Two Sunday’s back, finally enjoying a break in the rainy weather, Countryboy and I set off on an adventure. Usually as he is the organizer of our hikes, I don’t get too much say, except… “yes”, “no”, and “you’ve got to be kidding…no way!” This time he offered: ” OK you can either pick : A long hike with a short drive or A short hike with a long drive. As I had been stuck at home gardening all week, I chose the latter. The drive took us down one of my favorite highway stretches in Switzerland, along the A- 13, which travels along the Rhein, South towards Chur.
Getting off the highway we made a pit stop in Bad Ragaz, which is a lovely little spa town, before heading up into the mountains along the scenic road Valenserstrasse, which takes you through Valens and on to the beautiful Reservoir Mapraggsee. Further up the valley, along the Tamina river we came to a larger second Reservoir, the Gigerwaldsee.
Alone this drive was not to be missed, but we were headed for the little hamlet of St. Martin, where we were able to park right along the Tamina River before starting our hike.
To my delight, the hike took us along the crystal blue waters of the Tamina river, where we were awarded, every now and again, by beautiful views of waterfalls cascading down the steep sides of the valley.
It’s scenery like this that really makes you aware of the magnificence that is all around us.
There is nothing more refreshing on a humid day than standing near a river or waterfall.
A gorgeous shot of the typical rock of the area. ( I would guess slate.)
In addition, the hike which took us through, shady, damp woodlands, was a haven for various alpine flowers.
And lets not forget this little beauty!
Sorry, I could only tell you the German or Latin names, as I don’t have an Alpine Flower book in English!
It was at this stage that Countrygirl was feeling rather exhausted, but Countryboy was adamant that the half-way point was near and worth a little perseverance.
Up a final steep climb and we reached this meadow, dotted with a few alpine huts.
It was in this little valley that I found heaven on earth…
a gorgeous alpine hut…
my favorite color of Lupins. Together with flowers at the door…
What more could a girl want??
I know ….a cute cowboy to share it with!
Well it just so happens, he was waiting for me, on the doorstep!
(Please take note that Countrygirl was finally able to rustle away that ugly ‘mossy green’ excuse for a cowboy hat in exchange for this decent black one.)
Getting on our way for our last leg of the journey, I was pleased to find that, not only was the return path all down hill, but it ran along the forest road, which kept things easy.
For history buffs, these information boards were dotted along the route, detailing the history of the Calfeisental valley in which the Tamina river lies.
Well the the “short” hike Countryboy had promised, came to an end some two hours and 45 minutes later in the little hamlet of St. Martin, completing our circular tour.
I was pleasantly surprised to find a charming little hamlet, and local pub awaiting our growling stomachs.
To my great appreciation, a delicious meal awaited us inside the pub.
Decorated so appealingly, we were able to truly enjoy our light lunch.
For me Goulash Soup
For Countryboy, a traditional plate of Salsiz with homemade walnut bread.
And the all important, Weizen (wheat beer).
I certainly won’t be waiting long before we take a second trip down the Rhein valley to enjoy a lovely hike in the mountains and sample from the pub’s culinary specialties.
Both meals were delicious and the bread is really to die for. We even ordered a second basket, which rarely happens!
So should you decide you too would like to venture down to the Tamina river and St. Martin in Calfeisental, St. Gallen canton I would recommend you take a look at the hamlet’s website, which includes a link to the pub, that also provides accommodation.
For a map of the region, please click here for the google map.
For further information on the surrounding area of Bad Ragaz and the Heidiland region go to the Heidiland website here, this is available in English.
****Let me take this juncture to thank Countryboy for letting me use some of his photos. ***
Should you have any questions or if you would like to share any comments or personal hiking or road tripping tips for this or another region, please feel free to contact me, I would love to hear from you!
Until next time!