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Giv ive ve piste a chance.

WThe hotel also what one is as I discovered NEED TO KNOW |RICHARD Irvine was a guest of the Graubunden Tourist Authority, and stayed at Hotel Intercontinental, Davos (intercontinental.com) and Priva Alpine Lodge, Lenzerheide (privalodge.ch/en). See the websites for prices and availability.

SWISS Air fly from numerous locations across the UK direct to Zurich. See swiss.com for fares and timetables.

during an awkward conversation with a waitress.

After a splendid afternoon of skiing, it was down to the hotel restaurant to further test my "zero calories if exercising" principle with more dumplings, meat and cheese, but served in a luxury manner.

Day two dawned and it was time for the best breakfast buffet of my life once again.

It was time for a ch of pace. We were leavthe luxury of the Intercontinental and heading for the luxury of the Priva Alpine Lodge in Lenzerheide. From one glamourous venue to another.

The Priva Alpine Lodge was more my kind of comfort level. wasn't quite as exotic to a boy from the North of England. I mean, there was still a sauna in the bathroom but there weren't any loudspeakers.

The Priva Alpine Lodge was essentially a group of chalets and apartments with a restaurant, bar and ski shop all next to the ski run and ski lift. Skiing doesn't get any easier than this.

As it was windy, snowy and no weather to go up a mountain, we decided to go snowshoeing.

o e th our guide, who showed us tracks, trees, how to build an igloo and another side to life on the mountains.

One light lunch of Spaghetti Bolognaise later and we were off sledging. Although sledging Swiss-style involves taking a lift to the top of a mountain then coming down a specially prepared track, which winds its way for a few kilometres through the trees right back to the lift.

The evening meal was fondue and after a day of physical activity, the zero-calorie principle kicked in and I ate more cheese in one night than I do in a year.

Next day the skies cleared, the sun shone and we got our skis from the shop. It was time to make use of the new gondola lift linking Arosa with A Lenzerheide. We had the help of a ski guide, who adhered to an "if it feels like hard work, don't do it" philosophy on skiing.

Apparently, skiing should A be flowing and relaxed, not my favoured style of jerky and panicked.

It wasn't too long before it was time for more food. Rigidly sticking to the principle that calories don't count, I opted for fried potatoes and sausage.

However, it wasn't long before my glimpse into this Swiss world of wonder was over and it was time to wave goodbye to Alpine air, stunning scenery, buffet breakfasts and all that cheese.

If I learned anything other than the fact that there are wolves in the Alps, it's that the Swiss take things and make them better. They did it with the watch, the penknife and the humble chocolate.

This is how I see skiing in their gently efficient hands. Something the Swiss got their mitts on and added a sheen of luxury, a sprinkle of fun, a spoonful of efficiency and mixed it all together to make the perfect holiday.

CAPTION(S):

The accommodation at both the Priva Alpine Lodge, left, and the Hotel Intercontinental, right, is luxurious

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Nov 1, 2014
Words:577
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