A group of 31 Fund-Bank Ski Club members took part in the St.Moritz, Switzerland, trip departing on February 8 and returning on February 16, 2020. Majority of the group joined a day trip to Tirano in Italy, which turned out to be fabulous!
St. Moritz is a ski town of style, elegance and class…and, of course, great skiing. Once the group met up in Zurich with our Land Only travelers, we were on our way to St. Moritz. On the four-hour bus ride, we experienced a bright sunny day and majestic Swiss Alp views. As we drove into town eyeing spectacular St. Moritz pinned to a hilly slope and the magnificent mountains surrounding it, the excitement grew. When we unloaded the bus, we were greeted with a glass of Champaign and a detailed presentation from the Chief de Village about our upcoming week, including all the activities the hotel offered. When later we made our way to the rooms, we were stunned with the view of the lake and the town of St. Moritz that lay before us.
The trip was a tremendous success: we were lucky to ski powder two days out of six and enjoy sun and perfectly groomed slopes the other four days. In a nutshell, St.Moritz rewarded us with six fabulous days of skiing, great off-piste experiences, amazing mountain views and comfortable weather. All of us were assigned to groups with experienced ski instructors, had lessons “on the go” and skied and explored all four fabulous mountains that St.Moritz has to offer. Once on the slopes off we go to groomed or ungroomed off-piste slopes and then to relax for lunch on the mountain enjoying a great meal….sun…..and may be a glass of great wine celebrating the joy of skiing in Swiss Alpes!
ClubMed hotel is conveniently located in a walking distance to Corviglia Gondola, as well as to St.Moritz Dorf with museums and endless shopping, Train Station and is next door to an enormous SPA with mineral water, bubble baths and jacuzzi. The hotel itself is magnificent: great shared facilities, full size theatre, two fabulous restaurants, large SPA with steam & aroma baths, swimming pool and saunas, as well as a comfortable relaxing area that allowed us to prepare our muscles for the next day of skiing. We will never forget gourmet dinners with foie gras and fresh oysters, raclette, racks of lamb and duck confit, just to mention few, as well as “all you can possibly imagine” breakfasts that were a part of the package. And if you get tired of the European gourmet dishes you can always order Swiss FondueJ….Elaborate menu and friendly staff. The group chemistry was so good that we just glued together, meeting at breakfast, having lunch together on the slopes or in the village, socializing during dinners at the reserved tables assigned for the group.
Skiing in St.Moritz was truly exciting, offering challenging slopes (sometimes, very challenging for me), diverse quality of snow (we do not have that kind of snow in US), endless off-piste terrain, freshly groomed slopes, comfortable skiing for all levels, sunny and comfortable weather. The sun was strong and everyone got a nice suntan. Majority of the group skied 5-6 days, and we never got bored with the slopes, skiing most of them for the first time.
On the first morning the wind was so strong that all Gondolas were closed. We loaded a hotel bus and went with our guide to Piz Corvatsch where slopes were protected from wind. It was a great day of skiing: we found untouched slopes and left first tracks there. The rest of the days we alternated between Corviglia, the local mountain in town, Corvatsch, Lagalb and Diavolezza, named after the beautiful she-devil (if you want to learn more about she-devil, please click here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diavolezza), enjoying skiing each time different terrain, admiring fairy-tale mountain scenery and taking pleasure of delicious food at the ClubMed mountain cafes. The non-skiers also took advantage of the sunny weather and rode the funicular and gondola up to Piz Nair, the top of the mountain Corviglia, to join the skiers for lunch and enjoy the views. If that wasn’t enough, after a bit more skiing we all ended our day with après ski at the Main bar of ClubMed.
We usually started our days by meeting at the entrance of the hotel at 8:30, taking a hotel bus or walking to Gondola, then switching to chair lifts during the day, and did not quit until 4 PM when the lifts were closing, sliding all the way down to the hotel ski room.
Endless skiing, endless exploration of the beautiful mountains, endless challenges, endless fun. What more can a skier dream about? Only a nice après-ski and dinner!
Tourist Program in St.Moritz
On the day of the arrival and on the day of the departure (on both Sundays), we went to watch White Turf – International horse races that made St.Moritz famous. A unique, exclusive, exciting horse-racing, with lively music and inspiring art exhibitions, that takes place in crispy winter sunshine on the frozen lake among the stunningly beautiful, snow-capped mountains of St Moritz. Thousands of tourists and local families with children and dogs. Spectacular, unforgettable experience!
On Thursday, after three days of skiing twenty of us took the Bernina Express to Tirano, Italy. To tell you the truth, the skiing was so good that I was tempted to follow my ski buddy’s’ example and to skip the trip to Tirano. Thanks God, I did not do it!! The views across the mountains and glaciers were truly stunning, enhanced by the train’s panoramic windows. We were also impressed by the engineering feat that made the Red Train possible in the first place with the numerous bridges, tunnels and viaducts that were
needed. To understand the unique experience that we went through, here’s some interesting facts about Red Train (the Bernina Express): The train follows the Bernina Pass, and it is the highest Alpine crossing (reaching an altitude of 2250 meters) and the steepest rail route in the world. The route is one of very few in the world to be listed as a UNESCO world heritage site.
After riding the Red Train, walking around Tirano, visiting gorgeous Cathedrals we had a group lunch at Bistrot Merizzi on the outdoor patio, bathing in gentle, warm Italian sun. I am confident that I would have missed an experience of my life if I did not try black buckwheat pasta and dried beef Bresoala that are unique for that part of Italy at Bistrot Merizzi. Delicious!!
A horse-drawn sleigh ride on Valentine’s Day was an obvious highlight of the trip. So many philosophical, life resolving observations one can experience on a quaking ride of a horse carriage, in a middle of the night, watching the stars? Thank you, Barbara, for organizing this romantic adventure.
Besides the Bernina Express and the beautiful mountain views, the group of non-skiers enjoyed some of the other activities such as cross-country skiing, horseback riding, skating on the lake, snowshoeing, shopping, and High Tea at Badrutt’s Palace – a famous five star hotel in town. Some group participants also took train and bus rides to nearby towns of Chur and Chiavenna.
Many of the group went to the thermal SPA, nearby our hotel, and floated for hours on bubble beds and jacuzzi.
I think all the participants will agree that the St.Moritz was a great trip for skiing, “fine dining”, sun tanning, sightseeing, exploring history and culture of Swiss Alpes, finding breathtaking views, shopping, night life……and many-many more.