Do not sleep in the Train or Bus in Switzerland
05.07.2013 - 07.07.2013
St. Moritz & Caumasee
Work training ended on this date, and I rushed to catch the train for the last leg of this wonderful journey. I had taken a week's holiday to further explore the wonders around me but I was already very late as I originally expected to leave Wettingen at noon. However, in my determination to clear as much work crap as I could before leaving, I did not start my journey until nearly 5pm. Luckily for me that the daylight hours were long during summer and I could make full use of my time.
My plan was to visit the beautiful Caumasee and it's nearby municipality Flims. However, needing a cheap hostel to stay for the night, my online search found the cheapest one in St. Moritz. I know this might sound weird, especially when St. Moritz is well known to be an expensive resort town for skiing enthusiasts, but a search in hostelworld and booking.com introduced me to the youth hostel there.
My pattern of staying far away from the actual location which I plan to explore was actually a VERY good decision when it came to travelling in Switzerland. This was because looking at the scenery outside the train while travelling from one place to another is an adventure by itself. As mentioned in my previous posts, the landscape of Switzerland was breathtaking. And I never got bored looking outside the train or bus. Furthermore, I had experienced wonderful surprises when I randomly picked different places to stay (more on that later). However, I wouldn't recommend this style of travelling if one does not have the Swiss Pass or Tageskarten which allows unlimited access to public transport.
St. Moritz Youth Hostel was definitely a good choice to stay in terms of budget and also location and the facilities were great! It was located quite far from the main town and I love the serenity of the surroundings. There was a nice little forest-y area next to it for a short hike. I actually started hiking at nearly 8pm and finished the short hike around 9.30pm. At night! The wonders of long daylight hours there never ceased to amaze me =)
Unfortunately, I was unlucky enough to be bunking with 3 snorers! That night was an orchestra of snooze-fest for my roommates. Again, I regretted scrimping on the few CHF and not getting an all female dorm room instead =(
Next day bright and early, I took off for Caumasee. I can't really remember, but it was a nearly 3 hours train+bus ride away. But as usual, the ride was just wonderful. The weather was perfect and cooling, and I couldn't wished for a better condition to hike.
I would recommend this place to anyone who is not particularly athletic as the hike was incredibly easy. I even saw a pregnant woman pushing a stroller with her baby in it. In fact - to all those people who almost never exercise or jog, just know that I am one of you, and I basically hike all the easy trails during my travels.
My first glimpse of Caumasee was just as I saw in the photos during my research & planning stage. It was so blue it looked fake. it was Just lovely.
One of the bad surprise I had was that the entrance to the lake was actually closed off with fence and all. Entrance fee was required and I refused to pay just to get passed the fence to take a couple of photos!
Hiking past the lake and on towards the upper trails, it is amazing to see how popular this place was. As mentioned earlier on, I saw pregnant mom, old ladies, fit adults, and happy little kids everywhere.
After hiking for hours, I came back again to Caumasee. This time, I took the path to the other side of the lake - and surprise surprise - it was not fenced! I could actually walk all the way to the water.
There were people who brought their dogs here to play. It was so fun to look at the dogs that I stayed here for longer than I anticipated.
It was nearing 3pm, and I was a extremely late by now as I had originally planned to explore Flims as well going back to explore the municipalities near St Moritz. Worried that I might missed the hourly bus, I started hurrying back again to the bus stop. However, as luck would have it, I would keep to the tradition of getting lost. I could not find my way out, and I even saw a US post box out of nowhere =P
By the time I finally trekked out of the forest, I stumbled upon a path which leads right to the road at the middle of nowhere! It was so tiresome! I had to walked for another 15 minutes or so before I actually reached the bus stop again.
(Note : Photo is not of bus stop - they aren't so grand. LOL. The bus stop is right in front of this quaint building)
As it was already 4pm or so, and again like my previous hike back in Mt Rigi, my energy depleted everytime I got "lost". This time however, I wisely decided to head back instead of moving on to Flims.
My rest in the train back to St Moritz revived me and after skipping Flims, I moved on towards Maloja. Again, as bad luck would have it, the bus schedule during late evening around this area was extremely sporadic. My itchy feet keeps wanting to explore this area but time was against me! I only spent an hour or so here before going back to St. Moritz.
With all my plans, I still missed out on Flims and the majority of Maloja. Big regrets here that I packed too much into this day. If I ever return to Switzerland, I must come back to Maloja again!