Beauty of Far East Switzerland
"A nice picturesque village"
Not as fashioned as St Moritz, not as “hype” as Davos, rather touristy, but a real nice place nested in the Engadine Alps, where you can start beautiful hikes to passes and summits.
On physical geography books or maps, Pontresina is located in the Engadine Alps, but in administrative or political maps it is in the Graubünden canton (The German name is also used in English, apparently, in the local Rhetic Romanche language it is called Grischun, in Italian, Grigioni, Grisons, in French, etc); it is a special place, quite far from the main roads, deep far East Switzerland, between Italy and Austria, where the mountains, even invaded by numerous ski and summer resorts with their ski lifts and cable cars, have kept a real mountain character, and in the valleys between the high massifs, not far from the glaciers, are nested a few picturesque, colourful villages, and Pontresina is one of them!
"A few little gems"
The mountains are of course for me the main reason for a trip there, but the village, very well located as “base camp” for planning hikes to the high meadows and glaciers is a really picturesque place, a bit like in old books, and a stroll in the little streets bordered by old farmhouses will reward you with beautiful views, on houses and mountains, and walking a bit further, you will discover some beauties like the small Ste Maria church, a well hidden gem, surrounded by a moving, exotic cemetery.
I post here a few tips about hikes and trips in the mountains, but most of mountain pictures are in the Grishun/Graubünden page
"Proud to be Romanche"
The area is also a special one for its people and language, still surviving in the globalised world: Rhetic Romanche language, a Latin language, a very ancient form, spoken nowadays by less than 50.000 people, but still an official language in Switzerland.
I did not learn Rhetic Romanche language during my stay in Pontresina or Engadine, only a few words, like “Chesa”, which is not “cheese”, ”Käse”, “church”, no it means “house” and many houses have a name and it is written on them, in more or less artistically way. To me that demonstrates some pride to belong to a community. . . .