(This post follows ‘St. Niklaus to Chur – Part 2‘ posted on 30 Jan)
We woke up after a long, deep sleep and helped ourselves to a hearty share of continental breakfast. We hadn’t quite recovered from the earlier day’s drive. So, even though we had received tickets for cable car rides (with compliments from our hotel), we deciding against exploring. We were attracted to discovering Arosa but we were not tempted. We were scheduled to leave for Geneva International Airport after two days which too was going to be a long drive. We wanted to save our energy for that.
But we didn’t exactly want to stay in. It was cold and slightly cloudy; yet, it was a beautiful day. So, we headed to the first thing that caught our sight – Untersee lake which was right in front of our hotel. It was a large lake with a seemingly long and interesting history. Black and white pictures of swimming competitions from the ’50s and ’60s were pasted on the walls of the changing rooms. There was hardly anybody there; except for some playful and curious ducks. We lazed on the mat we had carried from home until it drizzled.
Heading back to the hotel, we noticed the grandeur of the entrance. It well complemented its antiquity. After all, the hotel was built in 1800s! (Read my review of Hotel Seehof on TripAdvisor.com.)
We got into an interesting conversation with the lady at the reception. She was a Swiss national who too wished to travel. We enquired if there were any rooms available. In fact, there were. So, we checked out a few. By the way, no one room is like the other. We liked a couple of them facing Untersee. There was one, which was smaller than the junior suite but was on offer for the same rate and with the same benefits. So, we decided to switch.
And then, was I happy or what! This room had large windows from which one could enjoy direct views of the mountains and a long balcony that overlooked Untersee. Against the backdrop of the mountains stood out a church tower. There were chairs in the balcony and shawls if we needed to be cozy. The bed was placed strategically; one could see the mountains from where they would lie.
Since, the rain become a bit heavier, we decided to lounge in the lobby. The hotel was playing the best of soothing music and at just the right volume setting a perfect atmosphere to fall back in the comfy sofas and enjoy the views of the mountains through the huge glass windows.
A little later, it was time for lunch. We drove to the city centre. And again, it took us a while to figure out how to pay at the meter. We had to key in the parking space number and the duration! We thought it was odd because how would the officials know if a car overstayed considering there was no physical ticket!
Anyway, we started walking around looking for a nice restaurant. Vinod spotted Grottino, an Italian restaurant. It looked classic and very welcoming with its wooden look. The staff did not speak very good English but made a very patient effort to explain their menu. We ordered a vegetarian pizza. It was yummy and deservedly expensive!
On our way back to the parking, we spotted a Denner shop. We went in to buy some water but discovered its tempting collection of chocolates and wines. We wanted to indulge but were running out of parking time. So, Vinod rushed to the parking and extended it for some more time. We shopped to our heart’s content.
We still had some time left on our parking space. So, we headed to the Obersee lake and sat on a bench. That was a perfect setting to bite into the ice cream we had just bought. When we opened the box, we discovered that we had bought a set of 12 mini cones! That was too much for us to finish in one attempt!
Meanwhile, we got busy taking pictures. A kind gentleman who was waiting for his train, offered to take our pictures! Then, we headed to the railway station across to find out about the train timings to Vaduz, capital of the neighbouring Liechtenstein. Vinod wished to visit Vaduz the next day since we were so close. As silly as it might sound, we shared a cone with the gentleman at the counter. He was delighted. I guess ice cream interests people of all age groups!
In the evening, we went for a walk again by Untersee. We took the off-road path next to Untersee and started walking amongst the green patches. We reached the railway tracks that led to Arosa railway station. We walked parallel to the tracks and then continued walking on the off-road path passing by beautiful lawns of private chalets. The area had pretty houses. We came on the main road leading to Aifach restaurant which was at the corner of the road leading to Seehof.
We walked some more looking at watch shops and exploring other restaurants. But we didn’t find anything as interesting as Grottino. We had risotto in addition to a pizza. We told them we would come again the next day too; a promise we didn’t know we would not be able to keep.