Thursday (Donnestag?) July 2
I’m on the gondola, on my way up the mountain to Piz Nair for a little hike and photo fest. (Piz Nair = elevation of a tidy 3057 meters, or about 9000 feet — obviously somewhat above the treeline, but still not the highest peak in the area.) At least I think I’m bound for Piz Nair. Signage here is adequate but not crystal clear for foreigners. Therefore I’m just following the group of 30 or so random pairs and singles thru the changes, from one car to another every thousand meters, like its some subway in the sky. Pretty great, even if I am headed to Chantarelle, Diavolezza, or some other higher point than Piz Nair. No better spot to waste an hour than atop an Alpine mountain.
Of course, then I would miss my appointment to meet Sue and Barbara about 2:30 back at the hotel (it’s 11:30 now). But that would be okay, too. They were not feeling up to a higher-altitude hike, so now I get to stumble along solo, both linguistically and physically. Not many Americans in St. Moritz this time of year, from the sound of it. On the plus side, John Hiatt’s great song “Cry Love” was on the loudspeaker in the gondola waiting area… so I MUST be in the right place.
I told Sue if she ever wanted to try on a Versace $2000 dress, today’s her chance. Hey, THEY don’t know she can’t afford it.
Almost to the top now. Las montanas son breathtaking. Can’t look at this tiny screeen anymore, for now.
Constantines S. Niarchos : 23.1.1962 — died 1999
Greek climber who conquered slope of Piz Nair, and also Everest on 13.5.1969
Ich danke mein Gott das ist uber alles.
Aber ich bin kalt. And it’s drizzling too.
I’m not sure if I and my $10 Incredible Hulk watch belong in Switzerland, but I sure do like it here. Aber… Don’t get me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry. Besides, the Swiss probably don’t GET angry. It’s against some unwritten, stiff-upper-lip code. Not like the Italians — will get pissed and create a 30-year vendetta over which side of the fence a beetle chooses to climb down — not even like the Americans, who settle their affairs with a little gunfight or broken-bottle brawl now and then.
Got down offen the mountain okay, then in the afternoon went to Sils (a neighboring town where Nietzsche used to summer… but I ain’t gonna talk about depressing old Fred… you’re welcome). Walked around the Silsensee (Lake of Sils), popped in some shops, had another of those unconscionably small cups of coffee they serve here (but at least it’s strong), and waited out a bit of rain while drinking it.
Good buffet supper back at the hotel, where Barbara throws a bit of her seniority around and for our suppers here, gets us a semi-private table at the back, in another room in fact, far from the high-volume chatter of the several international tour groups that are here this week. Walked with Sue after supper into town (the “Bad” section, named for the mineral baths they have here). Unfortunately, one other “bad” part of town is that they’re re-doing all the brick cobblestones on the main street, so it ain’t so nice to look at. But it’s a tourism based town that’s been hit sort of hard by the wordlwide recession, so might as well tear up Main Street now, rather than in a busier year.
Tomorrow, on to Lugano, near the Italian border. I’m feeling torn. Don’t wanna leave, but can’t wait to get to Italy either.