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Permanent Tourist

A personal website by Mark Howells-Mead

Hörnligrat, Switzerland

I can remember just how much pain I was in when I took this photo.

My wife and I take a short holiday for our anniversary each year and in 2012, we chose the Swiss mountain resort of Arosa. Out of practice at hiking, we made the daft choice that it would be easier to get a cable car to the top of the mountain and walk down*.

The mountain we chose was the Weisshorn, on the left of this photo, in the distance. After a couple of hours making our way hesitantly down the stupidly steep path in a stupidly strong wind, we returned to our hotel with burning thigh muscles and hoped that the aching would wear off quickly. It didn’t: two days later, we were still in a lot of pain. So we abandoned plans for more hiking and settled for a second cable car ride instead, to the Hörnligrat bordering the southern end of the valley.

Arosa is a lovely place to visit and we’re hoping to go back and visit again. The canton of Graubünden has a great deal when you stay in a hotel there, whereby any overnight guest gets free usage of the cable cars. We visited during the week before the hotels close up for the pre-winter break, and although there were enough people around for it not to be spooky, we had much of the village and most of the mountain to ourselves.

(* If you’re not used to hiking, hiking up a mountain trail will make you huff and puff and tire you out. But walking down will absolutely destroy the muscles in your legs too, and leave you in pain for ages!)