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Monday 4 April 2016

The Shining And Other Stories

The dogs are gutted to find that they are not going to be part of the second half of our holiday double header. They realise this I suppose when we pull up at the gates of the Premier Pets Hotel. We depart towards Heathrow as MD loudly reintroduces himself to the other inmates. ‘Career of Evil’ is still playing as we drive down.

Security isn’t noticeably tighter at Heathrow, which is a surprise and possibly a disappointment to L who had hoped to get through a novel in the security queue.

The first night (Tuesday) is spent at the Holiday Inn near Zurich Airport which is the same place we stayed in last year. Last year it took us about an hour to find it, this year I know exactly where it is but still get lost in the one way system.

The next morning we head off in our hired Ford C-Max to Laax. The C-Max wasn’t my choice, we were upgraded by Hertz and given a car that is not only larger than we needed but also an automatic. Bit of a major downgrade in my book. Somehow I suspect an automatic (and a diesel one at that) is not the best car for ascending mountain passes and I am not wrong.

We spend two days skiing in the Flims-Laax-Falera which we have visited before back in 2005 but we can barely remember it. Last time we stayed in Laax itself this time we are in Flims where we are surprised to find that we are the only guests staying in the hotel. It is scarily eerie with echoes of ‘The Shining’ as we let ourselves back into a deserted hotel after going out for a meal. All the staff have gone home and they have simply left us with a phone number of someone in the next village to call in case of emergency.

Funnily enough the next day a coach party arrives and the place goes from dead to rocking all night in a blink of an eye.

On Friday we move onto Arosa to a hotel that looks more like a hostel but is at least occupied by more than just us. We haven’t visited Arosa before but they have recently added a new cable car that links the resort to Lenzerheide which we have been to a couple of times.

Arosa is slightly higher than Flims so the snow is less spring like, however over in Lenzerheide on the non-sunny side of the mountain it’s a different ball game entirely with harder snow producing some much faster pistes.

Throughout the week the weather is sunny and the promised rain never appears. L wins ‘Fall of the Week’ with the better of her two falls which was an impressive and painful face plant, so I’m told. I didn’t see either and as I didn’t manage to muster an entry myself I had to concede defeat to L.

Throughout the week lunch is usually liquid with cake, we do have some very impressive cakes, and evening meal is usually the cheapest we can get. This is usually pizza or pasta but we also managed to discover the humble rösti, which is also quite cheap. The prices of ‘normal’ food were simply eye watering along with all but the cheapest bottles of wine. We moan about the mark up on wine here but the Swiss seem to have no problem paying £30 for a bottle of wine that they get in their own supermarkets for £5. When not drinking the wine, it was Erdinger Weissbier for me preferably the Dunkel version but this serious starts to grate after a while. Erdinger is German, the only Swiss beer I had was Calanda, brewed locally at Chur, and I’m still recovering from that experience.

Our last night is back in the airport hotel at Zurich before flying home to the boys. 

(Monday 4th April)

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