IMG 0290We were very sorry to leave La Perla, what a lovely hotel in such a lovely place. Hopefully we shall return. 

Before we leave we have to spend a useful half hour trying to find a hotel for the weekend. Everything is either full or stupidly expensive but we do work out a route for the next few days which is helpful.

Our first visit was out of our way to George Clooney's home a little to the south. Needless to say the villa is invisible from the street but we certainly found the right place. If he was in we have no way of knowing.

Reversing track we head north into the rather rough end of the lake. Lots of industry, motels, caravan parks, kebab shops and the like. A bit of a let down.

IMG 0289The road climbs and climbs and climbs turning back and forth in increasingly difficult hairpins. The pass is every bit as dramatic as the Lonely Planet suggests and tests us both. As you can see we have to get way into the snow line and the temperature drops to 7-8C. 

Over he top the road descends into the fantastic gorge of the Via Mala and a series of alpine meadows with spring flowers. Glorious.

Once again the border is unattended and has clearly been so for some years. So who's counting?

Finally the road drops down into Chur and Doreen takes us directly to our hotel, brilliant. 

Once established in our room I finally manage to make a booking in Lucerne for the weekend for a silly amount of money and we can relax and head into town (actually very small and quiet) for a drink and IMG 0288dinner - both of which are very good and rather expensive. I guess we may well not pass this way again.

Unfortunately dinner is marred by a loud party discussing internet business at the table next to us. Both sides seemed to be rather full of themselves imho.

One nice couple mistake us for "a typical Swiss couple". They must have left their white sticks at home.

Later: We stayed at the very excellent Ambient Hotel Freieck here in Chur.

We presume that the nearby bell tower was experimentally modified by the inventor of clockwork here in Switzerland. It now launches into a random cacophony of bells roughly every 15 minutes throughout the day and night.

This presumably only affects some rooms in the hotel, which while efficiently equipped with double glazing do not have air conditioning requiring the window to be open. Doubtless this will suit campanologists, the deaf, decendants of Parisian bell-ringers, horologists and those who can sleep regardless of events around them.

Sadly our ear plugs were not man enough for the task. Avoid the south side of the hotel.