Switzerland Davos 2000.08.21 - 08.24

Not Too Big, Not Too Small

Davos is the ideal size. It's large enough to have everything we want - Internet cafe, grocery store, coin laundry, Shiatsu massage, news in English, and a few good restaurants, yet small enough to be absolutely peaceful at night. As added bonuses, Davos is one of the most reasonably priced places in Switzerland, and it sits in the middle of the Graubünden Alps close to numerous hiking trails.

Most of our time in Davos (this time and one week ago) was catching up on typical Saturday morning mundane working-world activities. We laundered all our clothes, watched some CNN, read the International Herald Tribune, checked our email, bought some picnic supplies, got a Shiatsu massage, read a book, tinkered with some HTML, played with the hotel cat, and slept - a lot. We rested while feeling like we accomplished a dozen miscellaneous things - the perfect way to relax physically and mentally.

Our biggest surprise in Davos was the prices. Nothing in Switzerland is cheap, but relatively, prices in Davos seemed reasonable. By far, the best value per Swiss Franc in lodging is at the Hotel Edelweiss in Davos. The best valued meal is at the Italian restaurant Trattoria in the 5-star Hotel Steigenberger Belvedere in Davos - it's formal dining at cafe prices. Even the coin laundry in Davos is 25% cheaper than in Lucerne or Lugano. Why? Well, we're not complaining.

Davos is leisurely and relaxing, but Masami and Wes can't stay in a city in the middle of the Alps without going for a short scenic hike. We selected one from the "Walking in Switzerland" Lonely Planet guide called The Sertigpass.

The Sertigpass

The Sertigpass is a 2739 M / 8986 ft saddle that marks a language division between German-speaking Davos and the predominantly Romansch Abula region. The trek over the Sertigpass is 15 km / 9.32 miles from Sertig-Dörfli, a tiny town just south of Davos, to Chants. Although easy, the walk is one of the most scenically rewarding in the Central Bündner Alps. The pass is ringed by gray dolomite summits reaching over 3000 M / 10,000 ft and has a clear view of Piz Kesch, the highest peak in the Central Bündner Alps standing at 3417 M / 11,211 ft. The grass covered moraine mounds just beyond the Sertigpass is the perfect place to lunch and enjoy the view.

The trail to the Sertigpass follows a stream winding through the lower elevation green mountains close to the tiny town of Sertig. The ascent is gradual and at times unnoticeable.

From the Sertigpass, the Piz Kesch rises above all other summits in the Central Bündner Alps. The Vadret da Porchabella glacier curves down its slope.

Over the Sertigpass, the grassy moraine looks down upon Lai da Ravais-ch-Suot, a turquoise colored lake filled with melted Vadret da Porchabella glacier. Steep 3000 meter dolomite peaks rise around it.

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