Friday, March 18, 2011

Scenes from the Road: Engadin Valley, Swiss Edition

In the Engadin the Bernina mountains rise to the sky from the valley floor. Beside the River Inn, a number of villages lie along its banks. The houses here are amazing, with thick stone and masonry walls, funnel-shaped windows and streets that wind whimsically around. The houses are large and often shared by more than one family, with many also have a floor underneath for livestock.

As one of my friends says, "The mountains around here, they're just a reason for Swiss engineers to show off." Taking this cog train straight up a mountainside, first used in 1907, I certainly know what he means.

The view from above, looking down on the uber-lux mountain town of St. Moritz. Having hosted the Winter Olympics in 1928 and 1948, the towns of St. Moritz and Davos are bidding together for the rights to host the 2022 Winter Games. Since Lillehammer 1994, the Olympics have gone to big cities like Nagano, Salt Lake, Vancouver and Torino. Some people think it's time for a smaller, more intimate Games. What do you think?

A mountain resort with no road access, framed by the darkness of night.

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