"How to Escape a European Heat Wave"
After three incredibly hot weeks in Europe (three people died of heat stroke at the Pope's mass in Dubrovnik the day after I left), I escaped to relatively cool 80 degree temperatures in the Engiadina. There I hooked up with three e-pals for a week of hiking, biking, sampling nut tortes, drinking copious amounts of wine and general gossip and mayhem.
The Engiadina is a great place to see some of the best of the Swiss Alps. We based our stay in Zuoz, a charming town with perhaps more cows than human souls. The train station provided easy access to the many other destinations we explored while in the Engiadina.
"Soglio - The Hike that nearly Killed me"
OK, so it sounded great on paper.... a hike with a 600 foot elevation descent. A beautiful hike from Soglio to Stampa. Right up my alley. And as we followed the "trail" down a million stone steps it was truly beautiful. So chalk it up to the temperature (90 degrees), the altitude (about 6000 ft.), poor hydration, travel fatigue... the descent was over and I kept peeking around the corner for the Stampa, where we would connect with the Postbus and ride back to St. Moritz. But around every corner was more uphill trail!
I must say my travel partners did not have the trouble I did. And I was very grateful to the poor elderly Romanch speaking woman who was recruited by a towns person to give me a ride the last couple of kilometers!
"Cycling from Zuoz to Zernez"
All through the Engiadina there are wonderfully marked trails connecting one village to the next. We took a wonderful bike ride from Zuoz to Zernez. You can rent dual suspension mountain bikes (about 25 swiss francs for half a day) at most train stations. For a slightly higher rental rate you can return the bike to another station.
The trail was mostly gently rolling, with a few challenging climbs and a few more steep descents (that required the recollection of my "dirt camp" skills). In Zernez, we had a yummy pizza lunch and took the train back home. A very fun day.