With one of the most scenic railways in the world, the Bernina express zig zags across snow dusted mountains, clear crystal lakes and laid-back Villages all along the Swiss Kanton of Graubünden, to its final destination in Tirano, Italy. With dazzling views, this route offers the perfect entrance in a gourmet menu with a main dish full of stunning panoramas from the mountain kingdom of Diavolezza.
Upon my arrival at the Diavolezza station an overcast, gun metal-like colour skies threat us constantly. The weather forecast is ….. partly cloudy with some sunny spells in the next couple of days. It is mid-day in a crowd free “Bahn station”. A helmet and a climbing set is handed in to me before i step into the hanging bahn. I look through the window’s glass and there she is, speaking about the devil: The Diavolezza, struggling against embracing clouds.
The silence is interrupted by a group of Brazilian tourist. We start our 15 minutes ride up in the clouds towards the Berghaus Diavolezza. Little by little we raise like soap bubbles floating in the air. Ahhhhhh!!! with a loud voice, strong enough to be heard all the way to Playa de Ipanema In Rio, screamed the South American crowd, as the impressive mountain range appeared between the clouds. Expansive vistas are uncovered, and the Tour guide begins to raise his hand and says “ Italy is in that direction and Austria is in that direction” But no one seems to listen, we are stilled and speechless, admiring Gruabünden’s rugged beauty at its best!!!
EXPERIENCE ONE: BERGHAUS DIAVOLEZZA, A FEAST FOR ALL YOUR SENSES.
Cold wind blows, the landscape transforms rapidly as a cameleon. From semi sunny blue skies to a pearly cloudscape, it fits perfectly with the exhilarating and exciting but at the same time terrifying scenery. It is 12:30 up in the clouds, i stepped into the “Berghaus”, “Allegra” greetet me the waiting stuff at the restaurant with a spontaneous smile. The warmness sensation of the place makes me feel immediatly more somewhere in the neighbor country of Italy, than among the Swiss Alps at 3000 cold meters high. It is the Engadiner spirit, soul and energy which gives a unique character to the place. “Allegra” i replied with a big smile on my face, it feels definately just like home….
I enjoy Diavolezza’s tranquility, specially in the afternoons when just the Berghaus’ lucky guest stay over the night to admire the serenity of the Landscape.
EXPERIENCE TWO: SASS QUEDER, LUNAR LANDSCAPES.
A 30 minutes walk through rocky paths from the “Berghaus”, takes you to the Top of Sass Queder. Hiking signs are barely seen after a snowy day, and crawling is often a need as the wind increases its intensity with an unpredictable fury. A desire for getting a sunrise shooting from the Top encourages me to keep going, even if it feels wrong. Far away in the Horizon, a grey avalanche of angry purple clouds, stand by to download their power. Non-stop air comes from all directions, it is hard to even stand still on my own feet. I packed my camera stuff with the idea in mind to get back later the same day and get a sunset shoot instead, not without first taking a fast memory snap of my first encounter with Engadin’s soul!!!
I enjoy doing my job at the Berghaus. The changing panorama you get everyday at the Diavolezza is what i like the most, it inspires me!!!
EXPERIENCE THREE: MUNT PERS, TREKKING WITH EXHILARATING VISTAS.
A white inpenetrable courtain, this is what i thought when i first saw the weather on my second day at the “Berghaus”. A few Japanese tourist crowded slowly the table at the cafe. Among the crowd, some optimistic climbers were getting ready for some wild adventure. “We are going to the Top of Munt Pers” said Rex, a german enthusiastic climber who visit every year, together with a group of friends, a different mountain in the World to be discovered by their own. “It is just an hour walk” said Martin confidently, i was thinking differently with my camera bag and a tripod attached to it. The Snow kept falling and it was getting colder.
Once on the move, the courtain was being opened slowly to unveiled magnificent 360 degrees panorama views. The cold weather, the wet path made by the melted snow, and the heavy weight on my back werent an issue any more because, what we witnessed were the heaven’s doors wide open upon our arrival, we have conquered the top of the mountain, our traveller dreams have been full filled.
The clean and pure air you breath up here is fantastic!!! Everyday is different at the Berghaus, not just the landscape but the experiences we get with our guest are just memorable.
EXPERIENCE FOUR: PERS GLACIER, CLOSER TO THE PURITY OF NATURE
Hiking boots, climbing equipment, adrenaline to its highest!!! this is a preview of the preparations before descending to the evil’s throat “Pers Glacier”. The massive nature wonder, allows intrepid travelers to walk over its rough but at the same time delicated surface. Its natural patterns could be compared with those made by the brush of the most creative modern painter. It poses willingly on a plate for the visitors’ cameras, which take away part of their essence in every picture they make. Pers Glacier is a source of inspiration, a pure natural wonder, which has made people scream a deep “Ahhhhhhhh” sigh, as they stand in front of its mighty presence. It transport them to a world away from the every day!!!
Here in Diavolezza we are like a big and warm family. We will make you feel just like home as soon as you step in the Berghaus. I like the Mountain life!!!
LUIS’ EXPERIENCE HIGHLIGHTS
There were a lot of first-time experiences in Diavolezza Luis’ Adventure. He ate Pizzoccherini, walk along a glacier, was wondering what he was doing alone at 6 am in the middle of a snow storm at Sass Queder trying to get an impossible sunrise, fell over his back twice on the rocky wander path, found out a lot of similar words between Spanish and Romansh language and learned a few other words besides “Allegra”. When someone asked him what his favorite “Kanton” in Switzerland is, he didnt hesitate to say it out loud: GRAUBÜNDEN, ¡Señoras y señores!
MAKE IT HAPPEN
HOW TO GET THERE:
High in the Swiss Alps is a valley made up of lakes, mountains and light. A world in which wonders of nature, both large and small, form a paradisiacal setting for sports and relaxing leisure activities. In this inspiring high-lying valley, at 2,978m above sea level and just a 10-minute ride away by aerial cable car, is the Berghaus Diavolezza. The bottom station of the Diavolezza aerial cableway is located directly on the road leading over the Bernina Pass. It is easy to access both by car and by train (“Bernina Diavolezza” train stop)..
You can travel to the Engadin safely and conveniently by car from anywhere in Switzerland, Italy, Germany or Austria. Here are some examples of distances and travelling times:
Milan – Pontresina: 175km, 3 hours
Munich – Pontresina: 300km, 4 hours
Basel – Pontresina: 250km, 4 hours
With its winding tunnels and dizzying viaducts, the journey on board the Rhaetian Railway (RhB) from Chur via Tiefencastel to the Engadin is one of the most picturesque and – from a railway engineering point of view – most interesting in the whole of Europe. Another option is to travel from Landquart via Klosters, through the Vereina Tunnel, and into the Engadin. Online timetable: www.sbb.ch
WHERE TO STAY:
DIAVOLEZZA BERGHAUS: After the final cable car has departed and the last skiers have headed off down towards the valley, peace returns to the mountain at 3,000m above sea level. Anyone still sitting transfixed behind the huge glass windows of the mountain restaurant can delight in the enchanting evening ambience and the wonderful play of the light. Spend the night in one of our cosy beds, dreaming of the tranquillity of the mountains, the magical starry sky, or the next day’s “summit meeting”.
WHERE TO EAT:
The Berghaus Diavolezza is set amidst the breath-taking “festival hall” of the Alps at 3,000 metres above sea level. Guests can feast in the à-la-carte Bellavista panorama restaurant, the Diavolezza Stübli or the Diavolezza self-service restaurant. Delight your palate with any of the traditional, regional Graubünden and Valtellina specialities featured on our menu. Try venison bresaola (very thinly sliced, air-dried salted beef) with home-made herbal butter, or tuck into sciatt cheese accompanied by a glass of fine wine. We look forward to pampering you!
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