Short trip to the Arosa Electronica Festival

Up into the mountains and then from the slopes directly onto the dancefloor
Sunday, March 12, 2017 to Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Arosa is one of my favorite ski resorts in the Swiss Alps but I never went there on a short trip. I have just been there in February with my family and got sucked in by the winter wonder world. When I learned about the Arosa Electronica music festival, I was all in. However, I did not want to spend a fortune on expensive accommodation but rather travel on a shoestring. Luckily, a befriended family owns a vacation home in eastern Switzerlandinfo-icon, in Mels. Not being in any ski resort, rather at the bottom of the mountains, this is a perfect starting point to explore different mountainous regions. So, I jumped into my car and drove eastwards…

Driving deep into the mountains of Switzerland

Coming from Basel, you first pass by the city and the lake of Zurich. Driving on the highway eastwards, the lake unfolds to the left in a magical way, revealing bit by bit, until you can overview nearly half of the lake and northern shore. I enjoy this view on every short trip, during the day or at night when all the lights around the lake play a visual symphony. At the same time, you start spotting the first snow-white caps, hovering over the hills, far in the distance. As you get closer, those peaks might disappear again, because mighty gray rocks are luring in front of them. One of the most impressive scenery offers Lake Walen, a medium sized clear blue lake surrounded by massive mountains. Those cliffs are so steep and close to the water, that the highway is safely sneaking through a series of tunnels. Even after many times, this place impresses me with its size and strength. This is also where the first gondolas bring snow fanatics up into the ski resorts. I see it as one of the main gates to the Swiss Alps.

A glimpse of the massive alpine rock formations

My first day back in eastern Switzerland, I enjoy the scenery from below. Being surrounded by tall and firm mountains from all sites, I feel small and weak. Yet I am agile, I can move effortlessly through the valley and also climb onto the massive rocks if I wanted to. But first things first, the valley offers more than you might think. On a walk along the Lake Walen, I discover some small villages but first and foremost a series of spots with an amazing panorama. Observing the slowly moving blue water and the steep cliffs on the other side. It is a miracle how people have even started to settle in this area but there are traces back to prehistoric times. Especially the village on the eastern end of the lake, Walenstadt, is of historic importance as well as scenic beauty. There, I enjoy the last coffee and the sunset behind the mountain peaks.

Exploring the valley behind the deep blue lake

The valley behind the lake is surprisingly green and lush. Farmers are using every available inch and are busy planting and harvesting as many produce as they can. Seldom did I see as many farmhouses and tractors on such a narrow piece of land. I assume the sediments and the constant stream of melting water from the mountains make it extremely fertile. Further down the valley, a series of medieval castles are overlooking the busy land. One of the most beautifully preserved is the castle of Sargans. As many of them, it is built on a small rock, easily accessible from the bottom, yet high enough to peer into the distance. Back in the day, the residents must have seen every person moving around, while today, it overlooks thousands of houses, many cars on the highway and trains on the tracks. Unfortunately, the opening hours did not match the timing of my short trip and I could only enjoy it from the outside.

Dancing into the sunset at the Arosa Electronica

Finally, I arrive at my intended destination, the ski resort of Arosa and the Arosa Electronica music festival. On two consecutive days, I drive up into the resort, park my car and start riding my snowboard in the morning. During one week, the music festival is rotating its afternoon stages between different mountainous restaurants. This is perfect, as I can access the stages directly by snowboard. The early afternoon was still lazy, so I only had a short break and something to drink before hitting the snow again. In the late afternoon, I returned to the outdoor stage and joined the raving crowd, dancing about one hour into the sunset. Most of them only came for the music, making it so much better than ordinary après-ski in the snow. On the second day, I stayed for the party night within the village. The quiet gap in the evening, I bridged in a cozy warm restaurant, working for my blog. During this week, the holiday village was alive as never before! Many people were stumbling up and down the only main road. On four different locations, an armada of DJs was playing the finest electronic music, mostly representing Zurich and Germanyinfo-icon. I visited all of them and happily danced through the night until dawn.

Short trip through the tiny country of Liechtensteininfo-icon

After one day of resting and doing nothing, I decided to explore the small country and only ski resort in Liechtenstein. Many years ago, we once were on a family vacation there but I could not remember much. In the morning, I was driving through Vaduz, the capital, and then up into the mountains on a sneaky road with many hairpin curves. From this road, another stunning view over the Rhine valley is opening up. Until the moment, you pass a small tunnel through the rocks and end up in a hidden world, surrounded by massive mountains. There lies the small ski resort of Malbun with only three ski lifts plus two beginners slopes. On this day, I could enjoy the blue sky and warmth of the last winter days. The snow was already melting and splashing high on every curve I perform with my board. In comparison to many others, I really enjoy this kind of snow as it is soft and allows for relaxed carving in large curves. It was a great day in the snow but at the end, my shoes and socks were soaking wet.

My special thanks to the organizers and DJs of the Arosa Electronic music festival!

My waypoints on this journey

Arosa Electronica - celebrating the finest Swiss nightlife on the panoramic mountain stage of Arosa
celebrating the finest Swiss nightlife on the panoramic mountain stage of Arosa
Walensee - one of the most beautiful lakes in Switzerland surrounded by mountain peaks
one of the most beautiful lakes in Switzerland surrounded by mountain peaks
Walenstadt - sitting by the lake, working on my laptop and watching the sun disappear
sitting by the lake, working on my laptop and watching the sun disappear
Mels - great location in Eastern Switzerland to quickly reach many major ski resorts
great location in Eastern Switzerland to quickly reach many major ski resorts
Sargans Castle - climbing up the mighty castle rock to overview the surrounding mountain peaks
climbing up the mighty castle rock to overview the surrounding mountain peaks
Isblaatere - dancing in full snowboard gear on a natural snow covered icerink in Arosa
dancing in full snowboard gear on a natural snow covered icerink in Arosa
sit hütte - dancing in full snowboard gear into the sunset behind the glowing mountains
dancing in full snowboard gear into the sunset behind the glowing mountains
Kursaal Arosa - steaming hot location for dancing through the night at the Arosa Electronica
steaming hot location for dancing through the night at the Arosa Electronica
Wandelbar Arosa - one of the most packed and hottest locations of the Arosa Electronica festival
one of the most packed and hottest locations of the Arosa Electronica festival
Provisorium 13 - main location of the Arosa Electronica in a temporary hotel, restaurant and club
main location of the Arosa Electronica in a temporary hotel, restaurant and club
Fürstentum Liechtenstein - visiting the tiny country between Switzerland and Austria in the mountains
visiting the tiny country between Switzerland and Austria in the mountains
Vaduz - the capital of Liechtenstein feels like a small village but has a great castle
the capital of Liechtenstein feels like a small village but has a great castle
Tamina Therme Bad Ragaz - healthy evening spa in thermal water after an intensive day in the mountains
healthy evening spa in thermal water after an intensive day in the mountains
Malbun Ski Resort - spending a relaxed day on slushy slopes in the only resort of Liechtenstein
spending a relaxed day on slushy slopes in the only resort of Liechtenstein
Sareis Mountain Restaurant - seeking shade and lunch in a mountainous restaurant with view over Malbun
seeking shade and lunch in a mountainous restaurant with view over Malbun