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Corlette, undefined, Australia
November 17, 2003
From journal Solitude in the Italian Alps
Tunbridge Wells, United Kingdom
February 8, 2003
Meanwhile, my little sister was playing St Francis to the birds. The roller and the great tits seemed a bit shy, but crested tits are bold as you please. Fill your hand with grain and stand next to one of the bird tables set up by generous citizens. The dark pine trees come alive with curious birds. One, a bit braver than the rest, will fly down to the bird table to see what you’ve got. You’ll watch him, trying not to move, and he’ll watch you, head to one side. Then, quite suddenly, he’ll launch himself again and land feather-light on your fingertips, grab a beakful and disappear back into the trees.
On our last day, when our bags had gone down to the station, we went for a walk along the resort's footpath network (the Winter Wanderweg). The sun was shining and a huge snow dump had fallen the night before. My father stomped along darkly, muttering imprecations to the small gods of weather. He was furious that he wasn't skiing, but even he couldn't stay gloomy when there was so much to hear and see and smell. The pine trees, which are sharply scented in the clear, cold air, were covered in fairytale lichens--some black and beardy, some silvery grey. And when powder snow falls from the trees it sparkles in shafts of sunlight. I found this magical because we don’t get much snow at home, and what snow does fall is never powder (nor does the sun shine). We could hear muffled shrieks and squeals from the Pratchli-Obersee toboggan run and clanks from the chairlift above us. We crossed a few streams and could faintly hear their currents rushing below the deep snow.
The groomed paths are a pleasant change from hurtling through the woods on skis or riding above them on the lifts. They make Arosa a real treat for non-skiers--even the less energetic will find a gentle path through the snowy woods. And if the weather is bad, I suspect these paths are sheltered from the blasting wind. Pick up a leaflet from the Tourist Information Centre or check out the winter section of www.arosa.ch/english.
From journal Christmas in Arosa