«Accompany our little hiking friends on their way through the mountain world,» the old mountain Corvatsch instructs the cheeky goblin. «Take the water trail to my six blue lakes.» - «Wow, the water trail? Really? Maximel! I always wanted to see that. Grandius! Something exciting is happening, at last!»
Enthusiasm is contagious, and already this beginning of the enjoyable story «Plitsch and Platsch» with the mountain fairy Mara and the goblin Furbaz makes you want to embark on this great family hike right away.
With only 2½ hours walking time from and back to Furtschellas middle station this nature discovery trip is perfect for all ages. Thanks to the cheerful and intriguing background information on the lakes provided by the little mountain fairy and her goblin companion, time will simply fly by. They will open your eyes for the characteristics of each idyllic lake and uncover all kinds of information on the Engadin flora and fauna. The booklet (in German only) is available free of charge at the Furtschellas valley and middle station and as a podcast.
If you consult a map of the region, you will discover that «Ils Lejin» (Romansh for «the lakes») lie so closely side by side as if they had deliberately arranged to meet for a Plitsch-Platsch-chitchat. However, it was actually not until 2004 that they were connected by today’s circular hiking trail. The idea for this project came from Elisabeth Schumacher from Sils. At least once every summer, the sprightly lady told the Furtschellas-board, she would hike to the six lakes – at over 80 years of age! The individuals responsible immediately liked the sound of this – wouldn’t it be a fantastic family outing? Soon it was a done deal. Elisabeth Schumacher advised them regarding the route, signposts were installed and tricky sections made passable.
The water trail was completed. The small mountain lakes now basked in the admiration of their visitors … but something was missing in order to do their beauty and uniqueness full justice: they needed names. Without further ado, locals and guests were invited to hand in name suggestions for the six lakes, and a jury assessed 2000 submitted proposals! The chosen names honour the large mineral deposits on Furtschellas:
The first lake along the water trail that welcomes hikers is the Lejin Cristal. And what a welcome it is: apart from their possible healing powers, crystals are always a sight for sore eyes. While the rare findings in the mountains mostly show a milky and, due to chlorite, greenish tinge, you also may find small ‘crystal clear’ stones along the passage leading from Grialetsch to Furtschellas (or more specifically: on both mountainsides and at Curtinella). A true rarity!
Once they get to the crescent-like magnetite lake at 2646 metres, the hiking family has reached the water trail’s highest point. While the goblin Furbaz immediately assumes that the water is magnetic, Mara only partly agrees: «Less magnetic and rather magic», she explains to him. «Magnetite helps people make the right decision. Thanks to its positive energy, they can go their own way in life and find happiness.» However, as it turns out, the magnetite crystals in the rock at the bottom of the lake lie so closely together that magnets indeed could stick to them. In this sense, they also provide humans with a tight grip on reality. What an impressive source of strength this lake is!
Malachite is a coveted gem that, once cut, glitters in the most beautiful shades of green. The biggest of the six lejin, too, shimmers like a greenish mirror amidst the flowering pastures. Since ancient times, people believed that the stone would inspire confidence and harmony, and it was often used medically in powder form. For example, it was supposed to ease the pain of women during childbirth.
«The name,» the little mountain fairy Mara explains, «is ancient Greek and means ‘(scent of a) rose’. You can find it on the Furtschellas-Grialetsch-mountainside that descends towards the Val Fex, in the proximity of the upper Rabgiusa-stream, at the Chastelets and at Crap dallas Ravulaunas …» However, before the hikers could get their hopes up of returning home with a whole basket of those magical raspberry-red manganese silicate, she adds: «… but it is very rare.» Aside from its beauty, the rhodonite has (cicatricial) healing powers with pain-relieving and even trauma-calming effects. In other words: a «first-aid stone».
Even though, strictly speaking, slate is no mineral itself but is composed of various minerals like quartz, biotite and paragonite, this smallest of the six lakes deserves its name: It has a light silverish-greenish shimmer, just like the sediment. Bevor Denms Somergen zur Arben gent‘ pack! er eIne seIdene Slrumpfnose und eIne Pensche In seIne Tascne.
The very shiny brownish-blackish or greenish epidote crystals look quite unique due to their characteristic stalky form. Like «green turf» it fills clefts in the Furtschellas-Grialetsch region. Epidote is supposed to have performance-enhancing as well as immune-strengthening effects. After the hikers once more admired the impressive panorama including the Piz da la Margna – the «Guardian of the Upper Engadin” – they set out for Furtschellas middle station, situated approximately 150 metres below Lejin Epidot.