Something New

IMG_0231Everywhere you go, you run into things that you have not seen before.  This was certainly new for me.

I undetstand that companies never want to miss a chance to get their name in front of potential customers.

But really, who wants to advertise here?

And, for me, equally interesting is the sales pitch that would be used to try to convince a potential customer to advertise here??  That would be an amusing sales call for me to ride along on!!

Cool Runnings

The St. Moritz-Celerina Olympic Bobrun (known officially as the Olympia Bobrun St. Moritz-Celerina) is a bobsleigh track located in St. Moritz, Switzerland. Constructed in 1903, it officially opened on New Year’s Day 1904 and is the oldest bobsleigh track in the world and the only one that is naturally refrigerated. It is also used for other sliding sports, including skeleton and luge.  The track served as host to the bobsleigh events for both the 1928 and the 1948 Winter Olympics.

My hope was to not only visit the run, but to actually sign up for a ride down the track in a four man bobsled.  I was pretty excited…until I found out that the track was closed just like everything else in this town!!

So tonight as a reasonably good substitute and with nothing else to do, Debbie and I are watching one of our all time favorite movies.

Cool Runnings

 

This Place is a Ghost Town

We learned something new today that explains why this town feels like nothing is happening.

It turns out that the rest of Europe goes on vacation during August, but St. Moritz shuts down on May 1st for a month.  We are here during the “in between season” when it is too warm for skiing, and too cold for serious hiking and other outdoor Summer activities.

Today was the last day of operation for all of the major ski areas surrounding town, and most of the shops, hotels, and bars shut down this past week.  Great timing on our part!!

I guess they didn’t want our money!

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Zermatt vs. St. Moritz

I suppose that with a bit more research, I would not be as surprised by the differences between Zermatt and St. Moritz.

IMG_0295st. Moritz champagneThe differences are extreme and I suspect boil down to culture.  Similar in
many ways I suppose to the stereotyped Oakland Raiders vs. the San Francisco 49er fans, or perhaps the Craft Beer & Pizza vs. Champagne & Lobster crowds.

(Yes, Zermatt did have a brewery right in town.)

Both are high end resorts that market heavily to the wealthy skiing world.  In addition, Zermatt has the Matterhorn and the rugged mountain climbing folks, while St. Moritz seems to attract those that perhaps are a bit more worried about their outfits and hair.

I may be jumping to conclusions here, but that’s my first impression.

Photos follow below.  Which would you rather visit??

Zermatt

 

St. Moritz

St. Moritz


We have arrived in St. Moritz after an amazing train ride through the mountains of Switzerland. 

For once I have to say that the actual journey lived up to and exceeded the marketing hype.  The Glacier Express ride was spectacular!

Hopefully a little later this evening, I will be able to upload some of my new photos and video. 

The picture above is the view from our balcony outside the AirBnB apartment that we are renting. This trip is the first time that we have used AirBnB and I have to say that I am becoming a big fan. Very nice places, usually at half the price of a smaller hotel room. 

St. Moritz seems much more modern and spread out when compared to Zermatt. It has not grabbed me yet, but we shall see. 

Time for a walk….snow tomorrow!!  Deb can’t wait for that…

Today – The Glacier Express Train

The Glacier Express

GlacierAlbula.jpg

The Glacier Express in the Albula Valley.

The Glacier Express is an express train connecting railway stations of the two major mountain resorts of St. Moritz and  Zermatt in the Swiss Alps. The train is operated jointly by the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn (MGB) and Rhaetian Railway (RhB). For much of its journey, it also passes along and through the World Heritage Site known as the Rhaetian Railway in the Albula / BerninaLandscapes.

The train is not an “express” in the sense of being a high-speed train, but rather, in the sense that it provides a one-seat ride for a long duration travel. In fact it has the reputation of being the slowest express train in the world.[1] As St. Moritz and Zermatt are home to two well-known mountains, the Glacier Express is also said to travel from Piz Bernina to Matterhorn.

The Glacier Express first ran in 1930. Initially, it was operated by three railway companies: the Brig–Visp–Zermatt Bahn (BVZ), theFurka Oberalp Bahn, and the RhB. Since 2003, the train has been operated by RhB and a newly established company, the MGB, which arose from a merger between the BVZ and the FO.

The trip on the Glacier Express is a 7½ hour railway journey across 291 bridges, through 91 tunnels and across the Oberalp Pass on the highest point at 2,033 m (6,670 ft) in altitude. The entire line is metre gauge (narrow gauge railway), and large portions of it use a rack-and-pinion system both for ascending steep grades and to control the descent of the train on the back side of those grades.