WHERE TO STAY
The halcyon days of the early 1900s can be re-lived at Hotel Capricorns (Swiss Lodge). Situated in Val Schons at an altitude of 1,489m, the hotel provides the best view over the Graubünden mountain range with an authentic and Arcadian touch. The building structure has remained as it has been since the 1930s and the only major change since is an inclusion of renewable energy in 2011. Indulge yourself within this Swiss hotel and enjoy a good rest within the woodfurnished and nostalgic-themed rooms. Regional dishes are prepared here and bicycle rentals are also available upon request. Life is full of ups and downs – especially so at Viamala, a route within the Naturpark Beverin in the heart of the Graubünden canton. But here, the ups and downs are simply magical. A 20-minute car ride north of Castiwergenstein will bring you to the Viamala Gorge, an impressive natural monument with up to 300m-high rock faces, which, at their narrowest spot, are only a few metres apart. Carved through the massive cliffs thousands of years ago by glacial ice and the waters of the Rhine (Hinterhein), the Viamala Canyon still contains living evidence of its fascinating history to discover today.
As we walked along the Viamala Route 13 towards the famed Wildener Brücke (Wilderner Bridge), our eyes catch sight of wooden figures of Roman statues placed within gaps at the top of a cliff. That was the treacherous path used 2,000 years ago by the Romans to move from Italy to South Germany. The surroundings might be an exquisite sight but it was a wild and life-threatening journey for the travellers that once walked this path. Standing on the bridge, the first thing you’ll be able to spot is the zigzagging 359-step stairway leading down to the heart of the gorge from the visitor center. At the end of it, there is a rock gallery that showcases limestone, quartz and slate that make up these noble walls and rugged canyon.