitors when they come and get their food, but they have award winning care and is a great step up from being in chains. And they are huge, furry and completely amazing to gawp at…paws bigger than your average bucket.

On to other recollections of the week, when the sun shone kindly for the first four days, and we completed four outstanding walks. First up a wild and deserted valley away from the ski developments, to the Ramozhutte, an alpine hut offering a perfect spot for our first picnic. Then  a really squirty waterfall to see on the way down, just to keep us cool when needed.

Our second walk started at the top of the Wiesshorn cable car. We meandered through a small hidden valley, a protected nature reserve, with an exceptional crop of wild flowers, including the vanilla orchids I like so much. Good cake at the Hornlihutte, then on and over the spectacular Gredigs Furggli pass for lunch, later a memorable stop for paddling in the stream, then a beautiful lake, the Alpisee. Some of our party had a gentler afternoon covering some ground by cablecar and taking in the mountain air at a more leisurely pace.

Our third walk was massive, 28km with plenty of up and down. We climbed first to the lovely alpine hamlet of Mederghen, coffee and cak (blueberry tart – delicious). The cloud started to come in, probably no bad thing as we had to negotiate the ladders (all the easier for some not to be able to see the views). Then, when the going got tough, Snowy the owl pitched in with a timely delivery of Werthers.  A quiet and atmospheric walk on through the mist with glimpses of the mountain, then the long walk down finally in the sunshine to catch the train back across the viaduct and up the looping tracks to Arosa.

Our last big walk turned out to be a great summit day up to the top of the Shiesshorn. In my determination to plod on up to a perfect picnic viewpoint, we overshot the path, which turned out to be a fortuitous error indeed,  allowing us an easy and fabulous traverse across the meadows and marmot spotting. A quick climb to the summit for some and a wonderful descent via the waterfall. A grand day out.

Shiesshorn summit fever

Our final two days were more gentle: intermittent cloud and rain kept us off the high level walks, but we found some nice balcony walks and some very fine mountain restaurants for cake and lunch, with time to wander around Arosa and visit the bears. Not to mention re sampling the delights of the Excelsior swimming pool and plying the odd game of pool.

What a lovely week and what a friendly group. I‘ll definitely put this on my list to return to. Thanks all.


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