Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Visiting Renata in Davos Dorf, Switzerland

14 July
The train ride from Zurich to Davos was so picturesque, just like you see in photos. The weather wasn't ideal, but nevertheless, it was breathtaking. Renata met us at the station and then to the Koffee Klatsch for lunch. It turned out to be the #1 lunch spot on trip advisor. The cappuccinos had heart shaped designs on them. We checked into the Hotel Alpina, located up the street from the Promenade and we had a quaint room on the 3rd floor. We took naps and later, Renata came by with wine and pretzels and we leisurely talked in "The salon". A big cat jumped onto Renata's lap and purred. The misty, cool weather was a sharp contrast to the hot, sunny one we had in Prague.

I researched some restaurants in the area and found one called Hanggii's where we went for dinner. They had various pizzas so we each ordered a different one and shared. Russ loved his salmon appetizer, too.


15 July

The weather was still foggy and rainy and Renata called in the morning to report that her wheel was broken so she couldn't ride until it was fixed. Russ took another nap and I caught up on email. Renata called again and asked to ride in the afternoon so we left the hotel around 11:30am to stroll Davos. We ate a simple lunch at a pizza place and marveled at a the price for a small salad and panini with 2 cokes...$30. Oh well...ce la vie.
We stopped at the sports complex/info center and Russ bought a Davos Klosters bike jersey and I got info for dinner that evening. Renata and Russ started their ride around 1:30pm, and I decided to go up to Scwartzalp on the funicular.
With the Davos tourist card, it was free. The ride took only 5 minutes or so and at the top, there were two restaurants and trail heads leading up the mountains. The fog was lifting so I took the trail which read Schwartz Pass which was supposed to take about 1.5hours but just about 40 minutes into the trail, I saw one cow with a loud cowbell. I saw another cow and as I ascended up a bit further, there were about 20 cows. After zone cow mooed, the other cows copied and they started getting up and coming after me. As I was alone, I started jogging off trail back to where I came from. I don't know if they thought I had food for them or not but without anyone else insight, I used my better judgement to leave.
Towards the bottom of the trail, I saw the summer sledding "sommer schlittelbahn" and decided to give it a try. It looked fun!! For only 3.5 SF, it was a deal and cheaper than a cup of coffee. The sled was easy to maneuver with a joystick to control forward and stop. The conveyer belt took me to the top, and I had a great time riding down. I only used the brakes since the sled ahead of me had a mother and son. After the quick ride, I took a view from the restaurant and mortised the trail heading down the mountain. Instead of riding down, I walked 45 minutes back to the hotel, stopping along the way to buy gifts.
Within 5 minutes, Renata called and asked me to join them on the promenade for drinks as they had just completed their ride. Russ was so ecstatic about the ride as it was technical, scenic and ranked one of the best rides ever! Aside from the near fall down a steep cliff, Russ rode well without clip-ins and showed me photos and videos of the trail. They ran into three men playing alpenhorns, this long wooden instruments in the ricola commercials. When Russ asked to take a photo with them, they offered to also play a song. The gorgeous valley Russ described was something I missed but luckily, he caught it on film.

Davos' Jazz Festival started the day before but Friday evening commenced the street "taste of Davos" type event with food kiosks own the street, beer bike carts, jazz concerts, games, etc. We hit it at the right time. This Japanese conductor was a hit with his Swiss students. They all played beautifully!
We made dinner reservations at Gentiana, a traditional Swiss snail and fondue restaurant so after watching a little student jazz with a Japanese conductor, we had snails, cheese fondue and white wine. Russ had to walk 40 minutes back to the hotel to get the cell phone that I left there, but aside from that "mulligan or faux pas", we enjoyed the evening.

Renata joined us a little later and together we hit the streets for jazz and beer. It was pretty cold last night and so I wore my cashmere gloves and pashmina scarf and long underwear. We walked back and said our goodbyes and invited Renata to stay with us in Saipan for XTERRA and Tagaman 2012.


16 July
The awoke to the best, blue sky weather and started our train ride to Interlaken. Davos was certainly one of our favorites towns as it was so picturesque. We'll just have to return there again someday soon.

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