A birthday's skiing: Scuol, Engadin ...

I can't think of many places I'd rather have seen in my 27th birthday than Scuol in the Lower Engadin valley. The weekend looked promising: Scuol is not only a quaint spa town with nice cafes, sleepy squares and a charming vista of the Swiss National Park, it also boasts a friendly ski area with plenty of blue runs. We visited last summer, and if the town looked beautiful then, it looked just as much so in winter.

The old town properties, each decorated with sgraffito, were quilted in white and making a picture postcard scene. We had booked two nights in B&B Bun di Scuol, a traditional Engadiner property with wood panelled rooms in the heart of the old town. Having stayed there previously, we knew what a warm welcome we would get and what a cosy night's sleep enveloped by a blanket of silence. Never mind that I arrived with a bang, having gone splat after slipping on ice on the hill down to the B&B!

The skiing was excellent. Despite the warm weather recently, there was still a lot of snow on the gentle slopes - and what a range of blues for me to build confidence on. We enjoyed lunch of lasagne (me) and gratin (Tim), before leaving the mountain mid-afternoon and enjoying tea and cake at arty cafe MundArt on the main street. Walking around town in the early evening is beautiful, as the traditional properties begin to twinkle and you can admire the modern revamping of some of them - huge glass panels revealing ancient woodwork, and so on. There are fountains dotted around, each gushing mineral water (Scuol is surrounded by a network of natural springs with healing properties).

Later, facing a panorama of mountains gilded with moonlight, we ate tasty pizzas at Restaurant Pizzeria Taverna. If it sounds like food was a key theme, that's because it was: before returning to Zurich we treated ourselves to a slice of Apfelstrudel on a sunny terrace overlooking that breathtaking view. Time flew - sitting there was so irresistible that we almost missed our bus! If this is what getting another year older is, I'll definitely take more.
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