Switzerland; visiting Lower Engadine; Sils Maria, St. Moritz, Zuoz, S-Chanf

by Venetia Kapernekas

Engadin: one of the most beautiful places in Switzerland ; some fabulous  days for Christmas with  Udo Brandhorst and our lovely daughter Ana Nefeli  in Waldhaus Hotel in Sils Maria; the panoramic views are so amazing clear and stunning that you have to rub your eyes to make sure you are not in a Hollywood epic; speaking of,  last days Waldhaus has received much attention due to the just released  movie “The Clouds of Sils Maria” with Juliette Binoche and Kristen  Stewart.

Here, a large stretch of lake, a sprinkling of villages and the sheer rock face of bare mountains towering over the expanse make for a very unique landscape.

In a letter Nietzsche once referred to it as being “heroic and idyllic”. This is where the philosopher penned part of his widely acclaimed work, Thus Spoke Zarathustra.

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Sils Maria, photo@Udo Brandhorst

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Sils Maria, photo@Udo Brandhorst

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Such a joy to enjoy the nature and driving to the mountains.  As I do not have captured yet the fine sport of skiing, I projected  somehow my alternate possibilities and challenged myself  by driving high up to the mountains and  escalating afterwards down to the lovely village of Pochiavo, (speaking italian here)

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Church of San Vittore in Poschiavo

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I treasured the moments during my long drive to stop at Bernina cafe, close to Lagalb Diavolezza slopes slopes to have  a hot chestnut soup with Udo Brandhorst and talk about art.

While capturing amazing moments of nature and beauty, I visit briefly and had  tea lovely Ladina Florineth, who owns the Villa Flor, a charming seven-room hotel that opened last summer in a renovated patrician house in the town of S-Chanf. The original and conserved Jugendstil ornaments have been restored with much love and professional work. They are now part of the unique atmosphere, which plays unaffected between the present and the faded charme of the past.
Philosophers, authors, artists always came here, but it was usually to the upper valley,” said Ladina “Now people are discovering the lower part, which is becoming more important” 

We had our tea during  her break preparing a lovely set of photographs by the Korean artist Bookchang Koo “White on white “where was to open next evening (exhibition in collaboration with Ivory Press)

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Villa Flor in S-Chanf, photo@VK

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Bohnchang Koo, @invitation card “White on White

a beautiful book, present by Ladina,  her previous art exhibition, Philipp Keel.

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Upon my arrival  my first night in Engadin, I attended  lovely coctail event given  given by my dear friend and amazing jewelry designer Cora Sheibani for  her creations, at private home in St Moritz.. amazing creations! beautiful precious stones in amazing set designs! I love them all!

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and of course, to visit the Nietzsche house in Sils Maria

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Great walker
“Fortunately, you can’t change mountains or lakes,” says Joachim Kung, a Nietzsche scholar and the curator of the Nietzsche House in Sils Maria.

“Of course the area today is very touristy, but you can still find places where you can go for walks alone. Sils has also tried to keep away mass-tourism, so for instance, the parking lots have been put underground.”

The Nietzsche Haus displays manuscripts, letters, works and even the man’s death mask.But it mainly serves as a meeting place for Nietzschean scholars, offering them board and lodging, and organising discussions, debates and exhibitions immersed in the scenery that so inspired the great philosopher.

 

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