Ski-yoga and sledging in St. Moritz

St. Moritz in the Engadin valley is a funny old place. The home of winter tourism - which celebrates its 150th anniversary this coming season - it retains a glitzy, old-world charm. A charm imbued with the intrigue of wealth and glamour. It is easy to dismiss as expensive and snooty - just as I had. But, as we meandered along the lakefront under clear moonlight, the town above illuminated like a cluster of fireflies, I couldn't fail to be enchanted.

Our accommodation for the evening helped. Hotel Cervus is an authentic terracotta Engadiner property, just enough removed from the main drag. It offered a friendly welcome, a cosy room that meshed the traditional with the modern in a tasteful way (think wood-beamed ceilings above sparse white walls, slick fittings and a flat-screen TV) and a homely four-course dinner - featuring trout in horseradish sauce and stewed pear with cinnamon ice cream - served in a welcomingly warm Stube (dining room). We awoke to glistening mountains and the pristine white carpet of the frozen lake, which was being prepared for the annual cross country ski marathon.

Perfect weather for our day's activity: ski-yoga. Sounds crazy, right? Where else would create a new trend combining skiing and yoga but St. Moritz? But, as I found out (and you can read about in my article for The Local news agency), it is anything but the latest fad. Instead, it is a new way of looking at skiing that really helped me, as a skier beset with anxiety and nerves, to approach steep pistes more confidently and safely. The person who commented on my article that it reads like PR has missed the point - I enjoyed the experience so much that I had nothing less than positive to say.

The previous day, we did something entirely different: the sledge run from Preda to Bergun. An iconic red Rhaetian Railway engine took us to the sleepy hamlet of Preda, which was a hive of activity with sledgers setting off along the well-known 4 mile route (Europe's longest floodlit sledge run). It was snowing lightly, snowflakes dusting our faces as we glided through woodland and beneath the railway viaducts of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

We arrived in Bergun in good time for the train back up to Preda, and so undertook a steeper sledge route - from Darlux back into the valley. If I had complained about the route from Preda being too gentle even for my tastes, I immediately regretted it. This run saw us haring over deep ridges in the snow, jolting up and down on the wooden frame, crashing into the corners and feeling bruises form all over our body. The skeleton experience? I was relieved that it was a re-run of Preda-Bergun that we opted for next, so my joints could ease back into position.

Dusk was falling, the lamps along the run casting a silver glow, and, when we reached Bergun, the main street was filled with the aroma of woodsmoke and warm mulled wine. Our weekend couldn't have been further removed from my preconceptions about St. Moritz.
© Emmy in Switzerland | All rights reserved.
Blog Layout Created by pipdig