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The Bernina Pass is the only access from Switzerland to Valposchiavo, one of the Italian-speaking regions of Graubünden. Beyond Poschiavo, the road leads to Tirano, one of the towns in the Valtellina region of northern Italy.
Chur is the capital of the canton of Graubünden in south-eastern Switzerland. With some 38,000 inhabitants, it is a fairly large city by Swiss standards, and it has preserved a beautiful old town, almost entirely pedestrianised.
The abbey stands above the main road and is reached via the Via Claustra, which runs alongside the imposing building and offers beautiful views of the Surselva landscape. The valley we see opening up in front of us is the Val Medel, which climbs towards the Lukmanier Pass and Ticino.
View of the lakes from the Flüela Pass at 2384 m above sea level, which connects Davos (Landwasser Valley) with Susch (junction of the Upper and Lower Engadine). On the right is the Lai da la Scotta and on the left the Lai Nair. Since the opening of the Vereina railway line in 1999, which also transports cars between Klosters and Susch through a 19 km long tunnel, the Flüela Pass is no longer open in winter.
The Julier Pass, at 2284m, is one of the three high mountain passes connecting the Engadine with the rest of Switzerland, along with the Albula and Flüela. It starts in Tiefencastel and ends in Silvaplana in the Upper Engadine, passing through magnificent scenery.
Lago di Poschiavo
You can walk or cycle all the way around Lake Poschiavo, on a beautiful path along the water's edge, but stopping your car to take photos or to shoot panoramas is almost impossible. The slope is steep and road, railway and path share the space... We just shot some panoramas at the very end of the lake, near the Miralago train station!
The Lukmanier Pass (Passo del Lucomagno in Italian, Cuolm Lucmagn in Romansh) connects Biasca (Ticino) with Disentis/Mustér (Graubünden) at an altitude of 1973 metres. Here we are at the top of the pass, facing the Santga Maria reservoir, on a path that offers superb panoramic views.
Maienfeld is located in the very north of Graubünden, at the beginning of the Rhine plain. It is the wine region of the Herrschaft, which produces great wines that are little known outside the borders. The region is known as "Heidiland", because it was on the heights of Maienfeld that the Swiss writer Johanna Spyri located the home of Heidi, the little orphan girl who became an archetype of the Switzerland of the past.
On the road to the Julier Pass, Lake Marmorera unfortunately offers few points of view. Stop by the dam to the north if you want to walk around a bit. This panorama was shot a little further on, at one of the few places where it is possible to park.
The pass connects Central Switzerland and Graubünden from Andermatt (Uri) to the Surselva Valley at an altitude of 2046 m. The red lighthouse is a reproduction of the lighthouse that stood for 70 years in Hoek van Holland (Netherlands) to mark the mouth of the Rhine. It is the Rheinquelle ("source of the Rhine") lighthouse and serves no purpose other than to surprise tourists.
The entire historic centre is listed in the inventory of Swiss Heritage Sites, with no less than ten historic buildings listed as protected cultural properties.
This tiny village is located on the road to the Julier Pass in the Parc Ela region, the largest nature park in Switzerland. Here you will find beautiful scenery and hiking opportunities in places that are not spoilt by mass tourism.
Lake Sils (Lej da Segl in Romansh) is the last of the wonderful lakes in the Upper Engadine. We did not visit the village of Sils, which lies at the northern end of the lake, but we did discover some beautiful views along the coastal road.
The villages of Silvaplana and Surlej face each other on either side of two communicating lakes separated by a bridge. To the north of the bridge is Lake Champfèr, to the south Lake Silvaplana, on the edge of which you can see the Crap da Sass castle.
The westernmost valley in Graubünden, where the Rhine flows from its source at the Oberalp Pass. This panorama shows you the valley around Tujetsch, as you see it on your way over the pass. Disentis/Mustér and its abbey are about 12 kilometres further on.
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