Lake St. Moritz or Lej da San Murezzan – St. Moritz
Lake St. Moritz, or Lej da San Murezzan in Romansh, is a beautiful area for that summer morning or afternoon walk. The lake measures approximately 1.6 km long and 0.6 km wide and depending on how fast a walker you are, it may take 1 to 1-1/2 hours to circumnavigate. Photo enthusiasts will want to allow for additional time as the scenery is stunning and there are lots of picturesque scenes to be captured.
The walk goes in a whole circuit and once you decide to embark on the track, the only way of getting back to your starting point is to complete the circuit or backtrack, i.e. there’s no shortcut back into town.
There is a club house by the lake and in summer, you may see sailing regattas and the odd optimistic fisherman bopping on the water, waiting patiently for a catch. The lake freezes over from December to May and the place comes alive with all kinds of winter sports. The first ice cricket tournament took place on the frozen lake in 1988. The St. Moritz White Turf international horse races have been taking place on the lake in February each year since 1907. It’s hard to imagine the thundering hooves of horses on this normally very serene lake. How solid is this ice that it can withstand the weight of horses pounding on it, and just to give you some confidence, what about the story of the English cricketer David Gower who parked his rental car on the ice in January 1990 only to find that it had broken through the ice and sank overnight. Imagine having to explain to the car rental company that their car is at the bottom on the lake!
Before we set out on our lake walk in summer, some mischievous friends told us that they had seen a python and marmots along the walk. For a split second I believed them, and then realized they were pulling my leg when they expanded on their sightings to include bears and eagles. You will actually see all these creatures, except that they are wooden carvings, some more realistic than others. We walked the track in an anti-clockwise direction and saw Jim and others enjoying their cup of coffee at the club house in the beautiful morning sun. It was tempting to join them and sit there to enjoy the scenery, but our conscience got the better of us and told us that we needed to walk. There was a week-long sailing regatta happening on the lake and the sails of the boats added to picturesque scenery.
The weather can change quite dramatically here and the bright blue skies that we started out with soon got clouded over and it became quite cool. So, even in summer, it’s wise to bring along a jumper. We prayed desperately that the grey clouds would blow over as we were due to go up to Piz Nair after lunch.