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Hiking in the Swiss National Park

Updated: May 28, 2023

I've already added one post about my Auffahrt trip to the Engadin so didn't want to do another. However, today's walk might be one of my favourite walks ever, so it definitely deserves a post of its own.

We parked up near S'Chanf at the car park at Prasuras and then followed the signs for route 811 through the forest. After a while we met a lovely lady called Sylvie who explained that the path ahead was closed because of the Wildrühezone. We were slightly disappointed but took the different route closer to the river, joined by Sylvie who got chatting to us and could tell us all about the valley we were exploring. She pointed out deer and marmots (it was hard to miss the marmots) and could tell us the names of many of the plants such as the Grosse Enzian, the Kleine gestengelte Enzian (I might have got the name wrong), Wildes Erika (don't Google it) the yellow Himmelschlüssel and some Primeln (which are called primulas or primroses in English). She also knew the difference between Lärche (larches) and the Arven trees, Tannenbaum (fir trees) and Fichten (spruce). I realise that many of you reading this will already know the difference but I didn't and was really happy that someone could tell me. Learning something new, whatever your age, is a wonderful thing.

We walked for about three hours in total, first through the forest then next to the river, past the Parkhütte Varusch and into the national park. It was a fairly hilly walk but nothing too difficult. If we'd had more energy we could have explored further but we were happy to turn around and re-trace our steps. We could have made the walk into more of a loop by coming back on the small road but who wants to do that when the forest is so beautiful?

All in all, it was a brilliant walk on a cloudy day in May. Big thanks to Sylvie for making the walk so memorable and for speaking to us in German (lots of people switch to English when they realise that I'm from England).

You can read more about the route here.

Language Tip

This one is about numbers. The convention that I use is to write numbers between one and ten as words (so I wrote 'three hours') and to write larger numbers as digits, hence route 811. Is this similar in your language? How do you usually write numbers?

More tips

Read more cycling and hiking posts by clicking here.


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