Travel brings all sorts of adventure and experiences. The best and most memorable ones normally being the moments you didn’t plan, the spontaneous ones. For example there is no way we could have planned to be joined by a group of singing Austrians. Though first I will start with where I was.
An hour train trip on the Raethische Bahn from Chur, Switzerland (approx 3 hours from Zurich) to Arosa. Located around 1800m above sea level, Arosa sits well among the Alps of Switzerland. In winter the whole village turns into a ski field to where there are gondolas going 2639m above sea level. Although on a beautiful day like it was for me, it is a lovely place to go to the top of the mountain where you have an unbelievable look out or a great place for hiking.
The station in which you arrive in is located at the bottom of the gondolas (or cable cars), and straight in front of the lake. Around the lake you can see small cottages where people either live or rent out to others. There are also some larger wooden hotels, a perfect tourist hot spot. Around the lake you will find horses and carriages ready to give you a beautiful adventure. In winter the wheels of those carriages turns into sleds and you can have an amazing a snow adventure. In the village you can find unique little restaurants offering traditional delights like Rosti – a giant hash brown topped with all sorts sausages, cheeses and salads.
As for activities to do in Arosa, simply buy a day ticket for 13 CHF. This ticket is the ticket to heaven, as it will allow you to travel through the clouds to the peak off the mountains. It also gives you access onto the hiking trials, rope courses and shows around the village. Worth every cent, it is a must when in Arosa.
I took the gondola up the mountain and had bright blue skies and sunshine enabling me to see for miles. The gondola goes up to the second station, where I changed to the next gondola and took it all the way to the top. 2639m above sea level offers a beautiful panorama of the mountains tipped with snow, the little villages and the natural beauty of the landscape. With my Australian flag I stood on the top of the tallest peak of the mountain and felt like I was on top of the world.
The mountain was the ideal place for paragliders. Over 30 people were launching themselves off the mountain and flying so high in the sky that they just looked like a little dot. It was mesmerizing watching them circle around as peaceful as a bird. It is definitely added to my bucket list to have that experience.
During the winter Arosa becomes one of the most popular ski fields in Switzerland, entertaining all ages. Throughout Summer, Autumn and Spring it offers many hiking trials, going throughout the mountains. I decided to hike back down the middle station and then take the gondola the rest of the way. It was around an hour hike and was an incredible experience. All the hiking tracks in Switzerland are marked every 200m with stripe of colours. White and red represent that it is an easy part, though yellow and red represent it is a bit harder. It was a peaceful walk and gave me the opportunity to see amazing Swiss canary. Once we reached 1800m above sea level trees started appearing, as they can’t grow any higher on the mountain than the most of 2000m above sea level. The trees had a refreshing smell and gave you such calmness.
Dressed in their traditional clothes, group of around 15 Austrians on holidays came into the gondola and were going back down the hill. They were a lively bunch of people, all singing at the top of the lungs a traditional Austrian song. One had an accordion, one had a guitar and two had bottles of Schnapps harnessed on their backs and were giving out shots to everyone. The rest were grabbing the other people in the gondola and dancing around the small space as we descended down the hill. After a few minutes those few Austrians had the whole gondola singing, dancing, laughing and having a ball. Whilst all that was happening we were travelling down beautiful landscape, throughout the mountains. Dancing around that gondola with group of strangers was so much fun and really introduced me to the joy of spontaneous travel.