48 hours in Davos mixing power and powder

DAVOS, Switzerland Mon Jan 23, 2012 8:31am EST

A general view shows the Swiss mountain resort of Davos January 16, 2012. The World Economic Forum (WEF) will take place in Davos from January 25 to 29.     REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

A general view shows the Swiss mountain resort of Davos January 16, 2012. The World Economic Forum (WEF) will take place in Davos from January 25 to 29.

Credit: Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - Got 48 hours in Davos this week? Here are some tips on slaloming through the crowds of the rich and powerful at the World Economic Forum and, if you're lucky, enjoying the snow.

The common worry at this annual talking-shop for the global elite is that everybody else -- politicians, central bankers, chief executives and lesser mortals -- is at another event with someone more important.

So try and relax, recognise that you can't be everywhere at once, and enjoy the mash-up of business and culture that is Davos. The event runs from January 25 to 29 and is not all heavy-duty business, economics and politics.

The snow is great this year, but remember to wrap up warm and bring sturdy footwear. Davos is 1,560 metres (5,118 feet) above sea level and the average temperature during the annual meeting is -4 degrees C (24.8°F) to 1 C. It can drop to -20 C at night.

Tuesday

6 p.m. Arrive in Davos -- by train or helicopter, depending on your budget. Accommodation ranges from the swanky Belvedere Hotel to some basic ski lodgings.

6.30 p.m. Take your first plunge into the Davos melee at a welcome reception hosted by WEF WEF.L founder Klaus Schwab and his wife Hilde before the meeting kicks off in earnest tomorrow.

8.30 p.m. Fancy a fondue? Head for picturesque Muehle Sertig, up in the mountains and deep in the snow. If melted cheese is not your thing, there are other local dishes, such as venison.

Wednesday

9 a.m. The first big WEF debate is on "the uncertain future of capitalism". It's not a topic that would have got airtime before the financial crisis and its top billing this year is a sign of the changing times.

11 a.m. The snow is calling. Davos has had a bumper snowfall this month and there are never fewer people on the slopes than during the WEF. Head up Parsenn for the longest downhill runs. There are pistes to suit all comers.

3:30 p.m. Enjoy afternoon coffee or hot chocolate at Kaffeeklatsch, one of the town's best-known cafes with a fine selection of home-made cakes.

5:30 p.m. Head back through the heavy security at the Congress Centre to catch the first big hitter of Davos 2012, as German Chancellor Angela Merkel gives the official opening address.

8 p.m. A trip to the cinema. Not what you might expect at Davos but there's a special screening of "The Lady", about Aung San Suu Kyi, with both producer Luc Besson and actor Michelle Yeoh.

10.30 p.m. Time for a "nightcap" with the vice-chancellor of the University of Oxford, who is hosting a reception at the Belvedere, with a selection of ports from Oxford's cellars.

Midnight. The piano bar in the Hotel Europe is where Davos evenings end for many participants, journalists and WEF staff.

Thursday

9 a.m. Tobogganing on a traditional Davoser sledge is a fun alternative to skiing. Take a trip up the Schatzalp on the funicular, from where it is a gentle 2.8 km (1.7 mile) run down to Davos Platz.

11 a.m. Catch a few more world leaders back inside. On the agenda this morning you've got British Prime Minister David Cameron, South African President Jacob Zuma and Nigeria's Goodluck Jonathan.

12.30 a.m. Olympics for lunch, with Mayor of London Boris Johnson and Sebastian Coe, who will be discussing prospects for the Games in London this summer with business leaders.

2.30 p.m. Europe is the big worry in business and politics, so check out what the leaders of Finland, Ireland, Poland and Denmark think when they sit down together in a session on "Rebuilding Europe".

5 p.m. Leaders from North America -- Mexico's Felipe Calderon and Canada's Stephen Harper -- are next up with back-to-back addresses.

8 p.m. After all the political and business talk, dinner with a bunch of Nobel laureates should put things in a bigger perspective. Cosmologists, biologists and economists will give you their take on the state of the world.

11 p.m. The Indian delegation in Davos is offering a switch of mood, well away from the Alpine backdrop, with a night of Bollywood music.

For full coverage, blogs and TV from Davos go to www.reuters.com/davos

(Reporting by Ben Hirschler, editing by Paul Casciato)

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