Discover Germany | Travel Feature | Old School Hockey in the Swiss Alps
Davos Klosters. Photo: © swiss-image.ch/Destination Davos Klosters
Old school hockey in the Swiss Alps Berne, Zurich, Basel, Geneva – the big cities of Switzerland are well-known beyond Europe’s borders and when you think of Swiss sports teams you would probably come up with ‘Grasshoppers’, ‘FC Basel’ or ‘Young Boys Bern’. In the far east of the country though lies the beautiful ‘Kanton’ (German for the member states of the Swiss Confederation) of ‘Graubünden’ (english ‘Grisons’). Not too many people will know that it is actually the biggest Swiss canton with stunning landscapes far from the big city life. In fact, only just under 200,000 people live in Grisons and you have to travel far up the Swiss Alps to experience some great traditional ice hockey. TEXT: DANIEL BARTHOLD
The ‘Rhätische Bahn’ (German for ‘Rhaetian Railway’) or ‘Viafier Retica’ in Romansh language – which is still used in the canton of Grisons – will take you all the way from the town of Chur up to beautiful Davos deep in the Alps. The journey itself with the picturesque ‘Glacier Express’, a train predominantly made for tourists, is already worth the trip 54 | Issue 58 | January 2018
with stunning views from train coaches. Davos itself offers lovely nature with its lakes, mountains and meadows and simply a great quality of life. Located right in the centre of Davos is the hockey arena. Opened in 1979, the arena is known for its beautiful wooden roof which takes you back to the good
old ice hockey in the days where the kids were just chasing the puck on frozen lakes rather than sitting at home playing hockey on the Playstation. The interior of the so-called ‘Vaillant-Arena’ does not disappoint either. It has been refurbished but it never loses its traditional vibe which makes it a very iconic ice hockey arena in Europe. With a capacity of 7,000 it is a compact venue and every seat is very close to the action which is sometimes lost a bit in those big modern arenas in the United States. It simply makes a difference when an arena is located right in the mountains rather than those soulless hockey venues of NHL franchises in California or Florida – settings that are far away from the good old hockey game played in winter countries such as Switzerland, Sweden or Canada. Although the attendance at Davos has dropped a bit of late, the club
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