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Issue 8 | 29 December 2017 CHF 3.50

MOVING ROCKS Major rockslide on the Spitzhorn

HEALTHCARE UPDATE Another chapter, more challenges

NEW HIGHLANDER Ludo Van der Heyden shares his management secrets

GS TA A D


SALES | RENTALS | ADMINISTRATION THE ADRESS FOR YOUR HOME IN GSTAAD SINCE 1970. Gschwendstrasse 2 | CH-3780 Gstaad Tel. +41 33 748 45 50 | Fax. +41 33 748 45 51 info@gerax.ch | www.gerax.ch


BUILDING PROJECTS There is no lack of major building projects in the Saanenland. We cover a few of them in this issue. While some are right on track, others are put into question. The airport. While the old hangars and offices may have had their charm, new buildings and a new concept that avoids unnecessary runway crossings have been dearly needed. Construction work is advancing according to schedule and within the budget. Gstaad dairy. A new production site has only been outlined on the drawing board. Lack of space, dispersed production and storage sites, and traffic conditions that are far from ideal all speak in favour of a new production site for the Gstaad dairy. Zweisimmen hospital. The latest dispute over operating costs puts the projected 40m overhaul of the hospital seriously into question. Hopefully, at least an arrangement for sustainable finances will soon be found to secure the services in Zweisimmen in the long term. It’s a crucial factor for the overall devolpment of the region. Best regards,

CONTENTS LOCAL NEWS “Gstaad Authentique” represents regional products

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Online maps for snowsports

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CinemArt: A cinematic journey into the art world

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A new location for the Gstaad dairy

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Airport renovation on track

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Update on local healthcare situation

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PROFILE New Highlander II – Ludo Van der Heyden

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GSTAAD LIVING Spitzhorn rockfall forces closure of Sanetschpass pathway

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ARTS & CULTURE 15

Fondue’s stirring past

SPORTS & LEISURE Ready, Set, Sail!

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Three for the Games – The GYC racing team is heading for Japan 2020

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LIFESTYLE Wrong place, wrong time

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Exceptional diamonds

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Find a coffee and get cosy

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COLUMN Markus Iseli, Publishing Director

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Expat Adventures

Cover Photo: Courtesy of Loïc Van der Heyden GstaadLife, Anzeiger von Saanen, Müller Medien AG, Kirchstrasse 6, P.O. Box 201, 3780 Gstaad, Phone: 033 748 88 74, Fax: 033 748 88 84, www.gstaadlife.com Management Board and Publisher: Frank Müller, frank.mueller@gstaadlife.com Publishing Director: Markus Iseli, markus.iseli@gstaadlife.com Contributors: Anna Charles, Davina Gateley, Guy Girardet, Anne Christine Kempton, Alexis Munier Layout: Epu Shaha, Aline Brawand Advertising: Eliane Behrend, advertising@gstaadlife.com, Phone: 033 748 88 71 Subscriptions: Flurina Welten, subscriptions@gstaadlife.com, Phone: 033 748 88 74

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Camila Oliveira Fairclough Un jardin d’hiver &

January 12th – February 4th, 2018

Kleines Landhaus Dorfstrasse 71 Saanen Opening hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 1 p.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, 2 p.m.-5 p.m. and by appointment: +41-79-322-60-00

Take-Off Balloon, Gstaad info@gstaad-balloon.ch | www.gstaad-balloon.ch T: +41 32 397 51 42 | M: +41 79 601 92 90

«Come up – fly smooth!»


LOCAL NEWS

“GSTAAD AUTHENTIQUE” REPRESENTS REGIONAL PRODUCTS The “Gstaad Authentique” label emerged out of the 2020+ Initiative and currently represents

AUTHENTIQUE

the label is also looking for more partners, hotels and retailers that are prepared to sell GA’s certified products.

able in three sizes and can be ordered on the Gstaad Saanenland Tourism’s website, www.gstaad.ch.

“Regional products are increasing in popularity. In some cases, they are in even greater demand than organic products,” explains Heidi Schopfer, the GA’s agricultural representative. In return for a small representation fee and a percentage of sales, Gstaad Authentique presents local producers with additional sales channels. It also encourages local businesses such as dairies, bakeries and butchers to work together to produce quality products out of local commodities such as milk, eggs and cream.

For 2018, GA will continue to focus on growing the number of products they represent and finding new partners to collaborate with. They plan on increasing brand awareness in the local market by participating in local events and developing promotional products. “We want to gain more hotels as partners and represent more producers and products,” says Richard Müller, president of GA. The team is also contemplating organizing a special GA experience day with food tastings and children’s programme.

22 products from 12 local producers. According to the team behind the label there is still plenty of room to grow. At a recent meeting, the “Gstaad Authentique” (GA) team, local producers and partners, discussed ideas for developing the label further. According to Eric Oehrli, GA vice president, “the label stands for high quality natural products and services produced in the region”. Currently, GA markets and sells 22 products from 12 local producers. GA is not only looking to collaborate with a greater number of producers from the Saanenland, but

GA’s most popular product is a gift basket of local specialties. It is avail-

ART ON PAPER - EXPOSITION August Laube

Buch- und Kunstantiquariat

ANNE CHRISTINE KEMPTON / AVS

ONLINE MAPS FOR SNOWSPORTS Three online maps will make it easier for you to choose where you want to enjoy your favourite winter sport. Two online maps are available on gstaad.ch (the fourth icon on the top left corner of their nicely revamped website). It's so much nicer to see which lifts are open on this old-school style but fully functional map. Another map on the same platform contains winter hiking trails, cross country skiing tracks, and sledging runs.

Opening with Cocktail-Reception, 5 January at 5 pm 5 – 7 January, Salle Expo, Gstaad Palace, 11 am – 1 pm, 6 pm – 11 pm

For the professional or highly motivated sports people out there, another option takes map utility to a whole new level. The federal office of topography, in short swisstopo, provides a winter sports map for the whole of Switzerland. Apart from the usual ski and snow shoe routes it indicates wildlife reserves and slopes with gradients exceeding 30°. There are even options to highlight mountain landing sites and public transport stops. Now that the season pass is valid for all busses and trains in the region, the latter option may be of interest, too. Remember though that flights to mountain landing sites are not included in the season pass! MARKUS ISELI

Trittligasse 19, CH-8001 Zurich +41(0)44 256 88 99 augustlaube@augustlaube.ch www.augustlaube.ch

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CinemArt is a film series presented by Hauser & Wirth in collaboration with the Ciné-Theater in Gstaad. A special programme open to the public will offer unique views into the lives and work of significant international contemporary artists, including a selection connected to Hauser & Wirth’s programme. Featured artists and famous personalities from the art world include Jean-Michel Basquiat, Louise Bourgeois, Peggy Guggenheim, Philip Guston, Eva Hesse, Gerhard Richter and Pipilotti Rist.

programme starts on 29 December 2017 with the screening of the award-winning documentary Gerhard Richter Painting (2012), a thrilling document of Richter’s creative process, juxtaposed with

intimate conversations and rare archive material. Screenings will take place every Friday at 5.30pm (http://www.cinetheater.ch/programm).

Film still from Gerhard Richter Painting (2012) Gerhard Richter. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth

LOCAL NEWS

CINEMART: A CINEMATIC JOURNEY INTO THE ART WORLD

Screenings will take place throughout the winter season 2017/18 at the Ciné-Theater in Gstaad. The

BREATHTAKING A change of perspective can open up myriads of possibilities. It’s hard to think of a more radical change of perspective than the one provided by Take-off Balloon AG, which will certainly expand your sense of the beauty of the Saanenland.

It is a real privilege to ski down the white mountains, to ramble through the snow along the Saane river, and to bask in the sun on a terrace with a panoramic view. It’s quite simple to explain, really. It’s the landscape that takes care of the magic. Now imagine the winter quiet of the Saanenland valleys and beyond from an altitude of 2,000 to 4,000 metres above the sea. It will take your breath away. Take-off Balloon AG can take you there and provides a range of offers to suit (almost) everybody’s desires. The Alpine Discovery Flight takes you on a short flight at a relatively low alti-

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tude just above the beautiful landscape & chalets. The perfect trip for the ones who are not quite sure about height and thin air and don’t have a whole day at their disposal. For a longer and more scenic flight you can opt for the Alpine Panoramic Flight. If all this is not special enough, Takeoff Balloon Gstaad has two extras up their sleeve. For example the five-star Alpine Deluxe Adventure in our Vista Basket. Enjoy an exquisite breakfast and champagne on board whilst seated on bespoke first-class seats. The lowered front of the basket ensures a perfect view even from this

perspective. Or the Alpine Adventure Flight for long distance and high altitude; not for the faint-hearted! Of course you can also book a Romantic flight just for yourself and your sweetheart, standing or seated. Whatever you prefer, enjoy a unique experience high up in the air with Take-off Balloon AG. Their crew will take good care of you and make sure you feel at ease.


Over the last few years, the Gstaad dairy has been planning to construct a new building in order to cater to all of their needs and solve ongoing issues such as lack of space and traffic conditions that they are facing in their current location. The new construction project in planning includes covering all the milk intake, the entire production of products and a large part of the warehouse, which will allow them to complete the majority of their work in one place. René Ryser, managing director of the Gstaad dairy (left) and Jürg Romang, president of the dairy co-op

Anita Moser

LOCAL NEWS

A NEW LOCATION FOR THE GSTAAD DAIRY

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he managing director René Ryser explains in more detail the reasons for a new building, these being “the traffic situation, the age of the building and its aging production facilities as well as having too little storage space”. This becomes worse in spring when, according to the president of the dairy co-op Jürg Romang, the traffic situation is no longer satisfactory. “Every morning there is a line-up of vehicles with milk tanks or trailers blocking the sidewalk. The children have to either change to the other side of the road or avoid the main road all together”. At the current location with the existing manufacturing plant, the desired expansion is not possible. With the plant being almost 30 years old, there are major revisions to be made. The heart of the production facility are the controller and the computer and in such a fast paced world it is

not easy to replace spare parts for an older machine. Another key issue is the storage capacity, which is being pushed to the limits. “We have eight locations where we either produce, sell, store or do several things all at once,” says Ryser. It would be great for the Gstaad dairy to be able to produce, sell and store all in one place. The new development is planned to be on Lauenenstrasse, directly behind the new work yard of Bauwerk Gstaad AG. Gaining the land behind Bauwerk Gstaad was a lucky strike for the Gstaad dairy. They already had a piece of land but were trying to sell it as they were going to have to make too many exceptions in order to make it work. At almost the same time, the Bauwerk company offered the space next to their work yard under the construction law. The co-op then presented a rough project to the general assembly, which gave it the green light.

The new construction is estimated to cost CHF 8 to 9m and is set to begin in spring or fall of 2018. It is still unclear whether some of the existing technical equipment will still be used. “If we opt for a new plant we not only have the latest technology, we can also produce without interruption,” explains Romang. This will be decided once the building permit has been obtained as they must discuss which is cheaper and more realistic for the business. The house owned by the Gstaad dairy is over 50 years old and in need of renovation. It is unsure what is going to happen to the old building once they have moved into the new premises but Romang emphasizes and wants people to know that the shop is not in danger. However, the form it will continue in is still open to ideas. SOPHIE RIEDER / AVS

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MC ATTORNEYS LLC MC AVOCATS SÀRL – MC RECHTSANWÄLTE GmbH Co-founder of this Swiss boutique law firm, Ms Béatrice Stahel welcomes you in the NEW OFFICES IN THE HEART OF GSTAAD She and her team look forward to assisting you in your legal needs, in particular • • • • • • • • • •

Contract and commercial law Banking and financial law Constructions law and real estate law Inheritance law Domestic and international litigation Debt recovery Enforcement of foreign decisions/freezing orders Taking up residence in Switzerland White collar crime Family office services English, French, German www.mcattorneysllc.com – mail@mcattorneysllc.com

Gstaad: Chalet Charly’s – Promenade 76 – 3780 Gstaad Tél: +41 33 335 80 90 – Fax: +41 33 335 80 92

Sion: 16, Rue de Savièse – Case postale – CH - 1950 Sion 2 Tél:+41 27 324 80 90 – Fax: +41 27 324 80 91

Genève : Correspondent law firm : de la Gandara & associés 1, Place du Port – CH -1204 Genève – www.pdglaw.ch

Meetings by appointment


LOCAL NEWS

Anita Moser

The construction site at the airfield in November, with one hangar fully and the other partially errected

AIRPORT RENOVATION ON TRACK Despite the onset of winter, there’s a construction boom at the site of the airfield in Saanen. The project is on course – work on the hangars, as well as terminal interiors, has begun.

“Everything’s okay,” says Walter Egger, president of the Aerodrome Cooperative Gstaad-Saanenland, on the question of the status of construction works. “We are on schedule and on budget.” Despite intensive construction activity, flight operations are guaranteed. The terminal’s roof is wrapped in foil and most of the hangars have been erected. If weather conditions allow, the remaining hangars will be installed in the coming weeks. In early December, two trusses were delivered for the two larger hangars. These are by a specialised company and delivered by police escort. The route from Bulle to Saanen is especially demanding and difficult to the size of the trusses. In the upcoming weeks, six more binders will arrive once more on special transports delivered.

“The trusses are installed as a supporting beam, but they are about 36 metres long and weigh 16 tonnes,” says airport construction manager Marc Steiner, who specifies that professional trucks will each deliver a truss split into two pieces The grand opening of the renovated airport is scheduled for May 2018. Overall, the aerodrome co-operative invested CHF 30m in the conversion and expansion of the airfield. Safety is a key issue for the aerodrome authorities, and not just during the construction phase. The airfield is popular with walkers as well as dog owners, cyclists, and rollerbladers. Unfortunately, not everyone follows the safety regulations – usually not intentionally, but out of ignorance or carelessness. Luckily, there have not been any accidents so far, although dangerous situations have occurred. Recently, an airplane couldn’t take off because unleashed dogs roamed the property. “Safety of all is a big concern,” emphasises Egger. “We try to sensitise people to possible dangers and are grateful if they comply with the regulations.” These regulations, which are developed by the Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) and are required for safety approval, are currently being clarified. One thing is certain – entering the airfield is prohibited, even in the evening or in rainy weather. ALEXIS MUNIER / AVS

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ONE DAY SKI EXPERIENCE Enjoy your first try-outs on skis in the winter wonderland of Gstaad. A «carefree all round» package from CHF 255 comprising ski lesson, equipment and accompaniment by the ski instructor company from the hotel into the snow. Included in the offer Ski lesson, ski pass, full ski equipment (skis, shoes, helmet) and clothing (pants, jacket), accompaniment by private ski instructor from the hotel into the snow, warm drink. booking.gstaad.ch

d riChTer PAinTinG 29 . 12 . 17 . . . GerhAr ider, BourGeois: The sP 5. 1 . 18 . . . . . . Louise The TAnGerine The MisTress And s: Lour oF Your soCk 12 . 1 . 18 . . . . .The Co TTi risT A YeAr wiTh PiPiLo sTon: A LiFe Lived 19 . 1 . 18 . . . . .PhiLiP Gu CT GGenheiM: ArT Addi Gu Y GG Pe . . . . 18 . 1 . 26 oGrAPhers 2 . 2 . 18 . . . . . .The PhoT Cher Bernd And hiLLA Be e 9 . 2 . 18 . . . . . .evA hess iCheL BAsquiAT: 16 . 2 . 18 . . . . .JeAn-M The rAdiAnT ChiLd Auri: 23 . 2 . 18 . . . . FABio M LiGhT PorTrAiT in soLid

A cinematic journey into the art world. Programme winter 2017/2018 Screenings every Friday at 5:30 pm throughout the winter season 2017/2018 at the Ciné-Theater in Gstaad


After the various openings and closings of health facilities in Saanen, there is now more important news regarding ensuring basic health care in the Saanenland.

T

he Health and Welfare Directorate (GEF) announced in the autumn that the financial contribution to Spital STS AG for the operation of Zweisimmen Hospital in its current form had been rejected. Yet despite this initial rejection, the Health and Welfare Directorate says it is doing everything in its power to promote a longterm solution for the basic and hospital care in the mountain region of Obersimmental-Saanenland. Initial Refusal

Going back to the circumstances surrounding the decision this autumn, Spital STS AG, the company that runs Zweisimmen Hospital as well as several others, was “irritated and disappointed,” at the funding rejection, according to their official response. The municipality of Saanen was unhappy with the decision, Zweisimmen was dismayed, and the IG hospital supply Simmental-Obersimmental called for more financial transparency. Last February, Spital STS AG filed a request with the canton for an annual subsidy of CHF 3.4m. The amount would have been used for the sustainable operation of the hospital services. From the point of view of the STS AG, the provisional services would have to be financed by the public authorities in order to ensure the sustainable operation of the hospital in need of care with the prescribed basic package. The Spital STS AG argued that the site could not be operated in a cost-effective manner, and the corresponding operational deficit – which had been sustained for years – would jeopardize the development of the main location in Thun. The GEF

has now rejected the request stating, “The costs must be covered by the tariff negotiated with the health insurers.” There are also too many open questions for the GEF and they say that if these were answered and the tariffs were renegotiated, another request could be considered. The GEF recognized the health care crisis in the region and the challenge to ensure an acute basic care in the Simmental-Saanenland region. The current request, however, they could not approve. The GEF then said they remained ready to examine any new application as soon as the bargaining agreements with the health insurers for 2018 were completed and the open questions concerning the planned new building and the operational concept were clarified. Further Dialogue

Representatives of the affected mountain region were welcomed to Berne in October by government councillor and health and welfare director Pierre Alain Schnegg. At the table were national councillor Erich von Siebenthal (Gstaad) and members of the grand council, as well as representatives of all municipal councils of the affected communities. The discussions included a detailed background of the GEF’s decision to reject funding. Alternatives to STS AG’s new construction project were also outlined, but without criticising the competencies of the board of directors, from which additional clarifications and new proposals are expected. The participants agreed that hospital care in the mountain region Obersimmental-Saanenland must be guaranteed at a high level – at

Blanca Burri

LOCAL NEWS

UPDATE ON LOCAL HEALTHCARE SITUATION

the very least, the principle of maintaining an acute hospital location in the region was not questioned by any party. After a successful meeting, it was agreed that the GEF and the representatives of the region would stay in close contact, and a follow-up meeting with the same participants would be scheduled in the future. Government Councillor Schnegg has stated that the GEF will do their utmost to ensure that the region has access to an acute hospital in the medium- and long-term. GEF is prepared to examine a new financing application, but as of yet no final solution has been found. “However, we are also open to considering alternatives,” said Schnegg. “For example the operation of the Zweisimmen site by or in cooperation with a third service provider, private or public.” Cooperation with neighbouring Canton Vaud is also not excluded, drawing on a frequently mentioned alternative favoured by many in the expat and long-term guest population. ALEXIS MUNIER / AVS

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This is the second of a series of four articles where GstaadLife

and brings a unique perspective; there is no overall norm beyond learning and respect of others.

interviews “New Highlanders” – individuals from various professions who live in the Saanenland and the Pays-d’Enhaut. Coming from diverse backgrounds and bringing a wealth of experience, they add to the rich

How would you explain corporate governance, your current subject, to the layman?

mosaic of our multicultural life. In this article we meet Ludo Van der Heyden, Academic Director of the Corporate Governance Centre at INSEAD, which has campuses in Abu Dhabi, Fontainebleau and Singapore. Ludo and his wife Colette currently live in Siernes Picat.

Courtesy of Loïc Van der Heyden

PROFILE

NEW HIGHLANDER II Governance is how corporations are directed and decisions made. With so much global turbulence, governance is an increasing responsibility. When things go wrong, the board of directors is ultimately responsible – not shareholders (they lose their investment), not employees (they lose their jobs). Governance is a firm’s cockpit, but do board members learn to fly? Actually, they rarely attend business school. After the financial crisis in 2008 there was an urgent need to start educating board members in better corporate governance practices. That had not been done before by major business schools. To do so in Europe, the Americas, the Gulf, and Asia has been fantastic. I even had an American student who never returned to the second module because he was in prison, arrested for insider trading! What experience have you have had in management? Can you start by telling us a little about your background?

I grew up – a francophone – in Antwerp, the most international of Flemish towns. I have an engineering degree from the University of Louvain and a doctorate in applied mathematics from Yale University. My first job was at Harvard. I soon returned to the Yale School of Management where I became a full professor. What made you switch from mathematics to management?

I often dreamed of managing my grandfather’s factory. So, applying

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mathematics to manufacturing and operations was also an emotional choice. Mathematics requires huge conceptual talent. When I told my Yale Dean that I wanted to be a manager, he said, “You’re a great teacher, your colleagues won’t approve!” Once I was promoted professor, he said “Now do whatever you want!” My wife and I wanted to raise our children in a European environment – it is hard to become an immigrant if you don’t have to, so we left. I was attracted to INSEAD because of its European ambition: to educate multicultural managers. At INSEAD, everyone is a minority (and I was one in Belgium)

For five tough years I was INSEAD Co-Dean where I finally learned about management. After that experience, going back to the classroom was an easy choice. It is more fun to teach management than to do it! I think that, if INSEAD had been my family’s business, I would have had to stay a manager. What are the profiles of your MBA students?

This has evolved a great deal. In the past, the INSEAD campus in Fontainebleau attracted mainly Western Europeans. With political changes in the Eastern bloc and the open-


ing of campuses in Abu Dhabi and Singapore, we now have a group of students who come from all over the world. And we fly to teach them. This global presence places INSEAD “in the world”. What attracted you to the Saanenland and the Pays-d’Enhaut?

When I turned 60 I longed for another chapter. I have always admired Switzerland. The Swiss model of bottom-up democracy is a great example for my country, and also for Europe. The EU is a modern concept that plays a vital role in promoting peace, humanity and prosperity within Europe. People ought to improve it, not tear it down. Its top-down model is problematic and often rejected – as witnessed by Brexit. But who will defend Europe and its values? After a teaching assignment in Vevey, I went on holiday to Lauenen with my wife and children. We loved it and ended up in Rossinière, renting a chalet that belonged to Tony Devenish, the former owner of the Grand Chalet. We subsequently discovered the hamlet of Siernes Picat – a lovely area with fabulous mountains, streams, trees, pastures and, of course, inhabitants: farmers, cows, chamois and eagles. The cows are particularly social: in summer they gather close to our chalet and listen to Mozart! They should be invited to the Menuhin Festival! Mountain regions are economically fragile. What management advice would you have for local authorities in these areas?

To stay relevant, regions need to keep moving forward and evolving. I see two big challenges that need to be addressed. The first is the Swiss franc – it is excessively liked by foreigners and hence overvalued with respect to other major currencies. This is a tsunami that this region needs to digest. Switzerland has become too expensive, a fact that tourists notice as soon as they buy a train ticket! The

appreciation of the yen finally killed Japan’s growth! The second major challenge for the Saanenland and the Pays-d’Enhaut is global warming. Much as I like the gentleness of these highlands where one can walk for miles along the mountain tops, there is a downside: the peaks are only about 2,000 meters, too low to guarantee snow in winter.

meaningful. I always marvel at the differences between our local villages, from Rossinière to Gsteig: each authentically different. In the global world, it is difference that adds value. And that difference has local roots that cannot easily be replicated. The farmers have done extremely well, for example, with the trademark for Etivaz cheese – a very local product that is now in demand all over the world. That is the way to go: be more local and become more attractive globally. Dubai Mall may be the biggest mall in the world, but it offers what every other major city mall offers – no need to go there twice. I think more could be done to present

The region needs to address these challenges by increasing its focus on health, wellness and four-season offerings. When I teach in Abu Dhabi, I never leave air-conditioned hotels or offices. I long for the freshness of the mountains. I can understand why so many people from the Gulf “The secret to the future of this states spend their sum- valley lies in its local roots.” mers along the shores of the Lac Leman. But they do not sufficiently explore our the uniqueness of the Saanenland mountains and forests. We all need and the Pays-d’Enhaut and make it to get closer to the mountains, to our better known globally. trees, to nature. A tree is not just wood for the fire, it’s the foundation of life You have had a successful and varied in so many ways. My walks here al- international career. What advice ways fill me with amazement at the would you give to young people who mysteries of life, how well the forest are just starting out? is organised, and how limited we are. My first advice would be to go abroad for at least a decade. I left Belgium when The secret to the future of this val- I was 24. This allowed me to appreciate ley (or valleys) lies in its local roots: the diversity of cultures and the conSwitzerland is a safe and welcom- trasts to my own country. You undering haven of unparalleled natural stand your own country once you gain beauty and richness. I have not seen a global perspective. I consider myself anything like it: multicultural, pris- fortunate to have lived for extended petine, rich in culture and history, re- riods in the USA and to have raised a markably re-energizing and respect- family both there and in Europe. ful. It’s a great place to meet, and also take refuge, to think about the My second advice is this: know what challenges facing our world. This you’re good at, recognize your talents will become increasingly valued by and be true to yourself. Identify the the rest of the world, so I have little aspects of your personality that make concern for the valley in the longer you unique and that resonate with othterm. Having said that, every region ers. Find out what you are passionate in Switzerland has to keep working about that other people find valuable. on what makes it unique and special They will help you be yourself. Don’t and needs to better market its Swiss worry about failing. We all fail. Life is – as well as its distinctive – qualities. a journey, fortunately. “Les Nations Suisses” rings true and GUY GIRARDET

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GSTA AD LIVING

SPITZHORN ROCKFALL FORCES CLOSURE OF SANETSCHPASS PATHWAY The Sanetschpass pathway remains closed until further notice due to fallen rocks. Local authorities warn that further rockfall is possible.

On 23 October, 50’000m3 of rock fell from the west flank of the Spitzhorn. The debris spread across the base of the cliff and down into the forest below all the way to Rotegrabe. The pathways linking Gsteig – Sanetsch and Rotegrabe – Burg – Längmatte were partially blocked by the debris. Since this initial incident, there have been several more reports of falling rock in that area. Local residents have been warned to stay away and the zone around the base of the Spitzhorn, including the Sanetschpass pathway, has been closed. Regional forest ranger, Arthur Haldi, estimates that approximately 4 hectares of forest were damaged by the 23 October incident. A high voltage power line was also battered. Thankfully, no people or animals were injured by the recent rockslides. Even though the fallen rocks

landed in relative proximity to Gsteig, there was no immediate danger to the local inhabitants according to Paul Reichenbach, councilman for Gsteig. The geological structure of the region would in fact prevent further rock fall from affecting any local settlements. A further incident of rock falling from the west side of the Spitzhorn was reported shortly after the first event. Eyewitnesses in Gsteig reported seeing rocks falling from the Spitzhorn. Authorities were disappointed to hear that despite official warnings of a potentially life-threatening situation and an official closure of the area, individuals have been reported to have entered the danger zone. The local council has made it clear that it cannot accept responsibility for any incident that might occur due to reckless behavior. “We are dealing with an unpredictable and therefore potentially life-threatening situation. We are therefore asking people to stay away from the area until further notice,” said the Gsteig council in a press release. The exact cause of the recent rockfall is unknown, explained local authorities. They have, however, excluded thawing permafrost as a cause because of the high altitude of the cliff and since there was no indication of water flowing out of the cliff, they do not think pressurized water was the cause either. Shortly after the recent rockfalls, samples of the debris were taken by helicopter and an examination of the affected area was conducted by a geologist. A report with more conclusive findings about what caused the rocks to fall will be published in due course. At this stage, a likely explanation for the rockfall seems to be general erosion of the rockface. Falling rock is not an unusual occurrence in this region. In fact, a cloud of dust that signaled rockfall was spotted at the southern flank of the Spitzhorn in September 2016. At the time, an on-site examination of the debris did not reveal any cause for concern: the fallen rocks were no larger than previous ones and the walkways Gsteig – Sanetsch and Längmatte – Burg – Rotegrabe were not affected. The local council plans to reassess the situation in the spring, once the snow has melted. Only then will it be possible to decide whether the access ban can be lifted. ANNE CHRISTINE KEMPTON / AVS

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Find a pot. Add red wine, grated cheese and ground meal, heat and stir until the cheese is

What does your version of this Swiss classic look like?

melted. Serve and enjoy.

A nouvelle cuisine interpretation of fondue? An early rendition of the Swiss national dish? Not quite. It’s actually a Greek recipe from the Iliad, an epic poem on the Trojan War from the 7th to the 8th century BCE, attributed to the fabled Homer. The recipe describes Nestor of Pylos’ servant Hecamede mixing a “potion” of Pramnian red wine, grated goat cheese, and barley meal for Nestor and the physician Machaon, who had just returned from battling the Trojans. Since the “potion” is later described as “flaming wine”, many have taken these passages as historical evidence of the first fondue, albeit one that was Greek, served in what is now Turkey, and consumed as a drink without the accompaniment of fork or bread. Melted cheese and wine next appear in the historical record in Zurich in 1699 as “Käss mit wein zu kochen” (“to cook cheese with wine”), from the Kochbuch der Anna Margaretha Gessner-Kitt. It was not called fondue, and no flour meal or other binder was mentioned as part of the recipe, but it did include the dipping of bread. Possibly the earliest recipe using the term “fondue” (from the French verb fondre, to melt) was published by Vincent la Chapelle, chef to William IV, Prince of Orange, in Le Cuisinier Moderne in 1742. Chapter 16, Des Oeufs (eggs), has a recipe for Fonduë de Fromage, aux Truffes Fraiches, which describes a mix of cheese (Gruyere or Parmesan), water or white wine, truffles, eggs, and other

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ARTS & CULTURE

FONDUE’S STIRRING PAST

ingredients melted over a rechaud, into which one would dip fried or grilled fingers of bread. Subsequent French and French-Swiss recipes from the late-18th through late-19th centuries list similar ingredients, with eggs used both as a binder and to extend the amount of cheese added, which was generally one-fifth of that in modern fondues. Not quite the bubbling dish you had at your local Stübli last night? Most authorities agree that the fondue we know today seems to have developed from an egg-and-cheese dish into a cheese, wine and flour mixture in the early 20th century French-speaking Switzerland. Powdered cornstarch entered the Swiss market in 1905 as Maïzena, which when combined with Kirsch in the caquelon pot helps blend all the ingredients together. Fondue was later popularized and brought to the rest of Switzerland in the 1930s by the Swiss Cheese Union, a marketing and trading cartel which sought to increase surplus cheese consumption. The organization promoted fondue as a Swiss national dish, and distributed fondue kits to Swiss army units, ski clubs

and other male-dominated groups, which led to the prevalent Swiss view of the preparation of fondue as a man’s responsibility, similar to other fire-related fare like grilling. Nowadays, fondue au fromage can be found in an almost infinite variety of forms, with regional cheeses of differing maturities and special variations including herbs, mushrooms or tomatoes. Local Saanenland Molkereien each offer their own particular blends, with some reintroducing truffles from earlier recipes. Venues for enjoying this culinary delight range from open-air, c aquelon-shaped booths on snowy mountaintops to cozy Stübli in virtually every Gstaad-area hotel and restaurant. So, is fondue really Swiss, French, or Greek? Did that early recipe in the Iliad influence all subsequent variations? No one knows for sure. But if excessive winter holiday cheese consumption is ballooning one’s waistline to an unacceptable degree, one can always hearken to Virgil’s age-old admonition in the Aeneid: “Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.” ALEX BERTEA

GstaadLife 8 I 2017

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Anja von Mühlenen and Adriana Kostiw aspire to Coffee Route Regatta

Adriana Kostiw, born in São Paulo, is used to the salty mist of the surf.

With a freshly brewed plan to compete in the famous Transatlantic Jacques Vabre – “Coffee Route” – Regatta, the dynamic sailing duo Anja von Mühlenen and Adriana Kostiw are honing their skills and actively seeking donors to help make their dream come true.

Alpine sailor

GYC

Born in the village of Gstaad, Anja von Mühlenen developed a passion for water sports at a young age. Her father taught her to windsurf in the cold mountain lakes of Arnensee, Lac de l’Hongrin, and Lac de la Gruyère. After an apprenticeship at the Steigenberger Hotel, Anja relocated to the big city of London, where she ran a catering business and later worked for industry giants like Betty Bossi AG in Switzerland.

Through Gstaad-born Anja von Mühlenen's veins runs clear mountain lake water, but she also braves the salty waves of the Mediterranean and the Atlantic.

But between preparing delicious meals, Anja yearned to trade her spatula for a sail. She trained to become a sailing, windsurfing, and kite surfing instructor, both in Greece and the Philippines. While making a living teaching water sports, she also pursued her sailing career, as a trimmer at Rolex Sailing Week in Brazil and at major regattas worldwide. She has covered 55,000 nautical miles, in crossings and deliveries of boats in the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. When working private yachts and sailboats, Anja is responsible for navigation, weather forecasts and deck work, such as watch-keeping and changing sails. Combining her two talents, Anja is now working as a private chef on sailboats, while she vies to compete in her next, and most ambitious, project – the Transatlantic Regatta Jacques Vabre 2019. Transatlantic Regatta Jacques Vabre

GYC

SPORTS & LEISURE

READY, SET, SAIL!

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GstaadLife 8 I 2017

Held biennially for the past 25 years, the Jacques Vabre is known as the “Coffee Route” Regatta. Beginning at Le Havre on the French coast, teams sail to the destination point of Salvador de Bahìa, Brazil, following the historic route of the clipper ships that once plied the seas for the French coffee trade. Composed of approximately 4,000 nautical miles, two-person teams must sail day and night, competing in one of the four classes available – Class40 (12.19m), IMOCA60 (18.28m), Multi50 (15.24m), or Ultim (21,33m -23m). With Class40 average speeds of


Sailors have the freedom of selecting their individual routes themselves. Although the teams are supervised at the beginning of the regatta, they are on their own on the high seas for the remainder of the crossing. One of the two sailors must remain on guard at all times, and they are trained to manage on only 20 minutes of deep sleep per night. With no connection to the outside world except wind and weather data provided by a satellite telephone, the nearly four-week crossing can be quite a challenge for even the most experienced sailor. Speaking of experienced sailors, Anja’s search for a perfect pairing ended in success with her long-time friend, Adriana Kostiw. They met during Rolex Ilhabela Sailing Week, where Anja served as a member of Adriana’s crew. Later, the fast friends did some transatlantic crossings together, where they realised they made a fine team. The two share a natural affection for the sea, and after such intensive bouts of sailing together, they are perfectly in tune with each other’s skills, abilities, and quirks. A-Lister Paulista

Adriana Kostiw has lived and breathed the sea since she was born

at Lake Guarapiranga, São Paulo. The most successful Brazilian Olympic sailor of our times, she began sailing at a young age. Her inspiration to participate in the Olympic Games came from watching her neighbour, Marc Erzberger, a windsurfer who trained for the Olympics as well. Fatefully, Marc is the son of current Gstaad Yacht Club Commodore Peter Erzberger, which led to Adriana’s connection with the Saanenland. Adriana competed at several championships, including the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens in the 470 Class, and in 2012 in London in Laser Radial Class. But Adriana’s accolades continued – she also won the bronze at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro in Laser Radial Class, skippered the United States Sailing Team during various match races, as well as skippering a HPE25 Class during Rolex Sailing Week in Ilhabela, Brazil. With an astonishing over 110,000 nautical miles navigated during both competitions and sailboat deliveries in the Mediterranean and Adriatic Seas in addition to the Atlantic Ocean, Adriana is well-equipped for her current job – coaching and training talented young sailors in Brazil. But like her partner Anja, she dreams of yet another success on the seas – the elusive Jacques Vabre. Anja and Adriana at a regatta on lake Guarapiranga, São Paulo, Brasil in November 2017.

Mariana Peccicacco

15 knots (ca. 28km/h), the crossing is subjected to winds up to a strong 25 knots.

Wait and Sea

Together, Anja and Adriana have developed a plan to achieve their goal of participating in the Jacques Vabre. A two-year training schedule was implemented in 2016, which included a Transatlantic crossing in that year and a week training in Lorient, France, this past October. Another week of intensive preparations was completed in November in Guaruja, Brazil, and January 2018 will feature another week in Ilhabela. Previsions for future training, however, will require not only time on the part of the two partners, but availability of a sailboat. Actively seeking sponsorship, they hope to hire a Class40 sailboat as soon as a willing sponsor is found. This way, Anja and Adriana can participate in smaller regattas as a stepping-stone to the extremely difficult Vabre. Their ties to the Saanenland are strong, and in July both were invited for an evening to the Gstaad Yacht Club. The team was featured in a soirée, aimed at sharing their enthusiasm for the project as well as providing important details for inspiring future sponsors. The GYC, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2018, supports sailing projects on all levels from juniors to professional sailors. With its mission to remain a solid force on the Swiss sailing scene, the club will support Anja and Adriana whenever possible with its network in Switzerland and South America. Sponsorship opportunities are still available, with a wide range of options for every level of generous donor. But for now, the journey continues – the daily grind of intensive training and careful planning will further prepare Anja and Adriana for conquering the Coffee Route. With just another year to go, the perky duo is already well on their way to sailing the trip of a lifetime. ALEXIS MUNIER

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22nd December: Season opening Gstaad Palace and GreenGo nightclub We are looking forward to welcome you back on the 22nd December 2017 for another season in winter wonderland. Make sure you stay tuned for any upcoming events at the Gstaad Palace and check our new GreenGo website for any musical updates. 24th December: Christmas Dinner Christmas in love! Celebrating the most beautiful time of the year the special way – spend Christmas with your beloved ones at the Gstaad Palace and join us for a gourmet dinner starting at 7.30 p.m. in all our restaurants. 31st December: New Year’s Eve Circus Step closer – and enjoy a night to remember! Make the last evening of 2017 special! If you spend it at the Palace, you will enjoy hours of entertainment, fun, good conversations, dance and naturally great food and drinks against the backdrop of a magical, glamorous circus. Cocktail at the Lobby Bar and GreenGo starting at 8.00 p.m. followed by the dinner in all restaurants from 9.30 p.m. onwards. 1st January: New Year’s Buffet After the long and exciting party night we make sure you’ll have a great start into the new year. A New Year’s buffet with fresh seafood and traditional Swiss specialties awaits you at 12.30 p.m. in all our restaurants. 12th January to 10th March: A touch of India This year for the first time, Ravi is staying longer at the Palace – not only to enjoy the wonderful wintertime, but also to incorporate fragrant ingredients and bring exotic aromas to our mountains. Ravi’s creations are served daily on the Palace’s traditional menu in Le Grand Restaurant. 14th February: Valentine's Day Be my Valentine! Savour a romantic evening with your better half starting at 7.30 p.m. with champagne and canapÊs, followed by a gourmet dinner in one of our restaurants. 16th February & 2nd March: Dora Live Band at The Lobby Bar Our popular Dora Live Band will make sure your dancing shoes are put to use whilst celebrating and enjoying quality time at our Lobby Bar, the parlour of Gstaad. Every Sunday in February: Seafood Buffet Feeling like savouring the fresh flavours of the sea whilst enjoying the magnificient view over the snowy Swiss Alps? Welcome to our seafood buffet every Sunday in February.

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Since the GYC launched its Racing Team eight years ago, club members have successfully competed in international regattas and in the Olympic Games. With the aim to support young sailors on their way to top sailing on an international level, the club currently boasts three members who aim for the next Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020.

Mateo Sanz Lanz lives in Formentera, Spain, and has already celebrated many successes, including Youth World Championship titles and top World Cup results. In 2016 he represented Switzerland at the Olympics in Rio, where he finished 14th. The latest achievements include a silver medal in the RS:X World Championship, which took place in Enoshima, Japan, and a bronze medal in the World Cup in Gamagori, also Japan. Eliot Merceron follows the footsteps of his mother and his grandfather, who were both great skiers. The latter, Fritz Tschannen, represented Switzerland in the 1948 Olympics in St. Moritz in ski jumping. Born in Switzerland, Eliot spent his first years on the sea. His first steps he made on a Lagoon 55 during the family’s crossing of the Atlantic Ocean to the Caribbean. Settling in school in Martinique, he discovered the joy of sailing an Optimist. He got hooked and soon entered competitions, always aiming

GYC MEMBERS AT THE LAST FOUR OLYMPICS Athens 2004: Flavio Marazzi with Enrico de Maria Beijing 2008: Flavio Marazzi with Enrico de Maria, fifth in the Star; and Nathalie Brugger, sixth in the Laser Radial (all with Olympic diplomas) London 2012: Flavio Marazzi with Enrico de Maria in the Star, Nathalie Brugger in the Laser Radial, and Richard Stauffacher in the RS:X

Eliot Merceron in his Laser at the 2017 World Championship (above) and Mateo Sanz Lanz in full action (right).

Rio 2016: Matías Bühler and Nathalie Brugger on the Nacra 17 These results encourage the GYC to support further sailing projects and have made the club an important player in the Swiss sailing scene overall and in particular in relation to Olympic games.

high. All the hard work soon paid off when he won his first regatta at age nine in Martinique. As he grew older, he quite naturally changed to a Laser. He eventually became Vice World Champion and won the French Championships three times during his last years of training in France. He is now enrolled as an engineering student at La Rochelle and joined the GYC and the Swiss Sailing Team this summer. Nils Theuninck, who joined the GYC in 2014, is racing in the Finn

Sophia Urban

A Swiss-Belgian in the Finn, a Swiss-French in the Laser, and a Swiss-Spanish in windsurfing. The athletes’ backgrounds are as international as the entire GYC membership. Nils Theuninck has a Swiss-Belgian family background and sails in the Finn class. Eliot Merceron comes from a Swiss-French family and competes in the Laser Standard class. Mateo Sanz Lanz is a Swiss citizen living in Spain, who windsurf in the RS:X class. All three have recently been selected for the Swiss Sailing Team. The GYC is their common home away from home whenever they visit Gstaad.

Thom Toux

SPORTS & LEISURE

THREE FOR THE GAMES – THE GYC RACING TEAM IS HEADING FOR JAPAN 2020

class under the flag of the GYC and already celebrated big successes on the Laser before. His most recent success is the first place in the Swiss National Championship, which he complement with positon 19 in the World Championships. He is Switzerland’s best hope in the Finn class for Tokyo 2020. The Gstaad Yacht Club supports all three athletes in their endeavours for Tokyo 2020. GSTAAD YACHT CLUB

GstaadLife 8 I 2017

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U

crime. We should all learn to develop and tune our situational awareness, to the point that we can detect anomalies or deviations in an otherwise safe environment.

p here in the beautiful and peaceful Saanenland, we seem a world away from the ever more frequent, horrific attacks happening in cities around the world. This year, we have had attacks in London, Paris and Barcelona. The reality of today's world is disturbing; the fact that such attacks can strike anywhere, at any time, create widespread anxiety. Furthermore, there seems to be no end in sight and no way to prevent such attacks from happening. However, this does not mean we should give up travelling, thereby giving in to the terror that a few criminals are trying to impose on the vast majority of us.

Do not put yourself in a sensory bubble by wearing earphones and/or reading text messages while walking in the street. By restricting one or more of your senses, you dramatically compromise your environmental sensitivity, to the point that you could miss commotion in the street that would have indicated an imminent threat or an attacker out to harm you. The list of indicators that should raise your alarm is too long and complex for one magazine article. For example, someone wearing a heavy winter jacket in the summer may be

Many police departments in the world – including some in Switzerland – encourage the general public to “run, hide, fight”. Good advice if you are caught up in an attack. But what more can be done to mitigate your risks of being a victim of such an attack or improve your chances of survival in case you are caught up in one?

an indicator that he or she may be wearing a suicide vest. However, one good thing to remember is to trust your instincts and intuition; they are frequently right. If someone or something seems suspicious to you, move away and report it to the authorities. Although the current climate is sad and often frightening, some of us live in and travel to major cities worldwide and have to cope with this new reality. We can either put our heads in the sand and pretend it will never happen to us, or prepare ourselves and our children, all the while staying positive and hoping to never be caught up in any such incident. JAMES OTIGBAH, DIRECTOR OF EXCEL SECURITY SOLUTIONS AG, IS A SECURITY CONSULTANT AND ADVISOR BASED IN GSTAAD

Denial is not a river in Egypt

One of the sure ways of improving your chances of surviving any form of attack is to mentally accept that it can happen to you. Denial will hinder your reaction and thought process of what to do next. By the time you start to accept your predicament, it might be too late. Having situational awareness – often described as 360° perception of your surroundings – will not only potentially protect you from a lone wolf attack, but also from everyday

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LIFEST YLE

WRONG PLACE, WRONG TIME

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“This diamond represents the hope of a better future for us,” says Emmanuel Momo, a preacher in Koryardu, “that the government will use their resources to provide us with growth, development and employment.”

Courtesy of Graff

This stunning 709-carat rough diamond was found near the village of Koryardu by a team of five local miners. Graff, which prides itself on giving back to the countries and communities where they secure gemstones, has learned that the funds from the purchase will be reinvested in the area where it was found by the local government.

Lesedi La Rona

Stones like the Lesedi La Rona don’t come around too often; it has been more than a century since a gem-quality diamond of this size has been discovered. The massive stone, which weighs a record-breaking 1,109 carats, is valued at $ 53m. Said to be of very high quality and possess exceptional transparency, the diamond is aptly named – Lesedi La Rona means “our light” in Botswana’s Tswana language.

EXCEPTIONAL DIAMONDS Local resident and “diamantaire extraordinaire” Laurence Graff has done it again – this time acquiring two of the world’s most valuable rough diamonds from Sierra Leone, the Peace Diamond (above) and the Lesedi La Rona (below).

“We are thrilled and honoured to become the new custodians of this incredible diamond,” says Laurence Graff, OBE. “Our highly skilled team of master craftsmen will draw on many years of experience of crafting the most important diamonds, working night and day to ensure that we do justice to this remarkable gift from Mother Nature.” What makes this acquisition especially interesting is that Graff purchased a 373-carat chunk of the rough diamond that had been removed from the Lesedi La Rona earlier this year. Now, the two pieces are reunited under the tutelage of Graff and set to be transformed into what will surely be an integral piece of their core collection, widely touted as the most fabulous jewels in the world.

Donald Woodrow

LIFEST YLE

Peace Diamond


LIFEST YLE

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FIND A COFFEE AND GET COSY We are now in the thick of the winter season and with all the snow around it is the perfect time to head into town and see what the Saanenland has to offer on a cool winters day.

W

hen taking a day off from the slopes a favourite thing to do for many is taking time to cosy up in one of the warm cafes around town. Treat yourself to a coffee or hot chocolate, and why not add a slice of cake to go with it. (As a side note, and this is just personal preference, but I believe that if you walk out of your Swiss holiday looking a little more like a wheel of cheese than when you arrived you have done the right thing and you have had a good time). Spending time in an area such as the Saanenland gives you a great opportunity to get involved in an area’s culture and experience the area like a local but it is also nice to find an atmosphere that is familiar to you, like a café.

home. Cafes are somewhere people can go and sit, read a book, take a phone call, catch up with friends, or even get some work done, which makes them all the more inviting on a snow day.

Cafe culture is a huge trend around the globe and has become a standard part of peoples’ everyday social lives. It has come into its own with a café being a place that not only gives you endless coffee but makes you feel comfortable and at

Cafes in the Saanenland are not your generic run of the mil cafes. They all have an added Swiss flare about them. Whether that be the beautiful wooden interior or the red and white checked seats, they are like an ever-changing office. Whatever atmo-

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GstaadLife 8 I 2017

The Saanenland has jumped on the cafe culture craze and I for one think it is very exciting. Throughout the Saanenland there are many places that are great for a caffeine fix. Whether you are walking down the Gstaad promenade or exploring somewhere else, you will be able to come across a cafe setting that makes you want to sit and enjoy. Don’t forget to order the cake, though. I tell no lie (because I am speaking from experience), they are some of the best cakes you will ever have.

sphere you are after you can feel free to bring your computer or notepad or nothing and simply enjoy. Perhaps your family is more into the outdoor activities and you are more of a grab a large coffee to go and walk around town kind of person. You can spend your days exploring all the coffee spots and find your favourite. So, I think we have learnt that whoever is writing this (me) is a lover of coffee and, you have also guessed, a lover of cake. They are both done well in the Saanenland and by the time you have explored the cafes, I think it is safe to say you will be, too. To finish off let me give you a few tips on how to order. If you love flat whites, you will not find one here and I would say your best bet is to opt for a cappuccino. You will also not find a long black but just ask for a coffee and you will receive one. Last, if you are looking for something with an extra little parcel of warmth then I would order an Irish coffee. I promise you will love it. SOPHIE RIEDER


I

sound: less risk we’d forget our anniversary and there’s always a party going on somewhere.

think it’s fair to say that no nation embraces New Year’s Eve with as much passion as the Scots. They even have their own name for it (Hogmanay) and the poem Auld Lang Syne by Robert Burns, widely regarded as Scotland’s national poet, is sung on the stroke of midnight in English-speaking nations around the globe.

onto the floor. So too, my ring box. Phew. I was most grateful. Up with the larks?

Happily for me I have some great Scottish friends who eschew Edinburgh’s large Hogmanay celebrations for New Year in Gstaad. I’m not surprised. In my opinion there’s no finer place to be at this time of year. Something for everyone

I haven’t done an official census, but there’s no doubt Gstaad’s population swells over the New Year. With Christmas done and dusted, visitors pour into the village to join the winter festivities. There is a veritable smorgasbord of events to choose from, to suit every budget. How about belly dancing at the Hotel Christiania, a fondue supper atop a mountain restaurant, or perhaps you’d like to dance the night away at the Hotel Gstaaderhof?

One memorable year we splashed out and went to the Palace Hotel. It was an unforgettable extravagance and worth every cent. We even mustered the courage to hit the dance floor at GreenGo, though we were neither young nor beautiful. But what I remember most about that evening is rubbish disposal.

If partying and carousing into the early hours isn’t for you, there’s nothing like the serenity of a crisp 1 January morning to start the year. And with a selection of New Year’s Day brunches on offer, not to mention fireworks at 7pm care of the Hotel Alpina, it doesn’t have to stay low key for long.

At dinner my husband presented me with an eternity ring, an anniversary present to celebrate the birth of our first son. He slipped the ring on my finger and we headed off to explore the hotel. We returned to find our table had been cleared. My ruby red ring box was nowhere to be seen. There was only one place it could be.

Auld Lang Syne

The hotel staff were brilliant and leapt into action. They unfurled half a dozen black bin bags across the restaurant floor and tipped out bag after bag of rubbish. Party poppers, streamers, party hats and a host of debris swept from the tables tumbled

As we ring in the New Year with friends old and new, spare a thought for the hundreds of people who work tirelessly over the festive season to make Gstaad function like clockwork: the waitresses, waiters, ski instructors, and a host of others including those hardy souls who drag themselves out of bed before dawn to bash the pistes, plough the roads and scrape ice from the pavements. It only leaves me to wish you all a healthy and happy New Year. See you in 2018. ANNA CHARLES

But you don’t have to go out to have a good time. When we lived in Rougemont and our boys were young, a family dinner at home followed by fireworks worked a treat. I’ve never been much into fireworks, probably the result of too many damp 5 November bonfire nights in England, but seeing the colourful explosions against the snow-covered Videmanette takes some beating. Ring boxes and bin bags

There’s another reason I’m biased about New Year’s Eve in Gstaad. My husband and I were married here on 31 December many moons ago. Our rationale for this choice of date was

Anna Charles

COLUMN

EXPAT ADVENTURES

GstaadLife 8 I 2017

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GSTAADLIFE IS AVAILABLE IN THESE HOTELS Gstaad Palace 033 748 50 00, info@palace.ch

Hotel Alpine Lodge 033 748 41 51, info@alpinelodge.ch

Le Grand Bellevue 033 748 00 00, info@bellevue-gstaad.ch

Hotel des Alpes Saanenmöser 033 748 04 50, info@desalpes.ch

Park Gstaad 033 748 98 00, info@parkgstaad.ch

Hotel Solsana 033 748 94 94, info@solsana.ch

The Alpina Gstaad 033 888 98 88, info@thealpinagstaad.ch

Hotel Spitzhorn 033 748 41 41, spitzhorn@spitzhorn.ch

Ultima Gstaad 033 748 05 50, info@ultimagstaad.com

Hotel Alpenland 033 765 91 34, hotel@alpenland.ch

ERMITAGE, Wellness- & Spa Hotel 033 748 04 30, welcome@ermitage.ch

Hotel Alphorn 033 748 45 45, office@alphorn-gstaad.ch

Boutique Hotel Alpenrose 033 748 91 91, info@hotelalpenrose.ch

Hotel Bellerive 033 748 88 33, info@bellerive-gstaad.ch

Golfhotel Les Hauts de Gstaad 033 748 68 68, mail@golfhotel.ch

Hotel Ermitage 026 924 25 00, info@hotelermitage.ch

CLUBS Rotary Club Gstaad-Saanenland Meetings every Monday 12 noon Gstaad Palace (033 748 50 00), President: Rot. Pascal R. J. Rey (079 776 66 02) Secretary: Rot. Markus Iseli (033 748 92 08) Lions Club Gstaad-Saanenland Meetings each first and third week of the month on Thursdays, either at 12 noon for lunch or at 7 pm for dinner. Meetings in Ermitage, Wellness & Spa Hotel, Schönried, 033 748 60 60. For details and programme contact Arthur Reuteler, president, 033 744 51 33, info@bikesport-reuteler.ch, gstaad-saanenland.lionsclub.ch. Soroptimist International President: Ursula Breuninger 033 744 05 80 Programme: Patricia Glauser Edreira 076 426 16 11 Club des Leaders President: Jean-Sébastien Robine www.clubdesleaders.com contact@clubdesleaders.com

026 921 01 01, info@hotelderougemont.com

Hotel Kernen 033 748 40 20, info@hotel-kernen.ch

Huus Gstaad 033 748 04 04, welcome@huusgstaad.com

Hotel Landhaus 033 748 40 40, info@landhaus-saanen.ch

IMPORTANT NUMBERS

Valrose 026 923 77 77, welcome@hotelvalrose.ch

Hotel Saanerhof 033 744 15 15, hotel@saanerhof.ch

Ambulance 144, Police 117 Fire 118

Hotel Arc-en-Ciel 033 748 43 43, info@arc-en-ciel.ch

Posthotel Rössli 033 748 42 42, info@posthotelroessli.ch

Hotel Bernerhof 033 748 88 44, info@bernerhof-gstaad.ch

Sporthotel Victoria 033 748 44 22, info@victoria-gstaad.ch

Hotel Christiania 033 744 51 21, info@christiania.ch

Hotel Restaurant Bären 033 755 10 33, welcome@baerengsteig.ch

Hotel Gstaaderhof 033 748 63 63, info@gstaaderhof.ch

Hotel Geltenhorn 033 765 35 91, brand@hotel-geltenhorn.ch

Hotel Le Grand Chalet 033 748 76 76, hotel@grandchalet.ch

Hotel Viktoria 033 755 10 34, hotel_viktoria@bluewin.ch

Hotel Olden 033 748 49 50, info@hotelolden.com

Hotel Wildhorn 033 765 30 12, hotel@wildhorn.ch

Romantik Hotel Hornberg 033 748 66 88, willkommen@hotel-hornberg.ch

Jugendherberge Gstaad Saanenland 033 765 30 12, gstaadsaanenland@ youthhostel.ch

Hotel de Rougemont

Member of Design HotelsTM

Medical Emergency: 0900 57 67 47 Dental Emergency: 033 729 26 26 Police Station: 033 356 84 31 Car Accident: 033 744 88 80 Zweisimmen Hospital: 033 729 26 26 Château-d’Oex Hospital: 026 923 43 43 Veterinarian: 033 748 08 58 / 033 744 06 61

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GstaadLife 8 I 2017

CHURCH SERVICES St Peter's Anglican Church English-Speaking, Château-d’Oex Service every Sunday, 5.30 pm www.stpeters.ch Contact: cliveatkinson@bluewin.ch


JAN UA RY 26 F E BRUA RY 3 rd , 2018 th

Church of Saanen: Daniel Müller-Schott, Kammerorchester Wien-Berlin, Rainer Honeck | Daniel Lozakovich, Camerata Salzburg, Gregory Ahss | Radu Lupu, Zürcher Kammerorchester, Jukka-Pekka Saraste | Nelson Freire | Renaud Capuçon, Nicholas Angelich, Quatuor Hermès | Church of Rougemont: Andreas Ottensamer, Quatuor Cavatine | Christiane Karg, Joseph Middleton | Renaud Capuçon, Guillaume Bellom | Edgar Moreau, David Kadouch | and 8 young cellists at the Gstaad Chapel


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GstaadLife 29. December 2018  

The exclusive news and lifestyle magazine of Gstaad

GstaadLife 29. December 2018  

The exclusive news and lifestyle magazine of Gstaad

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