© 2012 Kim

Let’s Go Hiking….in the Swiss National Forest!

This week while Aaron is in America on business, the kids plotted out a number of activities to do. Today was Zach’s day to choose. He chose hiking in the Swiss National Forest. We set out early this morning for the 3 hour drive to Zernez, Switzerland. The closets town that most people have heard of is St. Moritz. The Swiss National Forest is located at the Swiss/ Italian/ Austrian triangle border near Engadine region. Zernez is in the upper portion of the Lower Engadine. Getting to Zernez allowed for us to experience one more unique activity that we had not done before. We rode on the car train through the Vereina Tunnel under the mountain just before getting to Zernez. To our surprise, it was loud and kind of bumpy, but it was a new experience.

Upon arrival in Zernez, we noticed the spoken language to be different, but could not make out what it was. It sort of sounded like the Swiss German we were use to, but it had a bit of Italian tossed in. We discovered that it was Romansch – a native dialect to this region. About 70% of the population in this area speak Romansch with other languages being German and Italian.

Our goal is to hike the 3.5hrs medium level hike to Murtaröl with an 1100 KM ascent covering 9km of zig zag trails. The sun is shinning. The temp is in the mid 60’s. Water and snacks are loaded in the backpacks, like top anti theft backpack. Hiking boots are on. Let the journey begin……

At the start of the hike is a covered bridge that crosses the Inn River. We then walked along a farmers property to begin the ascent to Murtaröl. As we hike, we pause periodically for photos, water breaks and exploration. After nearly 3 hours of hiking… we made it Bellavista (about half way by clocked time to our destination of the summit, but 2/3 of the way when measured by distance). We continued on to hike for another 45minutes before calling it a failed attempt and leaving Zach a bit disappointed we did not make the summit. By now Katelyn has been covered in hives for hours and just miserable from feeling itching. She has been struggling with hives with activities much of this summer. Although she was very miserable with itching, she pressed on until she just could not stand it any longer and we were still a long distance off from the summit. So…we began the 2 hour descent back down the mountain. Upon our arrival back in Zernez, we found a COOP grocery store to get some cold beverages and fresh food for a picnic dinner in the car. Remember the car train ride we spoke of earlier? That is the perfect place for a picnic in the car. 20 minutes of no driving allowed us all to get some supper, yet still covering territory to make our way home.

Most of the photos were taken by Zach on this adventure.




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