Sport Ferien with the OMEL Group

In the east coast of the US schools take a week-long vacation in February which is called ski week. In Switzerland the schools take a two-week Ferien (holiday) sometime between the end of January and the end of February called Sport Ferien. The schools in Zürich are smack in the middle of Sport Ferien right now, and H’s research group at the ETH (OMEL) took their winter trip on Thursday and Friday. As the wife of a Gastprofessor, I was fortunate enough to be allowed to accompany the group.

Thankfully the trip started at a reasonable 8:30 at the HB where over 20 of us crammed on  to a car that was reserved for us. Good thing for the reservations since there was standing room only on the train. We weren’t quite sure why a Thursday morning train was so full, but, there you go.

An hour and a half later, we changed trains in Chur. I learned that it is not pronounced the way you might think – but something like this – Hoo-er (one syllable). Two trains later, we got off in Pontresina, where we walked over to the sports store to pick up our cross-country ski gear that had been reserved for us. Then the vans from the little hotel came to pick us up for another 25-minute journey up the mountain and into the beautiful Roseg valley. Where the sun was shining!


Straight ahead is the Roseg Glacier which is probably easier to see in the summer.

Our group stayed in the Hotel Roseg Gletscher, a sweet resort hotel which does most of its business (we think) with its various restaurants.

Here is our room which I might call Swiss Rustic. Very clean and comfortable without much luxury. No wifi, and we didn’t even turn on the tv.

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This was the restaurant for the first day.


After a late lunch, OMEL got down to business and had their 4-hour meeting, and since we were so far out into the mountains, I took the opportunity to read half of a book and look out at the beautiful views.

In the morning we had breakfast in this room which served not only as an eating place, but an homage to dead animals.

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This area serves up not only great hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, but also horse and buggy rides.


Tomorrow, the cross-country skiing.


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