On my bookshelves at home there’s a lovely pristine Everyman hardback edition of Thomas Mann’s “The Magic Mountain” had I not had a weight limit restriction on my bag I may well have brought it with me but alas it was just too heavy to contemplate bringing. [Note. Yes, yes I know all about Kindles and the like but having made the comparison with real books have decided that they are just not for me] Where else would be the perfect place to read The MM but here within a William Tell’s arrow flight of the town of Davos where the ‘action’ of the book is set? Davos is just 20 miles away from Schiers.
Searching online for “Davos Thomas Mann” I found this :
“A path has been created in commemoration of and in the name of the significant writer Thomas Mann. This path connects the centre points of his novel “The Magic Mountain”. With the novel, Davos has secured its place in world literature. The work contributed to the high level of fame enjoyed by Davos as a spa and holiday destination.
Even today, the “Magic Mountain” draws numerous culture enthusiasts to Davos, on the hunt for the main centre points of the novel of the same name by Thomas Mann. They can now be inspired by the Thomas-Mann-Way, which runs from the Waldhotel Davos (former woodland sanatorium) at 1620 m above sea level to the Schatzalp, 1880 m above sea level. Along the 2.6 km path are ten signs, which act as “literary stations” and provide information on the connections between Davos and the works of Thomas Mann. High points of the path include the “favourite place of Hans Castorp”, the hero of the novel, whilst the way ends at Thomas-Mann-Platz on the Schatzalp, which has been established behind the botanical garden Alpinum Schatzalp.
Thomas Mann (1875–1955) came to Davos from the 12th May to the 15th June 1912, in order to visit his wife Katia, who was being treated at the woodland sanatorium. During this time he took many walks around the area above the woodland sanitorium, an area through which the Thomas-Mann-Way runs. Thomas Mann described his impressions of Davos in the novel “The Magic Mountain”, which was published in 1924.” Source
Great! I thought the ideal excursion for the afternoon. And indeed vary many things about it were ideal but not, I may say, the Thomas-Mann-Way. The website for Davos/Klosters is excellent so I had expected to pick up printed information at the Railway Station Tourist Information Office. Instead I had blank looks and was issued with a crummy map.
I had remembered some aspects of the walk from the website but obviously not everything. I didn’t commit the map to memory. I wish I had as I can now see where I went wrong and could kick myself. As you can see from the sign at the top there are no arrows to indicate the route so there’s a bit of guesswork involved. As the starting point was quite a walk away I decided to take the funicular up to the end of the walk and find my way down in reverse. So I guess that was my mistake – but an easy one to make!
On arriving at Schatzalp there is the Berghotel in all its Art Nouveau [Jugendstil] glory. I wrote about the Alpinum here yesterday.
It still has the look of a Sanatorium and air is fresh and clean and pure. Even at 8C it was fine as it was sheltered. The Hotel reception also did not have much information about TM but the kindly receptionist allowed me to wander around and take some snaps and sold me a couple of postcards and indicated the start of the TMWay.
The Dining Room
Art Nouveau Fireplace in a Meeting Room
The Original Hotel Games Room
I wished I had taken tea here on the verandah but I’d decided to do so at the end of the walk at the Waldhotel down in Davos. I thought they would maybe have more information on TM and the Magic Mountain/Davos connection. The only way to find out will be to go back again on another day!
The Verandah where tea is served