Sondrio, accross the Alps and into Austria

For two days Francesco and his family had made us feel so at home and although they invited us to stay for some more days our schedule meant we had to move on.

This part of the journey took us out of Italy, through Switzerland and Liechtenstein and into Austria to a small village called Frastanz. The only thing to say about this journey is wow.

For the first few kilometers we were in farmland – the land around lined with apple trees or vineyards then around one bend the mountains appeared. It was a strange feeling knowing that we were about to go up and over them.

As we climbed there were so many places to stop and look back down across the valley. We decided google maps should account for these stoppages when calculating journey times. Our journey time exceeded the estimate by at least an hour, we’re not complaining of course, the scenery is just mind blowing.

Soon enough the air became colder (so much Jake put his neck tube on and we were considering jumpers). As we got closer to the top of the pass the trees began to thin then disappear completely.

To cross over the Alps, the road took us through the Bernina Pass. The highest point of the pass is at 2328m, here there is a little lay-by where every person couldn’t help but just stop to take a look. Nobody was talking, we were all there in awe of the natural panorama in front of us.

After this point the road began to descend and took us down to the high end ski resort of St Moritz. We don’t know so much about this place apart from we’ve heard it’s where the rich and famous go to ski. Looking around we can believe that for sure. 

After St Motitz we climbed again and entered Parc Ela Natural Park. This vast park was designated a national part in order to preserve the spectacular natural landscape here. Development is extremely limited and sustainability should be a priority for those living and working in the park. However, as there is no industry, all work must come from tourism and tourists need facilities – hotels, restaurants etc. – I can imagine that there could potentially be a conflict of interests here.

The final half hour of our journey passed through Liechtenstein then into Austria. Liechtenstein uses the Swiss Franks and is an extremely expensive place to stay by all accounts so to visit, we chose to stay in the much more affordable Austria!

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