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Switzerland 2013: Sapuen

posted by Martin Rubli at 15:33

Riding a sled is one of the simpler winter sports. Besides a sled that you can easily borrow you only need shoes that won't let the snow spray up your pant legs. (Note to self: Buy shoes that won't let the snow spray up my pant legs.)

It's also the kind of thing you can pick up well enough in the first ten minutes, so that you have fun in the remaining ten minutes of the downhill ride.

Here are a few pictures from the Sapün, a little side-valley between Chur and Arosa.


The beginning (if you're walking, that is) of the sled run leading through the Sapün valley.

The beginning (if you're walking, that is) of the sled run leading through the Sapün valley.

The snow was just hard enough to walk and just soft enough to get (re)acquainted with downhill sled riding.

The snow was just hard enough to walk and just soft enough to get (re)acquainted with downhill sled riding.

Icicles come in all kinds of shapes, including kitchen spatulas!

Icicles come in all kinds of shapes, including kitchen spatulas!

An old wooden covered bridge and the new one next to it. Getting yanked off the sled would really take all the fun out of it, something that the local forefathers failed to consider. :-)

An old wooden covered bridge and the new one next to it. Getting yanked off the sled would really take all the fun out of it, something that the local forefathers failed to consider. :-)

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The lazy way of doing it: Hire the snowmobile to the top, so that the exercise is safely constrained to the cheek muscles chewing your lunch.

The lazy way of doing it: Hire the snowmobile to the top, so that the exercise is safely constrained to the cheek muscles chewing your lunch.

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The view back.

The view back.

Ice climbing, anyone?

Ice climbing, anyone?

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Life's good when you're being pulled by a horse. The horseshoes' soles would later crumble and leave little rubber pieces all over Switzerland – perhaps something to do with this strenuous task?

Life's good when you're being pulled by a horse. The horseshoes' soles would later crumble and leave little rubber pieces all over Switzerland – perhaps something to do with this strenuous task?

Finally! After a well-deserved and delicious lunch at the [http://www.heimeli.com/ Heimeli] it's time for the fun part!

Finally! After a well-deserved and delicious lunch at the Heimeli it's time for the fun part!


Switzerland 2013: Arosa in winter (a.k.a. the silence of the squirrels)

posted by Martin Rubli at 11:38

The second installment in the White Switzerland 2013 series. We figured we'd go feed some squirrels along the Eichhörnliweg (squirrel trail) in Arosa, but either the squirrels had gone south for the winter or been (over)fed by tourists in the few days before. While we did see a handful of deers from afar not a single squirrel showed up, so there was really nothing left to do but point the lens at the snow.


The cable car to the Weisshorn.

The cable car to the Weisshorn.

The view towards the Weissflue and Chüpfenflue.

The view towards the Weissflue and Chüpfenflue.

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The Swiss answer to cold weather isn't to stay inside with the baby, but to strap a pair of runners to your baby cart.

The Swiss answer to cold weather isn't to stay inside with the baby, but to strap a pair of runners to your baby cart.

This is what happens when squirrels are hiding, leaving photographers bored ...

This is what happens when squirrels are hiding, leaving photographers bored ...

... and this.

... and this.

Waste sorting Arosa-style. A dedicated container for horse manure.

Waste sorting Arosa-style. A dedicated container for horse manure.

The upper lake in Arosa which is the course of the annual horse race. This year, however, the ice was a bit to thin, so the event was canceled.

The upper lake in Arosa which is the course of the annual horse race. This year, however, the ice was a bit to thin, so the event was canceled.

We came all the way from Asia to see ... Mandarin ducks. :-)

We came all the way from Asia to see ... Mandarin ducks. :-)

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Switzerland 2013: Selamatt

posted by Martin Rubli at 16:32

Once a decade I need to see snow, just so I don't forget what it looks like, and the year 2013 was as good as any, so we switched the scenery of the evergreen island of Taiwan to the snowy white one of Switzerland.

Commencing the album series is our trip to Alt St. Johann and Selamatt in the valley of Toggenburg.

If I've learned anything from this trip it's that a) my layering system of functional outdoor clothes resists even wintry Switzerland, b) my double-layer OR gloves don't, and c) don't trust the parking instructions of the Selamattbahn or you'll have your car towed out of the snow twice in a single day.

We took the "Selamattbahn" gondola lift first and then walked to Iltios and all the way down to Unterwasser from where we took the bus back to Alt St. Johann:

On to the photos:

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The mountain on that last photo is the famous Säntis. Maybe after our next Switzerland trip we'll have some close-up photos from that mountain - it is on our to do list. :-)