Have you ever heard of Davos? Do you know where this mountain town is? It is perhaps the highest in the Alps at 1560m. Every year there is the World Economic Forum, and all the important people of the world (or almost) find themselves there. It is the largest mountain resort in the Alps, a very cosmopolitan resort.
After having discovered it last May during conferences, we wanted to see the station under its winter face. It must be said that I had already come a few years ago skiing when I was in Erasmus in Germany, but the weather did not let me see the mountains ..
Reaching Davos, from Locarno is a bit of an expedition in Switzerland in grandiose landscapes. With my Swiss Travel Pass in the pocket I head to take the train to Bellinzona, the capital of Ticino. This will be the only big waiting period. I have half an hour to enjoy a cappuccino on the terrace cafe of the station, to wait for the postal bus to Chur, which is the capital of Graubunden.
These yellow buses will become a usual vision during my stay here. They crisscross all over Switzerland! Comfortable, equipped with wi-fi, it is a rather cheap way to move around the country. As we get closer, the landscape becomes more and more alpine. The stone houses of Ticino give way to the chalets. The peaks are charged with snow. The mountain pastures shout their greenery and it is only the beginning of the trip
At Thusis, I embark on a train to Fillisur. It's not the Swiss Federal Railways but the Rhaetian Railway. Here I do not set foot anywhere, but on the Albula line, a UNECSO World Heritage Site just like Bernina, the other main Grisons line. A special train with panoramic windows, the Glacier Express, passes but for the common traveler, a regular train go on the same route.
And what to say? The landscape is enchanting! I feel like I'm in a photo book! The images of my first memories of crossing Switzerland, when I was six years old, broke from my memory, to be superimposed with the new memories. The highlight of the show is the passage over the Landwasser viaduct, a huge viaduct that spans the Landwasser and emblem of the Rhatische Bahn.
Leaving a tunnel, we suddenly find ourselves 65 meters high, on a viaduct that forms a graceful curve, which allows us to photograph part of the train, back or forward, while we cross it. At the end of the viaduct, we arrive directly at Filisur and its pretty little chalet-style place. This is where I will take the train to Davos where I'll be alone in my car!
And the first train I meet does not have a mandatory stop! Stops are on demand, as in a bus. It's just huge! For half an hour, we will continue to climb, because Davos is the highest city in Europe. Along the way, the landscape only smiles under the sun. I have only one desire, to go out and frolic! I wait for the next train when I'm done having fun at Davos Station.
I am at last at Davos Dorf. It took another bus to get there. Davos Platz and Davos-Dorf are not on the same line. I'm a few minutes early and the train from Chur will arrive.
Davos, the city of the international forum is the place where meets the gratin of the political and economic worlds. During a good week where one wonders how many things are said and decided in the alpine air. And yet, there is a way to stay while keeping a reasonable budget. So we head to the hostel! The hostel is a little out of the way and we have to climb a little to reach it.
Furnished with a wooden bed, the surprise is a large balcony overlooking the valley where the village is. It's a huge plus! But we have no time to waste. After leaving our stuff and have a little refreshed, we are on the way, on foot, for the Adventure Park Davos Farich.
Hidden in a small wood not far from Lake Davos is the perfect place to have fun with family. In any case, I saw no children. We are hungry and we go to eat fries and sausages. The Ticinese gastronomy with the sweet Italian accents seems far away! But the fries sprinkled with paprika are good and I never spit on a good sausage, especially when my teeth were the wooden floor of the snack. I have a beer!
The stomachs finally filled, I prefer to stay in the woods and I head for the Zipline. I had already done in South Africa. Here, there is a whole journey to be made and it is only me who must be in charge of my safety. On the training area, we are therefore explained safety rules, how to use hooks, interpret signs, arrange the pulley when we arrive at the zip line.
The whole thing is to acquire automatism. Once we do the maneuvers with the instructors, we start them alone, on the ground, under the eye of the instructor, before finally getting on the starting platform. There, we have the choice between several courses, from the easiest to the most difficult. I decided to start obviously with the easiest, to see if I could possibly continue if I feel it.
I hang on and off we go for a good half-hour. While I imagined that it would go by itself, before letting me slide, I am caught in a completely unexpected fear. I look down, I hesitate. I'm not dizzy but my body tells me that something is not normal. It tells me that I will have to hang on to the rope with all my strength when I have to let myself slip.
Suddenly, I get angry with myself. Since when did I become a fearful? I'm not going to stay there all day, especially since a kid of just twelve years old seems to be impatient behind me! So I start, but soon, I find myself having to put all my strength to pull me to my point of arrival. But what a ball! Finally, I will limit myself to the easy course.
We loved the breakfast with a delicious assortment of tea, breads of all cereals as we like and special mention at the typical bircher muesli (I'm crazy and I'll go to Switzerland just for that) with fresh berries. After a solid breakfast, we pack our lunch to take away, and in a small procession, we take the bus before reaching the Rinerhorn cable car station.
Once up there, the view is breathtaking against a background of pure blue sky. We see snow-capped mountains, dark green fir trees and soft green alpine meadows, dotted with white, yellow, pink, fuschia, mauve and blue. We see the colors of thousands of mountain flowers like daisy, buttercups, forget-me-nots, gentians or alpine roses. It's beautiful. I want to frolic, to roll in the flowers, and sing loudly!
The trail goes around the mountain before going down to the valley. In the hours that follow, it will be a succession of breathtaking landscapes. We walk between meadow and small pine woods, with occasional small streams to cross. During the walk, I try to go far from my fellow hikers to enjoy all this magic. It's a bit of a guilty pleasure.
The walk ends at the entrance to the village of Sertig, where we eat our toast in the shadow of a small church surrounded by flowers, close to the road and a bus stop that will take us back to town. It's off again for a cable car ride! We are dropped off at the station that takes visitors and guests to the Hotel Schatzalp.
This hotel opened in 1900 as a former sanatorium is even higher than the hostel and can be visited as a real museum. To return to it, it is a little to plunge in a world made of well-off clientele, with the good air of the Alps. Apart from a more contemporary furniture, it is certain that we recognize the restaurant.
The evening menu is already arranged on the table. The big tables covered with white are already ready and all that is needed is lighting the candles! Outside on the other hand, the terrace is smiling and invites us to enjoy a cocktail, lying on a deck chair, with perhaps cuddles from one of the cats in the area.
After delicious rosti of grilled potato and fried egg and a hot punch with fresh orange and ginger, we feel we are hungry to attack the descent. We take the path of the village, via the hiking trail. Davos has its little lake. I wonder if there is a city in Switzerland that does not have its own! It is there, sparkling under the sun. Walking around is obviously nice but why not fall back into childhood and pedal? And hop! We embark in the small yellow boats.