With the snow melts starting in the alps meaning skiing can’t be guaranteed, but the snow melts not having progressed enough to ensure the summer hiking and biking trails are open Davos would appear an odd destination for early April.
And I’d admit that prior to 2020 I wouldn’t have considered it either – the only time the place ever got mentioned was when the World Economic Forum meetings took place. Depending on your views either a gathering of some of the wealthiest (mostly men) to discuss the economy; a meeting of the bigwigs of global capitalism thrashing out how to take more from the poor; or – bonus internet points – the Illuminati…
However, that was before the lockdowns and a time when time itself appeared to slow down.
Once you’ve been bitten by the travel bug it’s quite difficult to shake it off, and being forced to go cold turkey on wanderlust isn’t the easiest of things.
During the early days of that first lockdown, between completing online claim forms to get bookings converted into vouchers and hotel nights pushed to undefined dates in “the future”, I spent quite a bit of time on YouTube to while away the long evenings.
And it was on there that I discovered that I could still travel, albeit virtually from home.
Several drivers working for rail companies across the globe had done the simple thing of putting a Go-Pro (other action camera makes are available) on the dashboard of their cab and recording the journey. No commentary, no music, just the sight of the countryside rushing past, the clack of the track and the occasional beep or bell from the trains safety systems.
Of all the journeys I took from the comfort of my PC, there were a series that were the most breath-taking – and they were all from one narrow-gauge railway in the Swiss Alps.
The Rhätische Bahn or Rhaetian Railway, running services up through the Alps of Graubünden, to places I’d heard of but never seen before – St Moritz, Tirano, Klosters, and of course Davos.
And so that’s why for the next few days I’m taking the chance to see physically the places I visited virtually during those dark days, and the best place to do that from…