Subject: Re: Switzerland
My husband, two teens and I visited a relatively untouristy part of Switzerland five years ago. We wanted to see the Alps but not at the usual price tag. We chose the Graubunden area, also known as Grisons.

We travelled from Italy by train through the Bernina Pass which was quite phenomenal. We selected our exact destination based on a chat with a fellow passenger who left the train at Davos. I was fascinated to learn that he was going to the clinic or sanatorium that Thomas Mann used as a model for his novel The Magic Mountain.

We stayed at Soldanella, a IYH youth hostel in Klosters, a traditional Swiss wooden building with amazing views of the mountains. We had the place to ourselves the first night in a room with six bunk beds. The manager was friendly and helpful and we enjoyed family-style meals at breakfast and supper. (You needto tell them that day whether you wanted the evening meal.) The hostel packed a picnic lunch for us, complete with chocolate bars and we set off to explore using the Little Red Train.

Klosters is strange. In the winter it is a posh ski resort. In the summer, it is a small farm town but with some very nice shops! On the first night, we had good dinner at a friendly hotel, part of the Romantische chain. Another (rainy) day we went to Davos. This was a relaxing way to spend a couple of days away from must sees list of the tourist. The mountains may not be as high as in some parts of Switzerland, but the scenery was spectacular.

Parents travelling with kids might be interested to know that the regional train passes for Switzerland are a bargain. I think my 12 year old was free. We had Europasses which did not cover Switerland.

Frances West