Tag Archives: Winter Holidays

Switzerland, Graubünden: From Davos To Valposchiavo

On My Way To Davos

First Stop In Chur

After a short flight from Brussels to Zurich, I’m on the train to Davos, via Chur, the oldest city in Switzerland (over 5000 years old) and capital of Graubünden. My second trip to this awesome Swiss canton: the first time, I was in Lenzerheide and Arosa

I only stop a few hours in Chur to discover the old town. It is snowing a lot! I won’t complain, cause I also came for the snow! My basic city tour is promising. I guess in spring and summer, it should be very nice to visit the old town with its small medieval streets and monuments.   

Hello Davos!

A Sport Walk In The Schatzalp Strela Ski Resort

Hello Davos! What a light and spectacular view this morning! I arrived the previous evening in Davos, where I took a small (shuttle) train to go up to the Hotel Schatzalp. This old sanatorium was made famous by Thomas Mann (the author of “Death in Venice” novel adapted to the screen by Visconti). 

Hotel departure around 9:45 am for a quite physical walk of 2 hours on the Wässerfall Rundgang route. We walk in fresh powder snow, because the narrow path has not yet been groomed. Last night a lot of snow fell!

I am euphoric. Lunch at the Restaurant Strela Alp, enjoying the terrace overlooking ski slopes and for dessert a pie selection. 

A Spa Afternoon

Long spa session at the really cool Hard Rock Hotel Davos (photo on the left below): the rooms, trendy young clientele and general atmosphere suit me more than the Hotel Schatzalp. The hotel is located in the center of Davos, so we stayed in town the evening too. We had a Thai fusion dinner at the very good Monta Grill Restaurant of the Grischa hotel (photo on the right below).  

The Old Sanatorium

If you consider that a hotel is an experience that allows above all to test different universes, then welcome to the Hotel Schatzalp. Ideally located in the middle of majestic mountains covered with fir trees. The panorama is superb. The view, THE VIEW! But I found the facilities and furnitures dated. The hotel was originally a luxurious sanatorium, built between 1898 and 1900, in Art Deco style. A past greatness. 

From Davos To Alp Grüm

On The Panoramic Bernina Express Train

After two nights in Davos, I take a first Rhaetian Railway train from Davos Platz to Filisur, then the famous Bernina Express with panoramic windows from Filisur to Alp Grüm. Breathtaking landscapes! Glaciers, frozen lake, an ocean of snow covers the summits, under an azure sky and a blazing sun. I am amazed and stop at the terminus: the Albergo Ristorante Alp Grüm

My “Must” Stay

L’Albergo Ristorante Alp Grüm

Suffice to say that I liked everything of this old train station nestled at 2091m and transformed into a restaurant, terrace and hotel, with a very comfortable modern simple interior design. Far from any village and with a 360 degree view of Val Poschiavo, the Alps and the Vadret da Palü glacier.

This place is just magical! Getting lost in contemplation … Below, photos from my bedroom window, at different times of the noght and day. I recommend you to make the reservation of your room well in advance, because there are few rooms.  

Intense Snowshoeing

Arrived at the Albergo Ristorante Alp Grüm in the middle of the day, we took an aperitif on the terrace, then had lunch. In the afternoon, supervised by our guide Romeo Lardi, we go snowshoeing near the Lago Bianco.

I have snowshoeed several times, but this outing is really intense. Our guide is indestructible! It goes up, it goes down, the fast constant pace. I focus on my breathing and the white ocean of snow. I feel good, happiness …

On My Way Back

Albula

This morning, I take the train to Zurich airport. Leaving Alp Grüm, I stop at the picturesque village of Albula. While walking, I look at the pretty facades and an old palace very well renovated. Beautiful village! 

Photos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés

Informations  

www.MySwitzerland.com, www.graubuenden.ch, www.churtourismus.ch, www.davos.ch, www.klosters.chwww.valposchiavo.ch, www.swiss.com, www.rhb.ch

Related articles : Destinations & Hotel Review

Many thnaks to My Switzerland, the different tourism boards, the Raethian Railway and Swiss for this beautiful invitation. As always these are my opinions.

Switzerland: 7 Activities For a Weekend in Gstaad

1. Snowshoeing & Nature In Sparenmoos

When it is snowing a lot and the fog is falling, I much prefer snowshoeing, or cross-country skiing with an experienced instructor who will be able to choose the right place. Significantly less stressful than being at the top of a slope for skiing without any visibility! So I discover with pleasure the beautiful scenery of Sparenmoos. Big crush on the fir trees, a bit like in Méribel! A fairytale landscape.

2. Visiting The Mirage of Doug Aitken

The Unusual Experience

I really liked the short hike to the Mirage by the American artist Doug Aitken. A visionary construction, located between Gstaad and Schönried. Fantastic! All walls (including ceiling and roof with the exception of the floor) are mirrors. Stunning and fun! A must see and experience! The installation will remain until January 2021.

3. A Drink On The Slopes

Enjoying The Panorama

During this weekend, the weather is pretty capricious, two white days (very foggy) and one single sunny day (the one of my departure, lol!). Finally with a friend and our instructor, we take a long break at the top of the slopes, waiting for a better visibility. The weather darkens and we went back down by cable car. But happy!

4. Sleeping at 1,450 Meters Above Sea Level

In Nature

I spent the first night of my trip at the Rinderberg Swiss Alpine Lodge. A  real change of scenery! You need to take the cable car to access this very welcoming and cozy little hotel, located near the Rinderbergbahn intermediate station. From the small balcony of my room, I have a panoramic view of the mountain and the fir trees. The landscape is a bit magical. Photo above: the spa bordered by fir trees.

5. Strolling in Gstaad

Away From The Hustle And Bustle

The Gstaad I discover (off of the season) is a quiet and charming village. People are relaxed and the general rythm is calm. Perfect when you need to recharge, or if you are agoraphobic. On the shopping side: Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Dolce Gabbana … are installed in beautiful wooden “chalets”. There are plethora of restaurants and some cafes and bars are really cool.

6. Discovering Saneen

The Historic Village

The center of Saanen is charming with small streets lined with wooden houses built between the 15th century and the 18th century. The woodwork (facades and doors) is beautiful. And the al fresco paintings of the Saint Maurice church date back to the 15th century. There are also a few lovely shops with local handicrafts. A nice walk after skiing.

7. The Hype Design Hotel

Where To Stay

The HUUS Hotel Gstaad is defenitely my favorite place in Gstaad! I am absolutely delighted with my two nights there. Awesome design, team and atmosphere! I really liked my room, the common areas, lounge with the fireplace, long bar, excellent Italian restaurant, view, champagne evening, breakfast and location!

Photos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés

Informations  

www.MySwitzerland.com, www.gstaad.ch, www.visitvalais.ch, www.swiss.com, www.swisstravelsystem.com

Related articles : Destinations & Hotel Review

Many thanks to the tourist offices, My Switzerland and Gstaad for this beautiful invitation. As always, these are my opinions.

Switzerland, Zermatt: Hiking, Matterhorn & Gornergrat

The Arrival

Flight-Train-Bus-Train

Dear visitors of Mademoiselle Le K: Blog-Trotter, I missed you! I’m back in the blog and also in the beautiful Swiss Alps: my first time in the canton of Valais more exactly! On the way to Zermatt. The trip was a bit long, due to a technical problem of the express train taken at Zurich airport.

I got on the next train, without checking it was not an express train! Then, there was a bus section between two train stations, because of a significant snowfall. The landscapes are gorgeous and trains very comfortable.

Moreover, I recommend to take the Swiss Pass that allows unlimited train, coach and boat trips, valid for the duration of your stay. And perfect in case of unforeseen.

The Hiking

Breathtaking Views

We are in the highest ski area in the Alps. But I will not ski today. We leave the village for a winter hike through ski slopes and postcard hamlets.

First step: 40 minutes walk crossing the slopes from Sunnegga to Findeln (without any difficulty). We will have lunch at Findeln. Then we will continue until Zermatt: more and less one hour of slope with a good uneven and part in the woods and frozen snow.

The landscape beauty makes me super euphoric, even if I can feel my glute muscles work hard! I am convinced in hiking, walking down always requires more effort (lol)!

    

Feeding The Body And Mind

Panoramic Lunch

on the mountainside at the Findlerhof restaurant. We decided to stay out on the terrace to enjoy the 180 degree view. But the weather is changing.

Time to have my tuna sashimi with green salad (what an idea! Light meal after an evening of fondue orgy!). I’m freezing cold (photos below)! LOL!

  

Magic Gornergrat

An Ocean of Snow

If you like trains, you should definitely try the Gornergrat Bahn. The Gornergrat is the third largest glacier in the Alps.

When we take on the train, the weather is bad in Zermatt. I was afraid that it was also covered, once arrived at destination. But as the train goes up, the sky is more and more blue with a bright sun. 

  

The Famous Matterhorn

A Very Capricious Friend!

The Matterhorn is a real diva! In the early morning we reached the Rothorn to enjoy a direct view of the Matterhorn and the landscape stretching from the peak of the Dufourspitze (the highest peak of the Swiss Alps) to the Weisshorn.

But the clouds decided otherwise, not once I could admire the summit of the Matterhorn. Ditto this afternoon (photos above and below), this time from the Gornergrat to 3100 meters.

  

The Hinterdorf

 

A Walk In Past

I really enjoyed walking in the old Zermatt, the Hinterdorf, with granaries, barns and stables built between the 15th and 19th centuries. The set is quite small, but has a lot of character. 

And for those who need their dose of shopping, do not worry, you will find your happiness in Zermatt!

  

The Cultural Break

The Matterhorn Museum – Zermatlantis

Small museum in the center of the village, close to the Grand Hotel Zermatterhof (soon an article on the blog and last photo below).

I discovered many things about the Matterhorn and life of the Zermatt inhabitants in previous centuries, including the evolution of materials and technics. Very interesting, without being boring.

To be continued …

Photos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés

Informations  

Zermatt TourismValais, www.MySwitzerland.comSWISSSwiss Travel System (STS)Grand Hotel Zermatterhof, Findlerhof, Matterhorn Museum – Zermatlantis

Related posts : DESTINATIONS & HOTEL REVIEWS

Many thanks to Zermatt Tourisme, Valais/Wallis promotion, Switzerland Tourism, SWISS et Swiss Travel System (STS) for this beautiful invitation. Thank you to the Grand Hotel Zermatterhof. As always, these are my opinions.