We had a 2pm tee time booked at Andermatt on Thursday 26th July so we decided to make a day of it. Andermatt is about 45 minutes from Buochs where we are staying with Karin and Elvis.
Just after we got to Andermatt we saw the replica horse drawn mail carriage – this goes from Andermatt to Airolo via the Gotthard Pass. 170 years ago, crossing the Gotthard pass was an exhausting trial for the merchants, scientists, messengers and world travellers who embarked on the journey. Today you can relive history by following the same route as a tourist.
The Gotthard Pass or St. Gotthard Pass at 2,106 m (6,909 ft) is a mountain pass in the Alps traversing the Saint-Gotthard Massif and connecting northern and southern Switzerland. The pass lies between Airolo in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino, and Andermatt in the German-speaking canton of Uri, and connects further Bellinzona to Lucerne, Basel, and Zurich. The Gotthard Pass lies at the hearth of the Gotthard, an important north-south axis in Europe, and it is crossed by three major traffic tunnels, each being the world’s longest at the time of their construction: the Gotthard Rail Tunnel (1882), the Gotthard Road Tunnel (1980) and the Gotthard Base Tunnel (2016). Since the Middle Ages, transit across the Gotthard played an important role in Swiss history, the region north of Gotthard becoming the nucleus of the Swiss Confederacy in the early 14th century.
We then went and had a look at Andermatt Realp Golf Club which is further up the valley – it is a 9 hole course and looked extremely hilly which put Steve off straight away 😂 .
Next stop was the Hotel St. Gotthard where we had lunch. This is a historical building that is listed as a protected site by the Swiss Federation. It was built in 1723, became a private residence in 1886 the owner was then granted permission to sell liquor in 1888 and in 1889 it became a guesthouse under the current name Hotel St. Gotthard. Only thereafter was the previous residence transformed into a hotel. In 1906 the storage and cellar rooms were converted to a cozy tavern with panelled walls. This tavern has been preserved to the present day. On September 24th, 1799, the Russian general Suworow stayed here overnight, before he began the gruelling and bloody march with his army through the maze of the Schoellenen Gorge and the Swiss Alps.
Next up was the golf – the practice facilities at Andermatt are fantastic so we spent a couple of hours warming up before hitting the course. The course is located directly adjacent to the village of Andermatt, the ecologically designed, 18-hole, par 72 championship golf course is beautifully nestled into the spectacular natural setting – surrounded by mountains and the Reuss River.
The 18-hole Andermatt Swiss Alps Golf Course meets international tournament standards and was awarded the title of Switzerland’s Best Golf Course for the second year in a row in 2017.
Only the best golf carts in Switzerland
It really was quite surreal playing at 1,400 metres above sea level surrounded by mountains. We have been to this area in the winter when it was covered in snow so it was great to see the contrast. The other thing that is unique to playing golf in Switzerland is the constant ringing in the distance of the cow bells.
Despite all the practice there was some mixed golf played 😲 but we really couldn’t have asked for such a good day and a fantastic experience. It is always good to play a course again so we repeated the experience again on Tuesday the 31st July.
The Golf Ball toilet 😊