Hotel Alpina

Within hours of leaving my Essex home, I was within sight of the mighty Pizol, a peak in the Swiss Alps, and as dusk fell I stared upwards, a forbidding lump of rock that rose almost vertically. In the valley the light was purple now, the autumn air sweet, and a thousand cow bells and a passing train the only sounds. It was only the next day, awake with the delicious anticipation only the first morning of a new holiday can bring, that we began our ascent, jolted unceremoniously into the air, with the grace of an alleycat being picked up by its scruff, on a wide chairlift. The air throbbed with the melody of electric current and a bright sun bathed dewy grass meadows in warm life. Higher and higher we went, skimming the tops of fir trees and flying silently over winding tracks and clusters of rocks. I wanted the moment of perfect serenity to last forever. Soon the chairlift journey was broken by the need to change, and this involved a short walk by the Hotel Alpina. I was taken with the idea of spending a few nights here, tucked away in a remote corner of a mountain, utterly alone but for the wolves and trolls who stalk the mysterious slopes by night. I imagined evenings of reading, of painting in the crepuscular Swiss sunset and eating meals of cheese and beer. So maybe I will stay at the Hotel Alpina one day. In the meantime, I decided to paint it. The work featured here is for sale at


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