Escaping the Zurich fog

It's been an exquisite day in the mountains, and thank goodness we escaped Zurich, as the fog that was hanging like a film of amnesia over the city this morning later greets us like a high stone dam as we drive back from the sunshine-glistening Alps. We walk from Flims in the canton of Graubuenden in eastern Switzerland down to the milky turquoise Caumasee amid copper-leaved trees, where we gazed up at the mighty Flimserstein. From there, gentle woodland trails lead us high above the spectacularly snaking Rhine Gorge and down to the Crestasee. A pool of inky green water with a tutu of dense pines backed by pointed white summits, it looks, I imagine, like a scene from Alaska. We while away time over lunch by the lake - a feast of hummus sandwiches and pork pie from the award-winning Newport Butchers in East Yorkshire - and laugh over memories of wet walks in the Lake District when I was little.

Dad has been here for the weekend, and yesterday dawned sunny - one of those crisp autumn days when everything sparkles. We walked around the Katzensee, where the golden leaves still clung to the trees, before journeying into a very Christmassy Zurich. After fresh mint tea and moist chocolate Gugelhupf at Conditorei Schober - which resembled a Christmas decorations boutique with its large-baubled trees filling every corner - we meandered among the twinkling stalls and tantalising scents of mulled wine and sugary Kaiserschmarrn at the Wiehnachtsdorf beside the lake, then enjoyed a concert at the Singing Christmas Tree. It may still be November, but anything that cheers up the long cold nights is very welcome.

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