Bad Ragaz – Bad Pfäfers – Taminaschlucht (Tamina Gorge) – Naturbrücke – Pfäfers – Wartenstein – Bad Ragaz (11km)
I heard about this gorge last year and anyone who read the story of “Heidi” knows about Bad Ragaz, the thermal bath town visited by Clara’s grandmother.
The rather well known spa promotes its healing waters surfacing at 36.5°C. That’s lukewarm at best. In Japan, I rarely visit an onsen with water temperatures below 40° C. So we skipped the soaking.
Still, we hiked up the gorge to the source of the thermal water. Philippe vaguely remembers that he visited this place in a school outing (he has little memory of what he has done in school, it seems).
After we were informed by a friendly tourist office staff that our planned hike is partially rather steep, we left Bad Ragaz, heading for Bad Pfäfers (Pfäfers Bath). It’s not more than an easy one-hour walk along the gushing river in the imposing narrow gorge. It’s morning and not many people around. We enjoyed the cool air in the impressively curved gorge.
The beautifully maintained baroque-style spa building appeared in front of us and after our picnic lunch in the sun we entered in the thermal spring grotto.
This 450-meter long gorge is impressive! The nature curved rocks only let a narrow sunbeam coming through. It is mysterious and awe-inspiring. We could see hot thermal steam bubbling up. A couple of panels explained where it all began and what we’re looking at.
After the visit of the gorge, the steep hike started into the forest and then down again to the historical “natural bridge” followed by upward wooden steps, which the tourist office personal warned us about.
We arrived at the cute town of Pfäfers, with an impressive baroque monastery church and the former Benedictine abbey (currently in scaffolding).
On the way back to the town, we had another highlight: the Wartenstein Ruin where we could have a fantastic view of the Rhein Valley and the familiar Prättigau peaks such as Vilan, Chrüz and Philippe’s beloved playground Gafäll.
Back in Bad Ragaz an outdoor sculpture exhibition was greeting us and many others with more than 400 pieces, scattered everywhere in the town as well as in the beautiful garden of the Grand Resort Bad Ragaz.