Learning to ski has always been on my ‘to do’ list for as long as I can remember. I’ve visited both Whistler and Banff, the mecca’s of skiing in Canada, but I never quite got round to skiing while I was there. When the chance to learn to ski with Ski Cool St. Moritz using the UPS system came up, I jumped at the chance. Would they be able to teach me though, I’m not quite as nimble as I was in my 20’s or 30’s, but St. Moritz? How could I say no?
Getting to St. Moritz
The first leg of the journey starts with Swiss Air at Heathrow. The flight is only an hour and forty five minutes, so just as I’m getting comfy, we arrive in Zurich. I make my way to the train station and board the Glacier Express glass topped train to Chur. This leg of the journey is longer, three and a half hours, but this is no ordinary train journey, it is more of an experience. As the train twists around the mountains and valleys, it’s impossible to tell which direction you are going, you feel as though you are in an Escher painting where one minute the lake is on the left, then through a tunnel and now it’s on the right. The scenery is beautiful, and a taste of what is to come in St. Moritz.
I’m arriving in St. Moritz, near the end of the season, so the lake is frozen over, but there is still good snow coverage on the mountains. I’m met at the station by Alina and Vittorio from Ski Cool, who’ve organised an itinerary for me. As I’m new to Switzerland, I’ve given them free reign to choose a range of activities for me. They whisk me off to the Nira Alpina hotel to freshen up and get ready for whatever they’ve planned for me.
First off I have a guided tour of St. Moritz Dorf, the centre which surrounds the frozen lake. On this side of the lake sits the town, with grand houses, boutique shops and hotels. On the other side is a more modern suburb of houses and amenities. St Moritz and the Engadin region are celebrating 150 years of winter tourism this year. To celebrate, there are many festivities and events planned in St Moritz and the Alpine World Ski Championships will be held here in 2017. Although I always associate Switzerland with Winter sports, I’m surprised to find out that during the summer months, there’s plenty to do here. The ice on the lake makes way for sailing and fishing, and golf is popular too. There are wellness spas aplenty. I’m beginning to wish I was staying longer than 3 days! During the Winter months, the lake is taken over by ice skaters and cross country skiers. In february, the lake turns to black ice and you can see the fish swimming below. During March, the cross country marathon attracts up to 15,000 visitors.
St Moritz has an International feel, it’s close to the Italian border and there’s a mixture of old world Swiss architecture and modern designs. Switzerland is well known for its multilingual society, and in St Moritz, the official language of Rumantsch is still spoken.
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