The Passion of WEF in Davos

With Security at its highest including checkpoints and thousands of Swiss military and police in high visibility, the World Economic Forum will again take place in Davos, Switzerland. Preparations start weeks in advance as this small village transforms itself from an idyllic ski resort to center stage of the world’s major news event. A cold snowy winter setting with steeple bells chiming seems like such an unlikely place for black limos and diplomats to be in deep discussions about the world condition.

Last year we were walking past one of the hotels, two diplomats were saying their goodbyes and one said, “well the passion is over, we leave Davos today”. The other responded by saying “the passion is still in Davos. This is a unique gathering place, allowing even the most difficult and passionate of themes to be discussed in a civil and thoughtful way. This really sums up what Davos is all about. The people of Davos are trained for this event and are experts in providing every service from the simple to the most exquisite. An agreement between WEF and Davos to build an extension to the Congress Center assures many future meetings will be held here.

The atmosphere is serious as people rush from meeting to meeting and the media weathers the cold interviewing dignitaries on the sidewalks and in the media center. Journalists from all over the world and visitors, some in their local dress make Davos their home and the people of Davos give them their most welcome attention in every way.

Guests and skiers mingle to enjoy the outdoor cafés and slopes bundled with scarves up to their ears and warm hats of all shapes and styles. Discussions continue while enjoying hot drinks under the sun overlooking snow-covered mountains and blue skies.

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Davos Switzerland hosts this annual business community meeting this year from January 27th -January 31st. Business, political and intellectual leaders give their views on the issues that effect world events. It is not well known that in conjunction with the forum, church, non-profit and non-government organizations hold discussions for the general public at the Open Forum held at the Alpina Middle School and are free of charge. There are approximately 300 seats and are on a first come first serve basis.

Davos-Klosters offers its guests the best in accommodations, restaurants and sports facilities. Many of the participants enjoy the superb skiing on Jakobshorn, Parsenn, Schatzalp, Pischa, Rinerhorn and Madrisa. Between Klosters and Davos there are 192 miles of expertly maintained ski terrain for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels. For those who don’t ski, Davos has Europe’s largest outdoor ice rink. There is Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, Para gliding, horse drawn sleigh rides and walking with awesome landscape to enjoy along the way.

If you get tired of all the meetings and sports activities visit one of the many cafés and restaurants. In the afternoon Kaffeeklatsch, Schneider’s or Cioccolino or any of the other cafés are meeting places where guests go to exchange the stories of the day. Enjoy ice cream or a cup of hot chocolate with rum or cappuccino with a selection of pastries. It is always hard to choose and you won’t be looked at strangely if you select 2 or 3 pieces. Afternoon coffee and pastry is a tradition in Switzerland and they never run out. Of course there are the chocolates if you tire of hot apple strudel with vanilla sauce, pastries and biscotti. Visiting a café is a sport unto itself, although you might need to visit a gym when you return home. If none of this interests you, you can shop.

Local dishes such as Fondue, Racllette, Rosti and Swiss regional specialties can be found in cozy rustic restaurants and stubli. Davos and Klosters cater to an international clientele and you can find restaurants in all price ranges offering gourmet cuisine. The Walserhof, with 17 Gault-Milau points, Gotshna in Serneus offering Swiss Specialties, or the Chesa Grishuna, and Silveritta “Italiano” all located in Klosters are among a long list of restaurants.

You can dance the night away to live music, disco or listen to Jazz and live piano music in hotel lounges and clubs. If gambling is your thing, there is a casino waiting for those who are looking for apré ski fun after a long day on the slopes. Others who haven’t had enough sports during the day can enjoy night snowboarding or skating.

Graubünden is a year round outdoor paradise. Davos-Klosters in the summer has beautiful landscape and the summer sports are unsurpassed. Many who attend WEF return to discover the area in summer. You can paint the beautiful landscape, or play tennis or golf, go rafting, hiking, mountain climbing, sailing, horseback ridding or camping and parasailing. The wellness centers are famous and are located throughout the region. Some have outdoor pools open even in the winter.

Many events such as antique car rallies, music concerts, tennis and golf tournaments are planned. The region is family friendly and many apartments are available through the local tourist offices or travel agencies.

The Glacier Express travels through the Graubünden region making stops in Klosters, Davos and St Moritz. Day trips with scenic routes of the mountains, steel blue lakes, and fields blanketed with wild flowers and cows peacefully grazing with the mountains as a backdrop are a train lovers dream.

The passion of Davos lives on after WEF’s curtains close and the mountain villages again return to doing what they do best, welcoming visitors all year round.

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~ by Patricia Turo on January 3, 2010.

3 Responses to “The Passion of WEF in Davos”

  1. You Know Switzerland is one of the places I always wanted to visit? I have this picture in my mind of staying on a mountain cabin that I get to, with a suspended cable car. The wooden house with a smoke stack is part of a little cattle farm that two elderly swiss farmers own, and it is cold and I’m under a warm handmade woolen blanket, and look out the window ,. The snow is covering the ground partially but grass is still visible. I hear the cow bells ringing in the morning and the lady farmers is walking towards the cabin with fresh milk that has cream on top. And of course I have this big bar of chocolate in my hand, Swiss of course, that I’m ready to pop in my mouth and as it melts, the farmer lady hands me a glass of still warm milk…Well you get the picture, I have a Swiss vacation already painted in my mind.

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  2. You have it completely right. I lived in the Alps and it is perfectly beautiful and exactly as you describe. So I’ll tell you that you must fulfill your dream and go because I know you will never be disappointed. By the way I am now in Boynton Beach and living here most of the year. Hope I get to meet you at some point.

    If you decide to go, Let me know and we will give you some information. By the way I consulted for Lindt for 2 years. Quite a story and more chocolate then you can imagine.

    Best Regards,
    Patricia

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  3. Hello Patricia…how nice for you to share a piece of how the other half lives. LOL At least it’s for important causes…why not be treated well in such a beutiful place.
    I still remember a very short time I had spent in Basel where the memories were charming. Drove through Switzerland, however, would have loved to have visited much more ;o)…another time maybe.
    Thanks for the slide show.

    Have a great weekend,
    Claudia

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