Davos was a much bigger place even higher in the mountains and from the town several cable cars, ski lifts and funicular railways took people up the surrounding mountains to ski or snowboard back down. We looked for the funicular to Schatzalp recommended by our tour manager, bought our tickets and rode up the mountain. At the top of the funicular railway was a huge hotel and a timber-built restaurant overlooking the valley with the town far below and mountain-peaks far above on the opposite side.
Those going up to ski could ride up further by ski-lift but we went to the restaurant for a delicious meal to a local recipe, a variation on the traditional rosti with cheese and ham – full of fat and calories but this altitude and these temperatures some sustenance is needed! Back down from Schatzalp we looked around the shops in Davos and returned to the station to catch a train down to Filisur and so home to Chur.
This time the weather between Filisur and Chur on the Albula Line was much sunnier and I was able to photograph some sights I had missed the evening before.
When we arrived back at Chur we had an evening stroll around the city – the oldest in Switzerland, apparently, and spent the rest of the evening in our room writing this article (!) and packing for the morning. In the morning our main cases were to be out for the porters by 7.30am for transporting to the station while we had our breakfast. By now all that was in the the cases was clothes for laundering, plus the winter boots we'd no longer be needing, for in the morning we were to leave Switzerland.
In Zurich we changed trains and with half an hour more than we needed for this there was a chance to have a very quick look at the city centre while our tour manager kindly looked after our luggage on the departure platform for our onward connection. This was a through train to Cologne (Koln) where we were to spend our final night before travelling back on Eurostar to the UK.
A long journey along the Rhine Valley took us out of Switzerland and through Germany past vineyards, castles, factories and churches and the great river itself, through the former West German capital of Bonn and into Cologne with its distinctive gothic cathedral. We had brought our picnic lunch, bought from a wonderful baker's shop at Chur station, but beer from the trolley and hot chocolate in the restaurant car were also welcome as the scenery slipped by.
Our hotel in Cologne was a short walk from the station and again there was a porterage facility to help with our cases. We went for a walk around the city and popped into the cathedral briefly (it was during the evening service so we could only stand at the back and listen to the marvellous choral music) before a buffet supper for the last evening with our new friends made on this tour.
In the morning it was an early start: we delivered our larger cases to the reception area for porterage to the station and consumed our breakfast, which this time was very similar to an English buffet breakfast. We set off to the station and awaited our through train to Brussels where we would change for London. This was a French “Thalys” high-speed train with inclusive light meal as part of the First Class offer, much like Eurostar. The interesting thing about the trip home was that we were served something to eat and drink at no extra cost on all four of the trains we used, even having a drink and a biscuit on the short hop from Peterborough to Stamford! So we needed to purchase nothing along the way, although we did have a glass of wine while we waited in Brussels: South station is well outside the city centre of Brussels and although we did go for a short stroll there is really nothing to see in the short time we had, apart from the amazing sight of taxis queuing for custom right around the entire station. The station site does include a shopping area and we looked around there and bought a thank-you card for our wonderful tour manager, in which we placed our tip for handing to him as we said farewell on the approach to London.