Tuesday, 30 November 2010


Another fine day. I took a train to Preda today. I wasn't sure to visit the lake was a possibility but the answer to that came soon after getting off the train at Preda. Snow… I tried walking through it but I couldn't walk much. If I had a ski wear or something, I could have done it. But otherwise, walking through a meter high snow was a bit too tough for me.
Decided it isn't possible, I took the train back to Pontresina. Stopped at a station called Samedan for lunch on the way.
I think I'll explore the forest near Pontresina tomorrow.

Monday, 29 November 2010


Although the hostel I'm staying at is pretty big and clean, I'm the only one here. If there is such thing as a high season and low season, now is definitely the low season.
I had breakfast and left the hostel around nine. My plan for today was to hike to a town called Surlej. I arrived there around two. I was walking very slowly and stopping sometimes, my eyes and ears censored for any kind of animal encounter. Creatures I saw was only some squirrels and birds which I couldn't identify. Spotted some deer foot prints but that was it. The walk started off with snow but around mid day the sun appeared. Today was another day to prove my boots are the best! Five hours walk in the snow and dry feet, Super.
From Surlej, there is a cable car station which will take me up to Mt Corvatsch, 3303 meters high. Mt Fuji, Japan's highest mountain, is 3776 meters high. I cheated by taking the cable car but I was almost as high as the highest point in Japan.
The summit was freezing. I think it was somewhere between -15 and -20 centigrade. I went out to take some pictures but my nostril started to freeze (at least it felt like so) and my hands were numb. The view was so beautiful with the blue sky and wind blowing up the dust like snow but I couldn't stay out no longer than five minutes. Maybe less than that. My super boots couldn't endure such condition, my feet were freezing too.
Came down and took the bus to the town I'm staying, Pontresina. I might walk to a lake tomorrow but maybe it is frozen. Since the ones I saw today were frozen. picture: above, evening sun hitting a mountain summit. middle, me. below, from 3303m high.

Saturday, 27 November 2010


From Lucarno, I stopped at Andermatt for one night and moved to Chur.
Andermatt was beyond my imagination. Everything was covered with snow. First thing I did was to find somewhere to stay for the night. There is a hostel in Andermatt but it is closed this time of the year. I found a cozy b&b instead. The town was busy with decorating the streets with Christmas illumination. I like snow, it feels like the town is quieter and smaller. And you can see a lot with only moonlight.
I came to Chur today. I didn't ride the Glacier express but the train I took rode the same route. Stunning view. Absolutely beautiful. I don't know how to describe it but I can say that it is amazing. White mountain with shadow and snow covered trees, small villages in a valley, frozen lakes. I'm going to do some more train ride tomorrow and it seems like it's going to be even better! yikes!!
picture: taken from the train

Thursday, 25 November 2010


I left the farm I stayed for three weeks on Monday. I had a great, great time there.
I stayed at a city called Chiasso and moved to Lucarno. Switzerland is colder than I imagined.
From Lucarno I visited Bellinzona, a city famous for it's three castles which is one of the world heritage. It was a very quiet and peaceful place. I had a walk in the castle like I owned the place.
Day by day, snow is working it's way down from top of the mountains and soon it will come to town. It feels like autumn and winter came together.picture: above, afternoon Lucarno. below, city of Bellinzona from incide of the castle.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Pisa, Lucca

I went to Pisa and Lucca on my last weekend at the farm.
First, I visited Pisa. It was a rainy Saturday as usual. The first impression of the leaning tower was that it looked smaller than I imagined. oops… And it didn't look so old. Everything looked rebuilt. Although, I guess it was necessary to do the maintenance or otherwise it wouldn't be leaning no more. But it was very interesting place to visit.
Lucca was much more quite compared to Pisa. Less tourist. Lucca has a old town which is surrounded by wall. Fun to walk around inside the wall. It was also interesting to see the Saturday market at the piazza. Most of them were antic markets.picture: above, the leaning tower of Pisa. below, book store at the market

Thursday, 18 November 2010

rainy tuscany

I am in a town near Florence and doing HelpX. I've been here for two weeks and this is my last week.
The farm I'm staying at has about 600 olive trees and my job here is to prune them and to pick the olives. It's been a wonderful stay and I learned many things. Working with other helpXers was also great. I guess I came in the rainy season, most of the days were rainy and sometimes stormy. Still, it was nice to see the coloring leaves and misty mountains. There are many tiny towns in the mountains. Buildings are very close to each other
and it feels strange to walk around it.
I went to Florence one weekend. Climbed up the stairs of the Duomo and crossed ponte vecchio. Panorama view from the Duomo was great with sun light leaking through the cloud.
Tomorrow will be the last working day. I'll spend the weekend here and move to Switzerland.
picture: above, city of Firenze. below, goat at the farm.