Monday, September 3, 2012 (Day 17)
weather: the day started out cool and cloudy, but become a beautiful sunny day in the end
Today we are hiking the RuinAulta, the main reason we came to this area of Switzerland near Chur and the reason why I stayed in Trin. Though, next time I think I would stay in Flims instead of Trin. We started our hike after a grocery stop in the main part of Trin for lunchy things. We were on our way by 9:30am. The hike was to start in Trin and then continue down the mountain to the river in the gorge and then go along the gorge to the Versam train stop, but we planned to make the hike a bit longer and go one train stop further. Then, we’d just hop on the train and take the train/bus combo back to Trin. This is such a great way to hike! We need to visit Switzerland more often.
The first part of the hike started off much like the other hikes in which we walked through Trin, and then instead of going to Trin Mulin, we went to Trin Digg, just another part of the Trin area. Mostly the hike was so far on the streets with very little traffic and all down hill. We were amused at a Gnugnegn street sign in Trin Digg before we hit the walking path that would take us through the rest of the hike. We passed by many farms, some growing corn, vegetables, or other things, and some managing animals. We saw some rabbits outside in a chicken coop.
Our hike now took us along a more forested trail towards the gorge, though we had more climbing than we expected. As it turned out, we were hiking up to a viewpoint of Ransun which had a nice bench to sit, stop, and eat some snacks. At one point we stopped to check out a hydrostation plant and later on we stopped to take photos of some cows in a field. When I whistled at them, they turned to look at me! Finally, after more uphill hiking than we had anticipated considering this was a hike down to a gorge, we stopped for lunch at the edge of the gorge.
We found a little picnic area with tables, a stove for a fire, and a bench overlooking the gorge. We stopped on the bench for lunch for quite a while just taking in the day. Several other hikers came past us, and some of the first we’d seen today. Many of the hikers had dogs who hiked along off-leash. I’m so amazed with how well-behaved the dogs are around here. Dogs are allowed everywhere, too. We’ve seen dogs on the busses, the trains, the cable cars, on hikes, in stores, at restaurants….etc. And they are all perfectly behaved.
The hike down to the gorge was straight down over a series of switchbacks until we hit the water. From here the rest of our walk was right along the water’s edge. This is the same river we rafted on yesterday, but it was really interesting to hike in the gorge at a slower pace than we rafted by it. The limestone walls were very majestic and interesting. We hiked out along the Chrummwag peninsula and saw some kayakers come by on the rapids we ran yesterday.
Quickly, we ended up at the Versam train station, though we were not ready to end our hike here. This train station actually is also a base for kayakers. There was a kayaking lodge, a kayak school, and of course a little place to eat. We stopped at the restaurant to have some dessert snacks before continuing on with the hike. I was surprised that our guidebook ended the hike here in Versam, because I thought the best part of the hike was just past Versam when we came to the most majestic of the limestone walls. I would recommend perhaps hiking to Versam, going past it and then going back to Versam if you want to shorten the hike.
After we hiked between the best part of the canyon we started climbing again, though this time we were on the opposite side of the canyon from Trin. We got some great views from up here towards Flims and Laax and we realized there had been some high clouds that just cleared as well because all of a sudden mountain peaks covered in snow popped out above the scenery.
Towards the end of the hike, we were surprised to see a Swiss rescue helicopter flying low along the river and then stop in the middle to rescue something. It didn’t seem urgent and it was too far away to tell what was going on. However, we can say we’ve seen the Swiss Rescue Copters in action now.
Finally, after 17 km of hiking (10.5 miles) we arrived at the Valendas-Sagogon train stop where we finally finished hiking close to 5 or 6 in the afternoon. It was easy to catch the train and then bus back to Flims where we had dinner at Pomodoro again. As it turns out there weren’t many other places to choose from, and we knew we liked that restaurant.
After the bus back to Trin, we were surprised to see a hedgehog walking along the road towards us as we walked back to our B&B to go to sleep after a long day of walking. Tomorrow we leave Trin and head towards Riederalp, but we’ve got plenty of time in the morning to do the packing. Tonight we are pretty much just falling into bed. =)