The schatzalp alpinum is about 2000 m above sea level. After dinner tonight some of us hiked up to what felt like about 3000 m, it was getting cooler that's for sure. We crossed fields of wildflowers where cows with their tinkling bells grazed.
it's worth looking at the hotel website, there is a tab for the garden and it can be translated to English. Www.schatzalp.ch should work.
Access to the hotel is up the very steep funicular rail. I then was shown the rough, steep gravel road to bring the bike up as I didn't really want to leave it in town for the next three weeks.
Thomas Manns classic Magic Mountain was set here in the mountains where hotels were used as infirmaries for rich Europeans with TB. They have made a movie of the novel and used this hotel. So much is the same, it's wonderful to be walking through the dining room, out onto the sun balconies, using the really wide doorways, walking along the passages where doctors whispered. I love it. I'm living on a movie set!!
There are five of us volunteers, from five different countries. Aust, Kazakhstan, Estonia, Spain and Germany. We all manage with different levels of English. Klaus, the head gardener, whom I had the good fortune to meet at Cradle two years ago, and his protege Andreas are both German. They will keep us busy. Our food is just as multicultural: fruit from all over the world and hot dishes of all descriptions. The kitchen staff love us gardeners as we are big eaters!!
Visitors to the gardens are from all over the world too. Many Japanese, they love to be shown an eidelweiss. Europeans, English, Aussies, it's a little United Nations up here in the Alps.
The whole resort is really quite spectacular and has an interesting history. Easier for you to read about I using their website. The garden has many areas, kitchen, alpine meadows, moor, big five ( peonies, poppies, delphiniums, day lilies and iris), waterfall, poisonous plants, tiny Alpine plants, herb garden and new areas to rehabilitate the damage done by avalanches. Then there are the potting sheds, propagating areas, nursery for different climates, compost piles, timber, gravel, tool sheds and wheelbarrows and small tractor and trailers. It's a massive operation, basically run my one man, a small staff and a handful of volunteers and three cats!!
SANATORIUM SCHATZALP- HOTEL SCHATZALP The co-builder of this monumental and architecturally valuable reinforced concrete building and the Schatzalpbahn as a feeder was Willem Jan Holsboer, on whose initiative the first stretch of the Rhaetian Railway in 1890 led to Davos. The present-day Art Nouveau Hotel Schatzalp was built in a visionary and pioneering way in the years 1898-1900 by the young Zurich architects Otto Pfleghard & Max Haefeli and opened on 21 December 1900. The Schatzalp was conceived as a luxury sanatorium and was the most advanced sanatorium for tuberculosis sufferers in Europe. First practicing chief physician was dr. Luzius Spengler, son of spa founder Alexander Spengler and son-in-law of Willem Jan Holsboer. With the invention of streptomycin in 1946, tuberculosis was defeated for the time being. Thus, the Schatzalp had served as a sanatorium and 1953 was converted into a hotel. The soul of the house, the architecture, is largely preserved. Even today, the dining room, the conversation room and even a few guest rooms are as they were 100 years ago. The magical romanticism that Thomas Mann had inspired to his novel is still noticeable and visible on the Schatzalp.