A journey in the 19th century
Before we commence our wanderings through the hitherto untravelled valleys around the Bernina, it may be useful to gather together a few of the principal characteristics of a region at present but little known in England. Von Tschudi says, "Nowhere do we find more intricate heights, lovelier valleys, or more luxuriant vegetation", than in the Grisons. "It contains more than one hundred and fifty valleys, and must be held to surpass every other district in the exhibition of those wonderful contrasts of sternness and beauty in which Nature gives play to her caprices."
To no part of the canton can this description be more truly applied than to the Ober-Engadine and its many lateral valleys, which spread their branches far into the mountain region round the Bernina, extending upwards until they meet the chilling embraces of the glacier, or are enveloped in a mantle of snow. Nature is here seen in her most varied and attractive forms, – sparkling, transparent lakes, enshrined in rich pastoral valleys, reflecting the wooded slopes around; or verdant alps, surmounted by giants of the Alpine world, in their wildest, most imposing, and most beautiful aspects.
From: "A Summer Tour in the Grisons and Italian Valleys of the Bernina", Mrs. Henry Freshfield © Longman, Green, Longman, and Roberts, London 1862
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