Day 7 – Sion to Arolla, via Siriez
Apparently i missed fireworks and a thunderstorm last night, so I slept better than I thought. Today’s the last day off, back to walking again for us after this.
Not much to report on, apart from a few fun shops in Sion, wine tasting w/ tapas and the biggest cheese counter I’ve seen in a long while. First port of call was dumping our bags at the station whilst we had a tour of the ski resort at Nendaz on our way to rescue Paul’s poles from the cafe at Siriez. Nendaz looked bigger than Verbier, could be where the smart money goes, esp as they’re connected by cable cars.
Back to Sion for a sandwich for lunch before heading up Val d’Herens to tonight’s destination. 3 days roasting in the valley was plenty for me, I’m most glad to get back up again. Air fresher and temperature nearer sane.
Paused to change in Les Hauderes, just outside the dodgy hotel we stayed in in 2003. Doesn’t seem to have changed much, neither does its bar that we monopolised.
Arolla looks like I remebered it, but Grand Hotel Kurhaus is very, well, grand! Old in the right places and new in others, it sports wifi, proper leather sofas in one of the lounges with proper 10′ ceilings, a good library, extracts from 100 year old guest books and an old wooden globe. I’ve always wanted to try spinning one of those! It’s aged better than Hotel Weishorn, tho that could be to do with its pricing strategy. In any event, I’m visibly lowering the tone of the living room in my rumbled walking shirt and trousers, sniffing away to my phone.
The valley walls are remarkably severe, even for the alps, but the view across to the mountains between us and Grimentz is splendid.Val d’Herens seems very popular with Belgians and the Dutch. Les Hauderes was nearly crawling with Dutch Scouts and every third car sported a B or NL, with a few UK plates thrown in for good measure.
Proper wood fires add to the ambience and the 4 course dinner was great, if a touch large.