Tuesday, January 13, 2009

St. Moritz, Switzerland

The most glamorous Alpine resort

Fotini Eleftheriadou
Writes from Athens, Greece
View her websites: Fotini's Site, Fotini's Space

New Year's Eve in St. Moritz! That was one of my dreams and it was time to make it a reality. So... 2009 found me on the top of the Alps, happy and healthy.So fasten your belts and be ready to enjoy St. Moritz in my page.
Switzerland is a landlocked alpine country of roughly 7.6 million people in Western Europe with an area of 41,285 km². Switzerland is a federal republic consisting of 26 states called cantons. Berne is the seat of the federal authorities, while the country's economic centres are its three global cities, Geneva, Basel and especially Zürich. Switzerland is one of the richest countries in the world by per capita gross domestic product . Zürich and Geneva have respectively been ranked as having the first and second highest quality of life in the world.

It is bordered by Germany to the north, France to the west, Italy to the south and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. Switzerland has a long history of neutrality —it has not been at war since 1815—and hosts many international organizations, including the Red Cross, the World Trade Organization and one of the U.N.'s two European offices . However, it is not a member of the European Union. Switzerland is multilingual and has four national languages: German, French, Italian and Romansh.

The Swiss Alps ( German: Schweizer Alpen, French: Alpes suisses, Italian: Alpi svizzere, Romansh: Alps svizras ) are the portion of the Alps mountain range that lies within Switzerland. Because of their central position with the entire Alpine range, they are also known as the Central Alps. The highest summit in the Swiss Alps is the Dufourspitze (4,634 metres (15,202 ft)) near the Swiss-Italian border. The highest mountain which lies entirely on Swiss territory is the Dom (4,545 metres (14,911 ft)). Other main summits can be found in the list of mountains in Switzerland.

St. Moritz is one of the most renowned holiday resorts of the world. Chic, elegant and exclusive with a pronouncedly cosmopolitan ambiance it is situated at 5624 ft (1856 m) above sea level, in the middle of the lake dotted landscape of the Upper Engadine. The "dry, sparkling champagne climate" has become legendary and the famous sun of St. Moritz shines on an average of 322 days a year.

This spa resort is located on the mountain side of the Engadine facing south (at an altitude of 5624 ft). With its Romansh heritage, its proximity to Italy and mostly German speaking population St. Moritz is characterized by the influences from three different cultures. It originally gained its significance from its mineral springs, which had been known for their curative effects for some 3,000 years already. Next to its picture book location along and above the lake, St. Moritz offers an attractive blend of nature, culture, sports, activity and quiet.

Comparing the summer and the winter season the booked nights show a relation of approximately 2 to 3, about which it has to be said that the guest structure is significantly better in winter than in summer. During a good year, there are roughly 250'000 guests - about 140'000 in summer and 110'000 in winter - accounting for up to 1,1 million booked nights in St. Moritz . Thus the average duration of stay of St. Moritz hotel guests is some three days in summer and a good five days in winter.

Today St. Moritz numbers 5.400 inhabitants (during the season approx. 3.000 employees come to join them). It offers 5.300 beds in 40 traditional hotels as well as 7.500 beds in holiday apartments, 3.500 of which can be rented. Half of the hotel beds are to be found in 4 and 5 star hotels. In St. Moritz the statistics on booked nights are traditionally above average.

St. Moritz is the cradle of alpine winter tourism (1864) and sports (1884). It set the stage for two Olympic Winter Games and a great number of ski and bob championships. It was at the hub of winter sports competitions again in 2003 when hosting the Alpine Ski World Championship.

The sun of St. Moritz is more intense (southern exposure!), the "champagne climate" dryer and the snow much more likely to hold than anywhere else. These components, along with the lakescape and valley groove of the Upper Engadine, provide the background for a host of attractions which are unique with regard to quality and diversity: alpine and nordic cross-country skiing (marathon!), Cresta Run, Bob Run, horse and greyhound races on the frozen lake, cricket, polo and golf tournaments, olympic ski jump, Gourmet Festival, Snow & Symphony (the music festival of St. Moritz) and many more in winter, whereas in summer it is mountain biking, inline skating, hiking, wind surfing, ice skating, golfing, tennis, sailing, the National Park - all of which is within easy reach.

Comparing the summer and the winter season the booked nights show a relation of approximately 2 to 3, about which it has to be said that the guest structure is significantly better in winter than in summer. During a good year, there are roughly 250'000 guests - about 140'000 in summer and 110.000 in winter - accounting for up to 1,1 million booked nights in St. Moritz . Thus the average duration of stay of St. Moritz hotel guests is some three days in summer and a good five days in winter.

The make-up of the guests of St. Moritz is as unique as it is fascinating: up to 70% are foreign residents from all over the world, sportive, active, dynamic. Sports and fashion confer an aura of refreshing youthfulness upon St. Moritz, which also inspires our more mature guests to renewed vitality and springiness, in spite of tradition and mineral bath.
In the past as well as today, St. Moritz has been a meeting place for many prominents, including Hollywood and opera stars, kings and princesses, statesmen, tycoons and other personalities. Not only Alfred Hitchcock (picture) and Brigitte Bardot ranked among St. Moritz' regular guests, but also Charlie Chaplin, Henry Ford, Greta Garbo, Thomas Mann, the Kennedy family or the Persian shah.

In winter, with its 350 kilometers of skiing runs – distributed over nine skiing areas – the holiday region of Engadin St. Moritz is the largest winter sports region in Switzerland. 90 downhill runs – from easy to advanced – and some 40 mountain restaurants beckon.

In summer, with its six different mountain and hiking areas, Engadin St. Moritz is one of the most diverse and scenic holiday regions in Switzerland. Innumerable hiking, biking and mountaineering excursions await from 1,750 to 3,303 m.a.s.l. – not to mention 30 mountain restaurants and huts that invite one to linger.

Corviglia–Piz Nair–Marguns is the largest connecting mountain area in the Engadin. And St. Moritz' "home mountain", where the Olympic Winter Games have already been held twice, along with several Alpine Ski World Championships. The winter sports and hiking area that reaches 3,057 m.a.s.l. is accessible by 23 mountain railways and lifts in winter, respectively 7 in summer. Almost 100 km of well-groomed slopes and 14 mountain restaurants await.

Well... I climbed until Piz Nair. Fotini has reached the top of the world and is so happy and proud for herself.
In summer, the winter sports classic of Corviglia becomes the domain of bikers and hikers. Numerous paths and trails of all levels of difficulty lead through the panoramic scenery between Corviglia, Piz Nair (St. Moritz) and Marguns (Celerina). The mountain railways will even transport cyclists' bikes to the summit. Highlights are the Schellenursli Trail, Heidi's Trail and the Clean Energy Tour.
Ski pistes of World Cup quality extend as far as sunny Celerina, and the mix of the St. Moritz resort, its cosmopolitan population and the near endless possibilities for making tracks has transformed this ski area into one of the most famous in the world. Towering over it all, at 3,097 m (10,161 ft) above sea level, is the Piz Nair, from where you can take in the stunning view of the entire Engadin Valley and the ski-carved slopes spread out beneath you.

By day or by night – rugged or gentle – black or red – celebrated or as yet unknown. All 350 kilometres (218 miles) of ski pistes and trails in Switzerland's largest winter sports region have something special to offer. With 88 downhill runs and 37 mountain restaurants, there is a wealth of winter magic to discover.

My winter holidays in St. Moritz were amazing and the beauty of the place was the best antidote to the everyday craziness of my life. I am sure you have enjoyed this trip and you have kept St. Moritz in your mind to use it in your plans as your future destination during winter or summer time.
Σεντ Μοριτζ, Ελβετία
Το πιο παλιό χειμερινό θέρετρο στον κόσμο
Φωτεινή Ελευθεριάδου
Γράφει από την Αθήνα
Δείτε τις ιστοσελίδες της:
Fotini's Site, Fotini's Space
Ρεβεγιόν στο St. Moritz! Αυτό ήταν ένα από τα όνειρά μου και ήταν καιρός να γίνει μια πραγματικότητα. Έτσο... το 2009 βρέθηκα ευτυχισμένη και υγιής στην κορυφή των Άλπεων. Προσδεθείτε και να είστε έτοιμοι να απολαύσετε το St Moritz στη σελίδα μου.

Η Ελβετία είναι μια χώρα από αλπικά βουνά, με περίπου 7,6 εκατ. κατοίκους και έκταση 41.285 τ.χιλμ. στη Δυτική Ευρώπη. Η Ελβετία είναι μια ομοσπονδιακή δημοκρατία που αποτελείται από 26 κρατίδια που ονομάζονται καντόνια. Η Βέρνη είναι η έδρα των ομοσπονδιακών αρχών, ενώ τα οικονομικά κέντρα της χώρας είναι οι τρεις παγκοσμιοποιημένες πόλεις, Γενεύη, Βασιλεία και ιδιαίτερα η Ζυρίχη. Η Ελβετία είναι μία από τις πλουσιότερες χώρες του κόσμου από απόψεως του κατά κεφαλήν ακαθάριστου εγχώριου προϊόντος. Η Ζυρίχη και η Γενεύη έχουν ήδη ταξινομηθεί ως η πρώτη και η δεύτερη πόλη αντίστοιχα, με την υψηλότερη ποιότητα ζωής στον κόσμο.
Συνορεύει στα βόρεια με τη Γερμανία, στα δυτικά με τη Γαλλία, προς την νότια με την Ιταλία και στα ανατολικά με την Αυστρία και το Λιχτενστάιν. Η Ελβετία έχει μια μακρά ιστορία ουδετερότητας-δεν ενεμπλάκη σε πόλεμο από το 1815-και φιλοξενεί πολλούς διεθνείς οργανισμούς, συμπεριλαμβανομένου του Ερυθρού Σταυρού, του Παγκόσμιου Οργανισμού Εμπορίου και έναν από τα δυο Ευρωπαϊκά γραφεία του ΟΗΕ. Ωστόσο, δεν είναι μέλος της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης. Η Ελβετία είναι πολύγλωσση χώρα και έχει τέσσερις εθνικές γλώσσες: Γερμανικά, Γαλλικά, Ιταλικά και Ρωμανικά.

Οι Ελβετικές Άλπεις (γερμανικά: Schweizer Alpen, γαλλικά: Alpes suisses, ιταλικά: Alpi svizzere, Ρωμανικά: Alps svizras) είναι το τμήμα της οροσειράς των Άλπεων που βρίσκονται εντός της Ελβετίας. Λόγω της κεντρικής τους θέσης με ολόκληρο το φάσμα των Άλπεων, είναι επίσης γνωστά ως οι Κεντρικές Άλπεις.

Η ψηλότερη κορυφή στις Ελβετικές Άλπεις είναι το Dufourspitze (4.634 μέτρα (15.202 πόδια)) κοντά στα σύνορα Ελβετίας-Ιταλίας. Το ψηλότερο βουνό που βρίσκεται εξ’ ολοκλήρου στο ελβετικό έδαφος είναι η Dom (4.545 μέτρα (14.911 πόδια)). Υπάρχουν κι άλλες κύριες βουνοκορφές στην Ελβετία.

Το St Moritz είναι ένα από τα πιο φημισμένα τουριστικά θέρετρα του κόσμου. Chic, κομψό και με κοσμοπολίτικη ατμόσφαιρα βρίσκεται σε υψόμετρο 5.624 πόδια (1.856 μ.) πάνω από το επίπεδο της θάλασσας, στη μέση της λίμνης της Άνω Engadine.

Το "ξηρό, αφρώδες σαμπανιζέ κλίμα" έχει γίνει θρυλικό και ο περίφημος ήλιος του St. Moritz λάμπει κατά μέσο όρο 322 μέρες το χρόνο.

Το θέρετρο βρίσκεται στην πλευρά του βουνού Engadine προς το νότο (σε υψόμετρο 5.624 ποδών. Με τη Ρωμανική κληρονομιά, τη γειτνίαση προς την Ιταλία και με γερμανόφωνο κυρίως πληθυσμό το St. Moritz έχει δεχτεί επιρροές από τρεις διαφορετικούς πολιτισμούς.

Σήμερα το St Moritz αριθμεί 5,400 κατοίκους.

Αρχικά απέκτησε σπουδαιότητα από τις υδατικές πηγές, που ήταν γνωστές για τις ιαματικές τους ιδιότητες για περίπου 3.000 χρόνια.

Μαζί με την όμορφη θέση που βρίσκεται κατά μήκος της λίμνης και πάνω από τη λίμνη, το St. Moritz προσφέρει ένα ελκυστικό μίγμα της φύσης, του πολιτισμού, του αθλητισμού, των δραστηριοτήτων και της ηρεμίας.

Το St Moritz είναι το λίκνο του αλπικού χειμερινού τουρισμού από το 1864 και του αθλητισμού από το 1884.

Φιλοξένησε δύο Χειμερινούς Ολυμπιακούς Αγώνες και ένα μεγάλο αριθμό από χιονοδρομικά πρωταθλήματα σκι.

Ήταν στο επίκεντρο των χειμερινών αθλητικών αγώνων και πάλι το 2003, όταν φιλοξένησε το παγκόσμιο πρωτάθλημα αλπικού σκι.

Οι χειμερινές διακοπές μου στο St. Moritz ήταν καταπληκτικές και η ομορφιά του τόπου ήταν το καλύτερο αντίδοτο στην τρελή καθημερινότητα της ζωής μου.

. Είμαι βέβαιη ότι έχετε απολαύσει αυτό το ταξίδι στο St. Moritz διατηρώντας στο μυαλό σας μελλοντικά σχέδια, για να το επισκεφθείτε κατά τη διάρκεια του χειμώνα ή του καλοκαιριού.

St. Moritz


pusangkalye said...

Switzerland really is a haven for skiing----it's mountains look amazing ---and even more so when gratified with snow~~~

Lakshmi said...

Your post did bring back some amazing memories..thanks for sharing

Phivos Nicolaides said...

Pusang-gala. Switzerland is for skiing and not only that!

Phivos Nicolaides said...

Lakshmi. You are lucky you have visited such a beautiful place!

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Hello Philip..I have only briefly been to St Moritz...it was a very strange day, driving up from Lake Como.

here is a link to my post...http://anne-arnott.blogspot.com/2007/11/november-9th.html

Lori said...

What a beautiful place! I hope I get to visit some day.

Natassa said...

ωω! πόσο ζηλεύω....

Phivos Nicolaides said...

Anne in Oxfordshire. Lucky you have been there. I have seen your post and I can say it'w perfect. Best regards Anne.

Phivos Nicolaides said...

Presbyterian Gal. Wish you by heart to realize this trip.

Phivos Nicolaides said...

Natassa. Είναι όντως κάτι πράγματα που τα 'ζηλεύουμε' Νατάσσα μου!!