Camper - the hotel of upcoming future
It is astounding how much time it takes for the ‘normality’ to come back. Will it be back at all? In this particular moment I am writing the blogpost, we have already 8th week of the quarantine in Switzerland. Shops, restaurants and services will be slowly opening in the next few days. However, the social distancing element will be with us for the next few months, at least. Will I be back to the office this year at all? Who knows it… and even if the offices reopen, it does not make sense for the knowledge workers to come back just for their desk.
If you read this, I am sure you love to travel, just like me. Therefore, let me ask a question how the hotel situation will look like this year? Even if they open, will there be people keen to sleep in the places that have high customer rotation?
We all want the normality to be back, however it might not be so unambiguous. Therefore, for people who would like to continue travelling without interrupting the social distancing rules, I might have a solution. Well, I surely have it. I noticed how my life differed in the last 2 months, every time I talked to my friends….locked in their flats, with changed plans and schedules, totally giving up the travelling lifestyle they had before. In the meantime, myself and Pawel, packing our van for a weekend in the nature. We spent EVERY of those weekends in the mountains. Having our own small capsule to sleep, cook and enjoy our outdoor lifestyle. This is the way we plan to keep on travelling over the coming summer. Borders might not reopen soon, but even if they will, we will be able to take our home on wheels to beloved Italy and France.
More and more of my friends started asking me about the places to go by van, but also how to get one. I would like to convince you here that this will be the way to travel. Get your van, rented, DIY or buy one. It is the best hotel of the upcoming times.
Upper Engadin - St Moritz and Bernina Pass by camper
So where could you go with such a van?
I have recently posted about camping weekend around Davos. Upper Engadin is the next destination I pick to show you its beauty. Surrounded by high mountains and pristine lakes, which may be still frozen in May. With generations passing, Engadin was considered as a place where one can find tranquillity. Settled high and far from the main roads, remains an inspiration for those looking for serenity and escape.
Driving through Julier Pass is probably the best approach from Zurich. It is also implausibly easy to reach passes as high as 2000 meters by car, and stay there for a night. Bernina Pass (30vkm far from Italian border) has still a lot of snow in May and June, but wholly cleared out road. I hope that my picture from a drone mirror this winter wonderland.
The capital of Upper Engadin is a famous St Moritz, which is a beloved places for skiers and water sport enthusiasts. For those into wind and kite surfing, and not afraid of cold, Silvaplana lake might be a paradise. Saint Moritz is also known for many summer and winter music festivals. Check their schedules. Another beneficiaries of St activities are SPA lovers, who can indulge themselves in local thermal baths, like a famous Grand Hotel.
What personally surprised me culturally and visually, are the surrounding villages, where every one of them speaks a different dialect, which brings astounding atmosphere. This incremented my curiosity to explore this area more. Pontresina and Maloja villages should be on your list. You will find there an architecture specific to the region with clay paintings on the building surfaces.
Lower Engadin - Swiss National Park
Another place with picturesque views, worth visiting by a camper, is a Swiss National Park. Even more with a camper, because it does not have a wide tourist infrastructure. You may wonder… ”Swiss National Park? But entire Switzerland looks like a National Park”. Believe me, it is one of those leftover area almost entirely non-inhabited and changed by human interference. Located in the Eastern Switzerland, in Graubuenden canton, neighbouring with Italian Livigno, Swiss National Park is still considered to be part of Engadin area.
How to get there?
It is relatively easy to reach the Park driving from Italy. When entering from Swiss side, the best option is to reach Susch. Susch and Zernez (capital of the Park), divided by the high mountains, remain connected by a train service that has platforms ready to load the cars. This costs 40 CHF/car with no extra costs for the number of people.
Where to camp?
We have chosen an empty, non paved, parking lot next to the tiny ski resort, called Minschuns. I am sure that this parking is empty even during the ski season 🙂 This place is ideal for camping with both sunrise and sunset reaching your van, as well as breathtaking Piz Daint views.
Ski touring and other activities
On top of the hiking trails, this region is full ski touring routes. Being located high in the mountains – also routes perfect for spring touring, probably until June. This is what we have chosen among the activities. I can highly recommend Piz Daint (1000 meters up) as well us other surrounding peaks. Ascending as well as the skiing down were both astonishing. All maps, as always available at maps.geo.admin.ch.
This post is also available in: Polish