Late June 2021, we were on our first mountain pass tour in our only 3 months old camper. The first day we just drove to Camping Thusis-Viamala – to be ready for the first pass the next morning. The campsite is situated along the Hinterrhein river and is full of pitches with shadows from tall Scots pine trees (Pinus Silvestris, for those with relevant allergies). The next morning we started the ascend over the Julier Pass. A good and wide road leads over the pass, except some narrow parts when driving through some of the villages. All the way we saw waterfalls, lakes, lots of grazing cattle and just…..beautiful nature. Don’t forget to look out for marmots. The Julier Pass is very friendly, green and lush. Getting closer to the top of the 2.284 meters high pass, there were more and more hairpin curves, but the ascend was still just under 12 %. At the top, there are some lakes, a small restaurant and a theatre. Yes, a theatre. A 30 meters high red wooden building, serving as a theatre. Of course, most of us don’t think it belongs here, and it was supposed to be dismantled in 2020, but it still stands there. There are, as on many mountain passes, a lot of bikers, challenging and enjoying the many hairpin curves. But, this day, a young Italian man lost his life in an accident in one of the curves. We were so sorry, and shaken, to witness this on short distance 🙁
After the descent towards St. Moritz, we continued a bit and then drove over the Albula Pass. Here the road is narrower, a lot narrower, and in less good condition. As our motorhome is exactly the allowed width limit, we had to drive with reduced speed, which of course allowed us to enjoy the wonderful views a lot better. The Albula Pass is 2.312 meters high and right in the heart of the Albula Alps. The area is rough, more deserted than the Julier Pass, but very beautiful and through some picturesque villages.
At the end of the pass, just after Filisur, we parked close to the Landwasser river to have lunch. We hiked the very steep path to the viewing platform to see the famous spot where the trains drive out from a tunnel and over the 65 meters high Landwasser Viaduct, constructed 120 years ago. At that time nobody knew this would be a hot spot for Instagram posts 🙂 After this very interesting experience, we drove over the Julier Pass again 🙂 to get to the little Camping St. Moritz by the river Inn with fabulous views of the surrounding mountains. We stayed here for the night before exploring the next mountain passes the day after.
At both of the passes, there are endless hiking paths and many cyclists also find their limits there 😉 A funny little story, a cyclist came to us and asked if we had a bit of sun cream he could get, he was surprised by the strong sunshine – never forget sun cream in the mountains. Do come back later for the second part of our mountain pass trip.