Day 317 – Rasen-Antholz to Müstair

In 1976 my parents, three brothers and I visited this part of the Alps on a camping holiday. We camped in Naturns near Meran but I recognised nothing as we passed through. The town was very busy with tourists and traffic as we passed through.

We had a bit of a shock today. We had last filled up with diesel in Croatia at €1.28 per litre. Today the fuel in Italy was €1.88! And we had managed only 32 mpg from the last tank. We have been getting over 40 mpg from previous tanks. 16 cents per Km on mountainous roads with Italian fuel compared with 8 cents per Km with Croatian fuel.

There were light border checks crossing into Switzerland. No passports required but we were asked if we had anything to declare. I suspect they were really looking for migrants…

Switzerland is not part of the Customs Union, but accepts free movement of people and most EU law. It contributes 130 Euros per person to the EU compared to 149 Euros per person from the British (net contribution). It is a model the UK could adopt outside the Customs Union if the British are willing to accept free movement of people, most EU law and substantial contributions to the EU budget as a compromise.

Müstair is a Romansh speaking part of Switzerland. The country has four official languages (others are German, French and Italian), and Romansh is spoken by just 0.6% of the population. Although it is an official language, it is only the 10th most widely spoken: as well as German, French and Italian- English, Portuguese, Albanian, Croatian, Spanish and Turkish are the mother toungue to more people living in Switzerland than Romansh.

Müstair is high. At an elevation of 1273 metres it is higher than all but four mountains in the UK. This makes it chilly. But it is amazingly bueatiful, surrounded by snow capped mountains.

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