Page 1









Issue 7 | 13 December 2019 CHF 3.50

EGGLI Facts and figures of the new cable car

100 YEARS The Association of Mountain Guides celebrates

KRISHNAMURTI A thinker and philosopher who should not be forgotten

LEST WE FORGET It was a year or two ago, when I came across Krishnamurti during a Google search. I did not know the personality and was looking for something else anyway. I saw there was a connection with Saanen, which only briefly caught my attention. I soon moved on without giving this short detour any further thought. I begin with this confession of ignorance because I fear I am not the only one with this blank area on my mental map. People my age are too young to remember and there have been no efforts – at least none that reached me – to keep the memory of Krishnamurti alive in the region. An exhibition in the Museum Saanen has set out to change this. It has attracted many people familiar with Krishnamurti. However, it has also presented this exceptional thinker and philosopher to a younger audience – like myself.  I’m glad we can do our share at GstaadLife to promulgate Krishnamurti, his work and his connection with the Saanenland. If the profile interview triggers your interest, you know where to satisfy your curiosity… Best regards,

CONTENTS LOCAL NEWS When a project takes a long time …


Family tradition continues


Ultimate awards


The smartest way to get to Gstaad


Ski tickets to include free public transport services this winter season


Dine like a king in the Saanenland




GSTAAD LIVING 100 candles for the Gstaad-Lenk Association of Mountain Guides


ARTS & CULTURE Memoirs of Dame Julie Andrews honorary citizen of Saanen


Works of Jenny Holzer in Saanen


Gstaad New Year Music Festival


Celebrating the coming season


SPORTS & LEISURE The Eggli brand new


Nathalie von Siebenthal: stepping down after a break


Olympic qualification and young talents



Expat adventures Markus Iseli, Publishing Director

Cover photo: Krishnamurti in 1977 (© Mary Zimbalist Estate) GstaadLife, Anzeiger von Saanen, 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 & Editor in Chief: Markus Iseli, markus.iseli@gstaadlife.com Contributors: Alex Bertea, Anna Charles, Guy Girardet, Gstaad Yacht Club, Justine Hewson Layout: Dorina Reichenbach, Epu Shaha Advertising: Eliane Behrend, advertising@gstaadlife.com, 033 748 88 71 Subscriptions: Esther Brand-de Groot, subscriptions@gstaadlife.com, 033 748 88 74 "AvS" in the author line refers to the Anzeiger von Saanen. Contact the editor for more information.

GstaadLife 7 I 2019


Wine is our Passion Your specialist for Bordeaux, Burgundy and Italian wines, spirits and champagnes Rare large-size bottles Wine accessories Opening hours: Monday to Saturday: 9.30 am – 1 pm and 2.30 pm – 7 pm

Prom e nad e 3 8 – 3780 G STAAD – 033 748 13 7 1 w w w.c a vea udeba c c h us.c h 27.11.2019 / DL64-736 GSTAAD LIFE SUJET: BACCHUS

FORMAT: 209 X 140 mm


SALES | RENTALS | ADMINISTRATION Gschwendstrasse 2 | CH-3780 Gstaad Tel. +41 33 748 45 50 | info@gerax.ch

Congratulations on 100 years Gstaad-Lenk Association of Mountain Guides GstaadLife 7 I 2019


- E S T. 1 9 9 9 -


W W W . J E T F LY . C O M


WHEN A PROJECT TAKES A LONG TIME … For many years, Saanenmöser has longed for a cash machine. Now, the Saanen Bank has made their wish come true: since October, people have been able to draw cash from the machine at the train station in Saanenmöser.


TM have been out there for over 50 years. In the Saanenland, the first ATM was installed in Gstaad at the beginning of July 1980, according to the archive of the Anzeiger von Saanen. In Saanenmöser, a little more patience was necessary. “We were asked countless times and we always refused for reasons of cost,” explains Jürg von Allmen, director of Saanen Bank. , speaking to

a small delegation from the Dorfladen cooperative and the Saanenmöser village organisation. The tenacity of locals and guests has now paid off. Also, equipment is now cheaper to set up, admits von Allmen. The cash machine project was launched just over a year ago. After the proposal to locate it on the wall of the village shop failed just before launch, successful contact was made with the MOB.

“While some places are uninstalling systems, we’re going ahead with our plans. Our goal is to ensure ATM coverage in the Saanenland,” said von Allmen. The cash machine in Saanen­ möser – located at the station building – is already very busy. In the first five days, CHF 8,500 were dished out and bets are being made as to how much this will be by the end of the winter season. BASED ON AVS/ANITA MOSER TRANSLATED BY JUSTINE HEWSON

FAMILY TRADITION CONTINUES Rosmarie and Christian Dubi changed their perspective in autumn: from the sales counter to the customer side. With Andrea Wehren as the new managing director, however, the Chnusper-Becke Gstaad remains in the tradition of the family-owned company.


hristian and Rosmarie Dubi spent over 30 years behind the counter and in the bakery and have now retired to their well-deserved retirement. Andrea Wehren from Schönried now also takes over the management in Gstaad. “It’s a family story,” explains Rosmarie Dubi about the business handover.

A little family history

The origin of both shops – in Gstaad and Schönried – goes back to the baker Gottlieb Dubi, who bought the wellknown Dubihus in Ebnit and whose wife Emilie gave birth to 25 children.

Jules Dubi, the fourth child, also learned the baking trade and opened his bakery in 1916 in Schönried. As the 25th child, Christian Dubi learned the bakery profession from his big brother in Schönried and opened his bakery in Ebnit, Gstaad in 1932. Both bakeries were then working as independent companies. In 1941 the family business in Schönried was continued by daughter Elly and son-in-law Gottfried Wehren and handed over in 1974 to the next generation, Vreni and Ernst Wehren. The bakery in Gstaad was taken over in 1963 by Heinz and Lina Dubi.

These in turn handed the line in 1989 to Rosmarie and Christian Dubi. At the end of 1998, the two branches of the family reunited their businesses to form what was then called Wehren & Dubi AG. Soon after, the family has agreed on the common name today Chnusper-Becke.  In Gstaad

With daughter Andrea Wehren from the Schönried family branch, the company remains in family hands. She manages the business at both locations. BASED ON AVS/SONJA WOLF TRANSLATED BY JUSTINE HEWSON

GstaadLife 7 I 2019


Cable Car Eggli N EW

WINTER 2019/20

GstaadLife Eggli 2019x140mm EN.indd 1

27.11.2019 11:51:09




he Ultima Collection group has been given two major awards. At the Influencer Awards in the Principality of Monaco on 6 October, the Ultima Collection group won the category Best Luxury Hospitality Group of the Year 2019, thanks to their exclusive lifestyle and innovative vision when it comes to design and services. Just three years after the hotel group was founded, it now has establishments in Crans-Montana, Geneva and the French cities of Megève and Courchevel, excelling with its homefrom-home concept. Great care and attention to detail goes into every feature along with tailor-made experiences for customers, according to the press release. Lolita Abraham, founder of the Influencer Awards Monaco, said that the “Oscars of the digital world” enjoyed more than 500 million views on social media and 45 million interactions this year. The second hotel group award went to Ultima Gstaad in the World Luxury Hotel Awards in Finnish Lapland for the category Luxury Boutique Retreat. The annual awards ceremony honours luxury facilities for first-class service. So, according to the Ultima Collecion group’s press release, the award truly recognises the hard work and dedication invested by its employees. According to the award’s website, every year, more than 300,000 international travellers and industry representatives choose the best performers from approximately 100 categories.




he Jetfly Group companies are an ideal solution for all of your European flying needs. The group encompassing three aviation companies, Jetfly, Fly7 and Captainjet, offers a wide range of options, including fractional ownership, aircraft management and jet charter. Jetfly’s main function is fractional operation of Europe’s largest fleet of Pilatus PC-12 & PC-24 aircrafts. Due to the incredible performance of the Pilatus aircraft they are able to access 3000+ international airports as well as small airfields across Europe. The fractional ownership programme offers co-owners guaranteed access to the entire fleet at short notice, anywhere in Europe and they don’t have to worry about the positioning costs as invoicing is based on occupied time in the aircraft. If fractional ownership does not fit your needs, Fly 7 and Captainjet will offer alternative solutions; Fly 7, a Swiss operator, is the European leader in Pilatus management and charter, whereas Captainjet is a private jet booking platform, which has access to the world’s fleet of 5000+ registered jets. The Jetfly Group has all of your bases covered!





he municipality of Saanen is collaborating with partner municipalities, tourism organisations in the Saanenland, Obersimmental and the Pays-d’Enhaut, as well as the MOB, the PostBus AG and the cable car tariff association to offer free public transport in combination with skiing for the coming winter season. During the ski season, which runs from 14 December 2019 to 5 April 2020, ski passes (4-hour tickets aren’t included in the offer) are also valid on the public transport on the Rossinière-Matten route and on the bus lines in the Saanenland (Schönried-Gstaad-Gsteig-Col du Pillon – not including Les Diablerets – Gstaad-Lauenen, Gstaad-Turbach). The only requirement when using public transport – regardless of whether you’re going skiing, walking, travelling to work or to school – is that you need to show a ski pass (season pass/day pass, etc.). This service is also being provided to help combat air pollution in the region. Public authorities hope the local population and guests make good use of public transport during the upcoming winter season. BASED ON AVS/MUNICIPAL COUNCIL OF SAANEN

For more information go to jetfly.com


GstaadLife 7 I 2019



ANDRÉ JAEGER ENRICHES From the start of the winter season, Park Gstaad will be offering another highlight amidst an already high-profile choice of restaurants in Gstaad. With the support of André Jaeger, one of the most highly awarded Swiss chefs of all time, new chef Fabrizio Crespi will be creatively combining modern cuisine with over 100 years of the grand hotel tradition at the Park Gstaad.


ndré Jaeger is one of the big names in the hall of fame of top Swiss chefs. He has been awarded 19 points by GaultMillau for over 20 years and belongs to the illustrious group of only four chefs to have been awarded twice the title Chef of the Year from the restaurant guide. André Jaeger has taken on a long-term advisory role for Park Gstaad, supporting the new chef Fabrizio Crespi, who has also an impressive and long track record as a chef in luxury hotels around the world. For example, Crespi was executive chef of Badrutt’s Palace in St Moritz or the Porto Cervo Yacht Club in Sardinia, and has run important cuisines in Moscow, St Petersburg and Abu Dhabi. Gstaad is no new territory for Crespi and Jaeger. Crespi worked as a sous chef under Peter Wyss at the Palace in 1998/99. Jaeger is a regu-

lar participant of the Saveurs Gstaad and this summer, along with the Buure Metzg, he created a recipe for a Bratwurst made from 100% veal, which perfectly suits the mountain potatoes grown in Abländschen by farmer Hanspeter Dänzer. This close connection with local products and local producers is at the core of the new concept created by Jaeger and Crespi. “Of course, our work focuses on top-class artisanal products from the area and we are delighted to face up to the expectations of today’s international luxury gourmets by offering exciting vegan or dietary dishes,” explains Crespi. Jaeger adds: “The challenge in Gstaad, with its stellar culinary offers, is to find a creative and unique way to combine the contemporary with over 100 years of tradition at the Park Gstaad. We will certainly

be starting out with many surprises.” Both chefs are enthusiastic about the potential of their collaboration: “Even our first meeting showed our combined creative inspiration!” Crespi and Jaeger’s imaginative dishes are primarily on the menu in the Avenue Montagne restaurant, but all the Park’s other divisions will benefit from the new management, from breakfast to room service and the restaurant at the Golf Club Gstaad (from next spring). However, one particular concept in the Park will remain largely unchanged, namely the Argentine steakhouse Chubut, which is carrying on in the same vein and even returning to its roots: from now on, the restaurant is once again being managed by the Argentinean Rodrigo Gonzalez, team member at the Chubut from the very first day. The new team at the helm of the Park Gstaad kitchen: André Jaeger (left) and Fabrizio Crespi


GstaadLife 7 I 2019

GSTAAD’S GOURMET SCENE INTERVIEW WITH ANDRÉ JAEGER André Jaeger, one of the most decorated Swiss chefs, is now operating in Gstaad. We talked to him about his motivation and ideas. Mr Jaeger, your lifetime achievements are quite incredible. You could be enjoying a comfortable retirement by now. What has made you return to the culinary scene at the Park Gstaad?

Going off to enjoy a peaceful retirement is not in the nature of my character. Advising the Park Gstaad is a huge challenge and really appeals to me. I have always poured my heart into everything I have done in life and I am now in a position where I have considerable life experience, creativity and empathy to share. The environment here is just right. There is this establishment with an impressive tradition, a superb region with local, high-quality products, as well as ownership and team values that perfectly match my own. What are the values that match your own?

The human being is very important to us and at the centre of our work. We are all striving to create an oasis of well-being in the Park and this goes far beyond the art of fine cuisine. We aim to be prudent and achieve sustainability, reducing distances. Above all, we all want to go our own way: we don’t ‘copy and paste’ at the Park. What does your own way look like?

When we talk about sustainability, we are talking about a process and not turning everything upside down overnight. A core aspiration is to serve regional products from people we know well, whenever possible. The Buure Metzg, for example, delivers local meat of an exceptional quality

I have seldom experienced. Even in our Argentinian restaurant, Chubut, in the future we will largely serve meat from the Saanenland and renounce imports that harm the environment or animal welfare. Also, the mountain potatoes from Abländschen are sensational, as are the cheeses and other dairy products. When it comes to vegetarian cuisine, we also intend to set new trends and have dedicated an entire page on the menu called “Meat and fish are trimmings”, exciting vegetarian dishes that can be supplemented on request. We will also allow ourselves to occasionally revive old grand hotel traditions, such as classics interpreted in a contemporary way, carving at the table or bringing round the cheese trolley. I have always cooked what I personally like. Taste and enjoyment have always been my credo. iPhone-inspired cooking where everything is copied from everybody is not my style at all.

IMPORTANT CULINARY EVENTS IN THE PARK GSTAAD 24 December 2019: Christmas Dinner 31 December 2019: New Year's Eve Party in our Kitchen 25 January 2020: Wine Pairing Château Léoville Las Cases and André Jaeger

Will we also get to experience André Jaeger live in the kitchen at the Park Gstaad?

7 February 2020: Wine Pairing Château Lafite Rothschild and André Jaeger

Of course! I spent the last few days rehearsing with Fabrizio and, during the season, I will occasionally help the kitchen team, especially at our events.

21 February 2020: Wine Pairing Castello ColleMassari and Monica Tortelli

GstaadLife 7 I 2019


Season Opening Party DECEMBER 20, 2019 AS FROM 7PM Join us to the official season opening at the Chlösterli. We cordially invite you to drinks and nibbles from 7 to 9pm. The evening will be entertained by Cuban musician Eribertho Cruz with caribbean rhythms, followed by the local DJ FreeG. We look forward to welcome you. Your Chlösterli team

Gsteigstrasse 173 I 3783 Grund bei Gstaad I +41 33 748 79 79 chloesterli-gstaad info@chloesterli-gstaad.ch I chloesterli-gstaad.ch I

New residence in Saanen/Gstaad • • • • • •

From 1.5 to 7.5 rooms + 5 shops Apartments from 27 to 256 sqm In the heart of the village Large balconies Already 5 units sold Cellar, lift & garage As primary or second home Ref B-600 | From CHF 408’000.BARNES GSTAAD VALLEY- PAYS-D’ENHAUT CF Immobilier Compagnie Foncière SA

Promenade 29 – 3780 Gstaad +41(0) 33 748 10 02 gstaadvalley@barnes-international.com – www.barnes-suisse.com

Six Senses Spa Gstaad Spa Memberships Join us every day. The pursuit of long-term fitness and well-being can require continuous support and that’s what our membership spas are aimed at providing. They are a second home, offering the daily chance to unwind, relax and socialize while engaging in cutting-edge wellness programs. reservations-alpinagstaad-spa@sixsenses.com oder +41 33 888 9898 thealpinagstaad.ch

IN THE SAANENLAND In the latest gourmet guide GaultMillau for 2020, Gstaad and the region have once again scored points, confirming the usual high quality standards.


t’s a pleasure to dine in the Saanenland. Also, it’s a delight for the creative chefs and their guests whose feelings have been confirmed in the latest annual GaultMillau ratings. The gourmet guide assesses the quality and freshness of the products, the creativity and professionalism of preparations, the blend of dishes and ingredients, the precise cooking times, the wholesomeness and presentation of the dishes, as well as the constancy of the kitchen’s performance. Of course, the assessor’s personal tastes always feed into the evaluation. 13 restaurants with awards

A wide variety of different cuisines and concepts await locals and visitors to the region. A total of 13 restaurants have been rated with 13 to 18 points and offer a “very good” to “outstanding” cuisine that’s out of the ordinary. Among the total of 870 GaultMillau-listed restaurants, 96 have been discovered for the first time. One is the Müli in the Gstaaderhof, climbing to rank among the best with 13 points. Chef Elvedin Odobasic performs an astounding variety, “from Asian cuisine to traditional liver with Rösti, mastering everything with great confidence.” Odobasic has progressed through several career stages in Zurich, including at Wein & Dein. He then came to Gstaad’s Le Grand Bellevue. The Sommet at The Alpina Gstaad stays the same with a promising 18 points and so does the gourmet experience in many other excellent restaurants of the region. Erich Baumer from the Sonnenhof in the production of his legendary ravioli.

THE SAANENLAND RESTAURANTS WITH GAULTMILLAU POINTS The Alpina Gstaad, Sommet 18 points Restaurant Chesery, no evaluation The Alpina Gstaad, Megu 16 points Hotel Le Grand Chalet, La Bagatelle 16 points Restaurant Sonnenhof, 16 points Gstaad Palace, Le Grill 15 points Boutique Hotel Alpenrose, Azalea 15 points Rialto’s Bistro Bar, 14 points 16 Art Bar Restaurant, 14 points Huus Hotel, La Vue 14 points Romantik Hotel Hornberg, 14 points Hotel Bernerhof, Blun-Chi 13 points Hotel Bernerhof, La Gare 13 points Hotel Gstaaderhof, Müli 13 points (new)

The Chesery restaurant wasn’t rated this time – the management changeover from Robert Speth to Marcus G. Lindner is too recent. Lindner was previously the chef at Le Grand Bellevue, with 17 points. Chef of the month

Erich Baumer from the Sonnenhof in Saanen has been delighting his guests with his dishes for over 20 years. His speciality of the house, various kinds of home-made ravioli, has helped him find his way into the hearts of Saanen gourmets. That's why GaultMillau named him Chef of the Month in February 2019. Chef of the Year 2020

The title Chef of the Year 2020 was awarded to Tanja Grandits from the Stucki in Basel, for the second time since 2014. Back then, she had 18 points and now has 19 points. This is the highest mark ever awarded in Switzerland. So, the 49-year-old joined the select group of only eight chefs with a maximum score of 19 and also became the first woman in Switzerland to make it to the top. BASED ON AVS/SONJA WOLF





GstaadLife 7 I 2019


20th December: Season opening Gstaad Palace and GreenGo nightclub We are looking forward to welcome you back on the 20th December 2019 for another season in winter wonderland. Make sure you stay tuned for any upcoming events at the Gstaad Palace and check our 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 pm in all our restaurants. 31st December: A New Year’s Eve to remember – La nuit des Stars Make the last evening of 2019 special! This year, the Gstaad Palace transports you into the world of glitter and glam, of Oscars and red carpets, of drama and happy endings. Our story begins at 8 pm with exquisite cocktails and canapés at the Lobby Bar or at the GreenGo followed by the dinner in all restaurants from 9.30 pm 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 1 pm in all our restaurants. 14th February: A truly elegant Valentine’s Day – win the Happy Diamonds pendant from Chopard Join us for a very special Valentine’s Day celebration and be prepared for an unforgettable event, complete with sophisticated cocktails and a gourmet dinner, starting at 7.30 pm. As a luxury treat you’ve got the chance to win an enchanting diamond treat: the Happy Diamonds pendant by Chopard. 13th and 28th February: 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 from 1.30 pm. 26th February to 7th March: A week filled with Greek delights Celebrate the magic of Greece from 26th February to 7th March 2020, with Michelin star chef Yannis Baxevanis and his team at Gildo’s Ristorante. Be prepared to enter a gourmet culture of Olympic dimensions.

Palacestrasse 28 • 3780 Gstaad • Phone: +41 33 748 50 00 • info@palace.ch • palace.ch



With his Saanen Gatherings J. Krishnamurti (1895-1986) left his mark on many minds. Nevertheless, the traces of this remarkable personality have been fading away in the Saanenland over the decades. An exhibition in the museum in Saanen last summer revived his name and his teachings and has now been extended to last over the winter 2019/20. Friends who, with others, run an educational trust explain who this remarkable personality was, what he taught and why he is still relevant today. Krishnamurti was a world-renowned educator and philosopher. His more than 70 years of talks and dialogues have been published in over 80 books in dozens of languages, with millions sold. Hundreds of audio and video recordings subtitled in many languages can be accessed freely online. Please tell us more about him.

Listening to him or, for example, reading Krishnamurti’s Notebook, one can tell that he had an extraordinary relationship with nature and that there was a sense of timelessness about him; the appalling suffering in the world never failed to move him.

He watched events closely, especially in terms of the human mind in action, and engaged in dialogues of exploration with anyone who was interested. He pointed to humanity’s psychological conditioning, to the illusions that separate us from nature (or appear to) and divide us as a species, turning person against person. He often asked if we were actually seeing what was happening or merely conceptualising and believing that we were seeing. He stated that profound insight into human consciousness could transform the world. And, as each person is an embodiment of the whole, each of us, in whatever state, affects the whole.

Can you introduce yourselves and describe the organizations founded by Krishnamurti?

Krishnamurti established four foundations to maintain archives, publish books and oversee six (now eight and counting) schools. We – Claudia Herr, Javier Gómez Rodríguez and Jürgen Brandt – were on the staff at one of the schools, Brockwood Park in England. Helped by Friedrich Grohe in Rougemont, we began considering how it might be possible to highlight Krishnamurti’s work in Saanen. Friedrich had a friendly relationship with Krishnamurti – K – during the final three years of K’s life and is the author of The Beauty of the Mountain – Memories of J. Krishnamurti. This book, available in several languages, is a good introduction to what K talked about. Friedrich is an honorary trustee of the foundations and helped us set up the A G Educational Trust which supports certain Krishnamurti education projects.

© Krishnamurti Foundation Trust

Krishnamurti at one of his Saanen talks in July 1985, after which he announced the end of the Saanen Gatherings.

GstaadLife 7 I 2019

In summer 1957 a local resident, Mme Safra, invited him to spend some time here and he fell in love with the light, the mountains, meadows and streams. He gave public talks in Saanen in 1961 at the Grosses Landhaus, which held 350 people; additional meetings were also held at the Bellevue Hotel in Gstaad. The Saanen Gatherings would continue for another 24 years. Each summer from 1962 to 1967 they took place in a temporary pavilion that held 900 people, situated first on the Saanen airstrip then on the football pitch on the other side of the river from the Saanen camping ground. The number of participants grew steadily and, from 1968 to 1985, by which time several thousand were attending from many parts of the world, a large marquee had to be erected on the football field. In July 1985, after 25 years in Saanen, Krishnamurti announced the end of the Saanen Gatherings. He died less than a year later in California at the age of 90. These explorations into the human condition were deeply meaningful to many, many thousands of people. They also added to the renown of Saanen. Some years ago we felt it was unfortunate that these events appeared to be fading from local memory so, in consultation with Stephan Jaggi of the Museum der Landschaft Saanen and with the enthusiasm of Rolf Steiger of the Menuhin Center in Saanen, we set up the exhibition, Krishnamurti in Saanen: 1961-1985. This exhibition was held over the past summer and, I understand, will return to the museum for the period 14 December 2019 to 12 April 2020. What feedback have you had from the summer exhibition?

We’re delighted that many of the local people who visited the exhibition could remember the original talks taking place. Some had rented rooms to participants all those years ago or could recall their parents doing so. Some had attended the talks them-


GstaadLife 7 I 2019

selves. Others came to the exhibition from further afield, from Zürich and Italy for example. Many visitors took material away with them and some engaged in dialogue with us. The exhibit displays 24 short quotes in English, German and French together with beautiful photographs of the region to make a virtual Krishnamurti Philosophenweg. Several visitors to the exhibition expressed a desire to see a permanent Krishnamurti Philosophenweg established in the Saanen valley, similar to the Yehudi Menuhin one. We would be pleased to support this if the commune were to agree to it. Longer quotes are also exhibited in all three languages and visitors can watch extracts from videotaped talks and speak with one of us or another curator. Whatever a visitor’s inclination may be, the exhibition offers something to pique or further the interest in an ongoing journey through the central question: What is it about human consciousness that is affecting our lives and the world so drastically? I’ve read that Krishnamurti did not want to be a guru or have followers. Why was this?

He was moved to observe, to explore and to inquire, together with others, ‘like two friends sitting on a bench or walking in nature and looking at life together’. The notion of trying to mould someone to evolve spiritually in order to achieve something was, to him, not only wrong-headed and distasteful but also bound to fail. The ego or ‘self’ cannot transcend itself, there 18 March 1978 at Oak Grove in Ojai, California, where Krishnamurti was giving a public talk

© Krishnamurti Foundation of America


What was Krishnamurti’s relationship to the Saanenland?

is no esoteric knowledge, and there isn’t a fixed state to arrive at. Instead, there is learning. This requires interest in – and close attention to – our thinking, our feeling and our daily lives, as well as to humanity and all of nature. It requires inner questioning, doubting our many assumptions, discovering and dropping what is false. Anything else – like following someone or a set of ideas or simply believing that we’re one thing or another –, however comforting it may be, weakens us, denies our capacities and freedom and undermines our humanity. We need to see what is – without prejudice or wishful thinking, and at ever-deeper levels – because that is the only way to face facts. Every day we read new reports on the effects of climate change. Krishnamurti did not feel separated from nature and was deeply moved by natural beauty. What do you think he would say about the immense challenges facing the planet?

As a species we’re living unsustainably, with cruel effects. Some might believe in a future of technological fixes but Krishnamurti would say (did say) that the problem is not essentially outside ourselves. It lies in our attempting to stand apart from nature and from each other. We’ve been reducing the interconnectedness and wholeness of life to an all-important ‘me’ and an exploitable ‘other’. The devastating consequences, both physical and psychological, can hardly be escaped. He was clear about this long ago.

Krishnamurti was interested in education and founded several schools, including Brockwood Park School in the United Kingdom. An extract from the Brockwood website states: “Begin by taking away punishment and reward. No grades, no comparison, no competition, no prizes.” This is an interesting approach but how does it fit with today’s competitive world where a student requires excellent examination results to gain a place in a prestigious university?

is irresponsible. It destroys sensitivity, integrity, intelligence and compassion and promotes fear and cynical self-centredness. It undermines real relationship and sets us up for injustice and violence; it conditions us to become cogs in a deadly machine. Krishnamurti’s approach to education is different. Many students from Brockwood Park and the other Krishnamurti schools excel academically and proceed to top universities. But the point is to love learning, not only when studying a certain subject but, much more importantly, in observing the whole of life, questioning assumptions, developing deep care for humanity and all other creatures. With profound observation, wholeness, care and self-knowledge at the heart of education, the Krishnamurti schools stand for a radical transformation of ourselves and of our chaotic world.

Education that cultivates competition


To avoid deepening these crises we’ll need to work together on socio-political, economic, educational, technological and other levels. But unless we acknowledge our absolute oneness with nature and with each other, and live that way, effective solutions or the right balance will not be found.

GstaadLife 7 I 2019



CANDLES FOR THE GSTAAD-LENK ASSOCIATION OF MOUNTAIN GUIDES This year the Gstaad-Lenk Association of Mountain Guides celebrated its centenary. A magnificent milestone, which the Association marked in a typically selfless and generous manner by offering free mountain tours throughout the year. We at GstaadLife would like to commemorate the Association's valuable contribution to the region by giving you a glimpse of the professionalism, dedication and hard work that mountain guides exhibit year in, year out.


he temperature is sub-zero, the sunrise a long way off. But you are awake, moving high up a mountain, roped to your client. You have planned the route, checked the weather reports, yet you continue to evaluate risks. Concentration is total. Are the conditions still safe? Is your client in good form? Should you turn around or keep going? It is critical to make the right decision in the right moment because there is no such thing as routine for a mountain guide. Routine can be fatal. But what kind of person becomes a mountain guide? Why do they do this job and what does it take to become one?

across Lauenen, Schönried, Gstaad and Gsteig: Robert Oehrli, Emanuel Romang, Friedrich Gempeler, Gottlieb Schopfer and Ernst Marti, together with Christian Schwizgebel and Heinrich Fuhrer. Their number increased over the intervening years to meet visitor demand for hiking, skiing and other mountain pursuits, such that by the 1970s the Posthotel Rössli and the Hotel Bernerhof were offering guided mountain tour holidays. The idea of visiting Gstaad to explore the mountains as a form of recreation was well and truly established.

mountain guide. No wonder either that the Association’s president, Peter Sollberger, advocates compulsory and continued training for mountain guides, with an emphasis on safety and security.

Safety first Early beginnings

It all started in 1919. WWI was over and the region’s hotels were keen to attract more guests, who in turn were seeking new recreational experiences. Chief among these was a growing desire to get close to nature. With its breathtaking views, untouched mountains, lush meadows, Alpine lakes, waterfalls and picture-perfect wooden chalets, the Saanenland drew in holidaymakers who wanted to step back from the hurly-burly of life. But to explore the mountains safely required local knowledge and experience in the form of mountain guides. While the first licenced mountain guide in our region is likely to have been a G Schwizgebel from Lauenen in 1880, things became more structured in 1919 with the establishment of the Bergführerverein – the Association of Mountain Guides – by mountain guides


GstaadLife 7 I 2019

As you would imagine, the mountain guides have seen many changes over the years, largely in the areas of modernisation and standardisation. Heavy and bulky kit has been replaced by ultralight skis, boots and backpacks; and while 22 days of training were needed to qualify as a mountain guide in the 1960s, today the process takes three years, encompassing a broad range of skills. One constant, however, has been the importance of safety. “A mountain guide should always return home,” is the oft-repeated refrain. For being a mountain guide is unlike a ‘normal’ job. They are exposed to all manner of threats when on duty – extreme weather, avalanches, ice and rock falls – that the risk of not returning from a day’s work is very real indeed. No wonder that reliability, resilience and versatility are three of the key qualities you will find in a

Saviours in emergencies

A code of honour runs deep in the mountain guide. Thanks to their personal qualities, training and experience, they have the necessary skills to help when people get into trouble in the mountains. They participate in regular rescue and evacuation exercises on a purely voluntary basis and while there is a rota of mountain guides on call to help in emergencies whenever incidents arise, there is no shortage

of volunteers among their number. They run towards danger to help those in need; we all owe them a debt of gratitude.

Indestructible: the famous Rubi backpack

Our hobby is our job

But still, the question: why do such a high-risk job? Sollberger’s response is clear: “In the mountains I feel free. It’s inspiring to bring people close to nature, to help them de-stress and slow down. Whenever I’m on a summit with nothing above me, I look down into the valleys, imagining the thousands of people hard at work behind their desks. I know I’m lucky to have made my hobby my job.” Future outlook

But it’s a tenuous existence and not for everybody. During low season, Three generations with a combined 250 hours of mountain guide experience. Back row from left: Adolf Hauswirth (mountain guide since 1961), Ruedi Widmer (1967), and Werner Imdorf (1958). Front row from left: Arnold Hauswirth (1987), Bernhard Raaflaub (2019), and Ueli Grundisch (1979). Blanca Burri

Courtesy of Bergführerverein Gstaad-Lenk

1929: in the beginnings, members of the Association of Mountain Guides also acted as gamekeepers on behalf of the cantonal authorities.

Blanca Burri

The work of a mountain guide is extensive and varies according to the season. A lot of guides offer tailored packages for their clients, many of whom become firm friends over the years, while others advertise suggested routes and programmes which you can book. They offer a plethora of mountain pursuits throughout the different seasons including ski tours, heli-skiing, climbing, ‘free ride’ and ski-mountain tours (where you take the cable-car up the mountain, continue on foot to the summit, before completing the descent on skis). Many guides also operate further afield, offering tours throughout the wider Alpine region or even in such far-flung regions as the Himalayas.

most guides have a second job – such as farming, construction, or carpentry – to support their families. Others choose to travel out of the region to lead tours in other mountainous areas in the world. Across Switzerland the number of mountain guides is diminishing – no doubt a by-product of the profession’s irregular working hours and inconsistent income. But in our own region the picture looks brighter. Today there are 53 members in the Gstaad-Lenk Association of Mountain Guides with an average age of 50. But six young people are currently following the rigorous mountain guide training and will soon qualify. They will join a close-knit community. The Association meets regularly to share experiences and put forward ideas over a drink and a bite to eat, fostering the teamwork that is so vital in this profession, and to the benefit of our region. Want to learn more?

If you’d like to learn more, the Museum der Landschaft in Saanen is hosting an exhibition on the Gstaad-Lenk Association of Mountain Guides over the 2019/20 winter season. ANNA CHARLES

GstaadLife 7 I 2019



The Saanenland boasts a landscape of immense beauty, as the many who have enjoyed its ski runs, mountain paths, and bike trails well know. But few have seen its wonders from the lofty perspective of the indigenous peregrine falcon, as she roams over its peaks and valleys. Let us fly with her. Let the vantage from her sheer heights and her spectacular stoops mesmerize you. Rediscover your favorite valley from a breathtaking new perspective, and encounter remote peaks for the very first time. Languages: Format: Binding: Content: Price: Order online:

english, german and french 305 × 305 mm hardback with dust cover 192 pages CHF 98.– www.mmedien.ch/falcon

Available in local bookshops, the tourism office and select hotels and outlets in the region.

© Marie-Laure Dhennin

© Mark Bobrowicz

© Garrett Fisher

© Christopher J. Ladley

© Nick Wallace

© Eye Candy Publishing, www.eyecandypublishing.com, Christopher J. Ladley






n September 2019, the honorary citizen of Saanen Julie Andrews published her memoirs. This almost coincided with receiving the Golden Lion for her life’s work at the Venice Film Festival. Her memoirs

are entitled “Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years”. This is the second autobiographical work following on from “Home: A Memoir of My Early Years”, published in 2008. The book has been featured in the US press and on many US TV stations. After just a few days, it’s topped the US bestseller lists. Andrews has given countless TV interviews, including to the world-renowned CNN reporter Christiane Amanpour. Andrews wrote the book with her daughter Emma Walton-Hamilton. This 350-page work tells the fascinating story of her career and the huge international success of Mary Poppins (1964), The Sound of Music (1965) and Victoria/Victoria (1982). Most recently, her voiceover has been used for characters in computer-animated films like Shrek, Despicable Me, and Aquaman. In her new book, Andrews also writes about Gstaad, the place where she’s had a chalet for over 50 years. Gstaad is also the place she calls home, spending several weeks a year on holiday here with her daughter and family. Gstaad is where she can relax. It’s also where, along with her late husband, Blake Edwards, she had the best ideas for her films and successful stage shows. When she was given her honorary citizenship in a public celebration in 2014, Andrews said in local dialect: “I’m so happy to be a citizen of Gstaad.” Her famous quote to a journalist years ago still rings true: “Gstaad is the last paradise in a crazy world.” The book has been published by Hachette Book Group

GstaadLife 7 I 2019



enny Holzer has been working on graphic texts for around 40 years: These are printed on T-shirts, carved in stone, painted on canvas, running on LED displays or projected onto buildings and landscapes. Her work began in the 1970s with posters that she put up in New York over a wide area. Holzer has recently continued her work through the medium of light projections. Her works counter ignorance with humour and violence with kindness and courage. Holzer’s texts deal with oppression, gender, sexuality, power and war. By using media otherwise associated with advertising, news broadcasts or news tapes, she cleverly creates food for thought and undermines expectations and prejudices. Using her new projections, Holzer will shroud the Gstaad Palace in

a harmonious interplay of language and light. Since her first xenon openair projection on the banks of the Arno in Florence in 1996, her strong words have lit up many culturally significant places, including the Spanish Steps in Rome, the Louvre in Paris, the Rockefeller Centre in New York, the City Hall in London and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. The projections presented in Gstaad under the title A Little Knowledge Can Go a Long Way display Holzer’s Truisms in four languages: English, French, German and Italian. Hauser & Wirth presents the works of Jenny Holzer in the Tarmak 22 exhibition room from 27 December 2019 to 22 January 2020. In parallel to this, Holzer will project huge light bands of text every evening from 7.00pm to 8.30pm on the magnificent Gstaad

Palace between the 27 December and 4 January. Further projects will follow from 13 to 17 February 2020.

© 2004 Jenny Holzer, member Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY





he Gstaad New Year Music Festival presents a variety of genres and introduces several young, upcoming artists. All the performers are aware of the special ambience of the festival and they are happy to share in its warm and familial atmosphere. Among the artists joining the 14th edition are exceptional opera singers: Lisette Oropesa, the new star of opera, who will be heard on every major stage; bass-baritone Edwin Crossley Mercer; and the rising star Alexandros Stavrakakis. They are sure to win everyone’s heart. The faithful friend of the fes-


GstaadLife 7 I 2019

tival Béatrice Villiger will return to St Josef Kirche on the Gstaad Promenade for the traditional New Year’s Eve concert, the Stabat Mater of Pergolesi, performing together with Corinne Page. A special treat will be the performance of the young pianist Alexandra Dovgan, aged 12. Despite her young age, she is already performing in the most prestigious concert halls worldwide. It is a true privilege to listen to her in such an intimate place as the St Niklaus Kapelle in Gstaad. And last but not least, The Gstaad New Year Music Festival will be

the first to celebrate Beethoven this year in Switzerland. It will begin with transcriptions of his work courtesy of Joachim Horsley, the US composer and arranger whose Beethoven in Havana has attracted millions of views on YouTube. He will be joined on stage with the sensational violinist Charlie Siem. The festival ends on Monday, 6 January 2020 with the soloists of the Menuhin Academy performing Beethoven’s Eroica symphony – a transcription written especially for them. More information on www.gstaadnewyearmusicfestival.ch

Adobe Stock


CELE E H BRAT I N G T COM ? N ING SEAS O Are shop windows in the Saanenland displaying festive holiday calendars with numbered boxes scattered throughout? Have you seen candles being solemnly lit on wreaths of evergreen during reverent family gatherings? If so, the Advent season must be upon us.


dvent is a western Christian season of expectant waiting and preparation for both the nativity of Jesus on Christmas Day and the return of Jesus at the Second Coming. It is also the beginning of the western Christian liturgical year, the cycle of seasons of public worship. The Advent season begins on the fourth Sunday from Christmas Day, which is the Sunday nearest to 30 November, Saint Andrew’s Day, and extends to 24 December, Christmas Eve. The term Advent, meaning ‘arrival’ or ‘coming’, derives from the Latin adventus, itself a translation of the ancient Greek parousia, meaning the presence or arrival of an important personage. The first documentation of any religious preparation at this time was in Book X of Gregory of Tours’ History of the Franks, where he records that in 480 A.D., bishop Perpetuus of Tours decreed a fast three times weekly for six weeks from the feast of St Martin (11 November) until Christmas. Before that, there may have been some penitential observances in Gaul and Spain lasting a similar period, perhaps precursors to a formal liturgical season.

But from what did this season emanate? No one knows for sure, but some speculation accretes around a Christian response to continuing memories of pagan Roman winter celebrations, such as Brumalia and Saturnalia. The Roman church was renowned for reworking or supplanting pagan festivals – 25 December had been celebrated in Rome since at least 274 A.D. as the day of the sun god Sol Invictus, and was popular enough that St Augustine still had to preach against it in the 5th century A.D. Pope Gregory I even wrote an abbot in 601 A.D. on how to adapt Saxon heathen practices to Christianity without alienating those “devil-worshiping” pagans. Interesting parallels between contemporary Advent observances and the pagan winter feasts seem to exist. Have you heard of families in the Saanenland hosting Advent gatherings, each on a different night of the season? The Brumalia, which ran from 24 November until 17 December, honoring the Greek god of the harvest Kronos, included nighttime feasting and socializing, with parties thrown every night by a person’s first name according to their place in the 24-letter Greek alphabet.

Anyone noticed chalets adorned with verdant garlands and spruce wreaths decorated with sparkling lights? The Saturnalia, which continued the season until 23 December, featured urban porches bedecked with evergreens and brightly lit wax tapers and torches. Been jostled by fellow shoppers desperately searching for that perfect gift? Libanius, a 4th-century Greek sophist, lamented that the “impulse to spend seizes everyone” at the turn of the new year. How about quiet family evenings spent in thoughtful contemplation of the meaning of the season? Nope, that’s a Christian original. The Saturnalia was a raucous party on the order of an early-morning Ushuaïa rave, embracing cross-dressing, nonstop libations, gluttony, role-reversal, boisterous singing and rapier-like bon mots. Therefore, in the midst of this Advent season, continue to decorate your domiciles with evergreens, light candles, shop, be thoughtful… and celebrate, over-eat, and drink like it’s a Roman holiday. After all, there’s good precedent. ALEX BERTEA

GstaadLife 7 I 2019





s part of this immense construction project, the Eggli cable cars, the valley and mountain stations and the Berghaus are all being rebuilt. Just in time for the winter season, the brand new cable car will be open from 20 December with the official celebrations taking place on Saturday, 21 December.


GstaadLife 7 I 2019

While the stations and the cable car are ready for operation this winter, the Berghaus, which will be housing the restaurant and the private Club de Luge, won’t be ready until the following winter season. Catering facilities are still available on the mountain. Local chefs will cook in a converted snow groomer and two wooden cha-

lets will serve as a buffet and kitchen for traditional food and Swiss specialties. The Fonduegondeli (refurbished cable cars), which are usually in use as regional ambassadors in Swiss cities, will offer cosy sheltered seating. Furthermore, the Snoasis, run by the Rialto in Gstaad, will also be serving meals and snacks as in previous years.

The cross-country skier Nathalie von Siebenthal from Lauenen has announced a break from top-class sports following her last season. On Tuesday, the U23 2015 World Champion announced the end of her sporting career.


he news that Nathalie von Siebenthal is definitely turning away from elite sports didn’t come as a surprise. At the end of last season, the young woman from Lauenen confessed she was having motivation issues and felt physically and mentally drained. This has led to her decision to take a break from training and competition. This autumn, she then felt like she wanted to train again. “However, after only a few days, she was overcome by physical and mental issues. “Now I’m sure that I’m making the right decision to resign from top-class sport,” said the 26-year-old. Five years in the World Cup

Nathalie von Siebenthal is considered to be the best Swiss distance skier of recent years. She fought for World Cup points in the past five seasons, training slightly differently but no less hard than her team-mates in the summer. This was confirmed by Hippolyt Kempf, lead cross-country skier from Swiss-Ski, who deeply regrets her decision: “I was impressed by her hard work in training”. As early as her third World Cup race in Davos in 2014, she finished in the points and continued with more than 20 top ten places in World Cup races over the years that followed. The surprising 6th place at the 2015 World Championships in Falun over 10km was one of her finest moments. “That was a great experience.” Around a fortnight earlier, she’d won the skiathlon title at the U23 World Championships in Kazakhstan’s Almaty.

Nathalie von Siebenthal is looking forward to family life and work on the farm in Lauenen without the pressure and demands of a professional athelete's career.




Fond memories and promising prospect

“I’ve many beautiful memories from five years taking part in the World Cup to cherish for the rest of my life,” said Nathalie von Siebenthal, looking back. These include tricky moments that she experienced together with her teammates. She was very grateful for this and for her friendships with her fellow athletes. She also thanked all those who supported Swiss-Ski, as well as all the major and minor sponsors. “My biggest thanks go to my family, because without them, I wouldn’t have made it to the World Cup,” von Siebenthal said. So, it was no surprise when she said, ”Now, I’m looking forward to free weekends and New Year’s Eve at home.” She doesn’t see herself going into coaching. Nevertheless, she’s assured everyone that she’ll still go cross-country skiing: “As far as I want and at my own pace.” BASED ON AVS/JENNY STERCHI

NATHALIE VON SIEBENTHAL’S GREATEST ACHIEVEMENTS: – U23 skiathlon World Champion 2015 in Almaty (Kazakhstan) – Over 20 Top 10 World Cup rankings since 2014 – Two Olympic diplomas at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea – 6th in the 2015 World Cup in Falun (Sweden) – 4th in the 2017 WC in Lahti (Finland) – 7th in the 2019 WM in Seefeld (Austria) – Three Swiss championship titles (2014 in Leysin, 2015 in Kandersteg and 2016 in Zweisimmen)


GstaadLife 7 I 2019


Mateo Sanz Lanz qualified

GYC Racing Team member, windsurfer Mateo Sanz Lanz, has qualified Switzerland in the RS:X windsurfing class for the 2020 Tokyo sailing competitions. He will compete in the Olympic Games for the second time since Rio de Janeiro. Mateo is also the first sailor to have achieved all the qualifications for Switzerland. At the World Championships on Lake Garda, he finished fourth in the ranking of the unqualified nations, thus securing one of the still vacant starting places. The conditions at the World Championships were not ideal. The strong winds were a challenge for the 26-year-old light and mid-winds specialist. However, he achieved the goal of the season. Sanz Lanz expressed relief about his performance: “I knew that it would be difficult to deliver the necessary result on Lake Garda because the wind conditions were almost always such that sliding wind conditions prevailed and so the large and heavier athletes had ideal con-

ditions. Luckily, we also had a light wind regatta, where I had ideal conditions for myself and was able to make everything clear with a 4th day”. For Sanz Lanz and his coach, the 4 weeks of training on Lake Garda paid off. At the Olympic venue in Japan, Sanz Lanz expects mainly light to medium winds so he can confidently start his preparations. The long road to the 2024 Olympics

Joshua Richner and his sailing partner Max Haenssler set themselves a high goal in the 49er class. They are training to compete in the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris (sailing competitions in Marseille) for Switzerland. Richner grew up in the Saanenland and is still here regularly. It quickly became clear that he had found his sailing home in the GYC and became a member of the GYC team with Haenssler. They finished an excellent 13th place out of 54 teams at the Junior World Championships in Norway last summer. The regatta consisted of a total of

Anja von Allmen and Emilie Tschanz on the Laser 4.7

14 races, of which the duo even won a final race, beating the flyers from New Zealand who eventually won the championship title. Young talents

Anja von Allmen and Emilie Tschanz are among the 37 best and most ambitious Swiss young sailors. The decision was made after the tenth edition of the Talent Scout Camps, where 37 sailors from all across Switzerland were selected for the Talent Pool 2020. The event at the Ipsach Water Sports Centre, which has now found its permanent place in the calendar of the Swiss Sailing Team, offers the most powerful Swiss sailing talents the opportunity to recommend themselves for the Talent Pool programme every year. An experienced coaching team tested the athletes for three days. In the end, 37 sailors were added to the pool, among them GYC Sport Member Anja von Allmen and GYC Junior Member Emilie Tschanz. GSTAAD YACHT CLUB

Jürg von Allmen

Mateo Sanz Lanz highly concentrated

Pro Sailing Energy

Joshua Richner and Max Haenssler on the 49er

Martina Orsini





I’m driving home for Christmas, oh I can’t wait to see those faces… top to toe in tailbacks, oh I got red lights all around…” Each year this Chris Rea song starts to make its way onto radio play lists around the end of November. While I rail against a too-early run up to Christmas, I do admit to being a sucker for this song. It all stems back to mid-December 2007. We were returning from our annual pre-Christmas trip to visit relatives in the UK and found ourselves in a long queue of traffic on the road from Bulle to Gstaad. Ahead of us a chain of red lights was snaking its way through the valley and Driving Home for Christmas was playing in our car. It felt as though we were part of the narrative and since that very moment the song has been on our Christmas play list. It became a new family tradition. Home sweet home

There was no doubt we were driving home, even though none of my family is Swiss. To me, home is a bond that has nothing to do with nationality and everything to do with feeling. Just ask any of the many loyal visitors who return to Saanenland year after year after year. I bet a large number of them court a sense of ‘home’ with Gstaad – if only for a few weeks a year. Many years have passed since we first moved to Gstaad, but family traditions continue and never more so than when we come together at Christmas. Central among these is what we call ‘The Palace Game’. The Palace Game

Anna Charles

It’s very simple: as we drive home to Gstaad from the UK after our annual Christmas-present-giving trip, the first person to spot the Gstaad Palace Hotel and shout “Palace” is the winner. It’s the Swiss variation of a game our family played when I was young; whenever my Dad took us on an outing to the coast, my

sisters and I would jostle to be ‘the first to see the sea’. The Gstaad Palace Hotel is undeniably one of the most striking landmarks in the region. With its fairytale turrets soaring like some kind of Disney castle above the village, it naturally became a ‘coming home’ symbol for our family, and so the game was born. Pretty soon we began playing it at other points in the year; it doesn’t matter if we’ve been away for just a few days or a couple of weeks, as we drive closer to home the ‘game’ begins and everyone in the car gets keyed up. Over the years we have perfected the game to the point that every single one of us knows the earliest point on the route where the Palace becomes visible. But thanks to outside influences, this ‘insider knowledge’ doesn’t guarantee a win. Our usual route home is through Saanen, but the modified road layout with the 2010 bypass and tunnel shook things up a bit, while poor weather, especially fog, regularly throws a curve ball. Last year we had almost reached Gstaad by the time we spotted the Palace’s turrets looming through the heavy cloud. It keeps us on our toes. Over to you

It would be simple to end this article by explaining in exact detail the earliest place on the road to spot the Palace. But where’s the fun in that? Why not have a go yourselves? Write and tell me how you get on. But remember, only honourable behaviour is tolerated: you can only shout “Palace” when you really do see the hotel. And for the years when I’m the driver and can’t take my eyes off the road, I simply enjoy the moment and sing along with Chris Rea instead: “I’m driving home for Christmas, with a thousand memories.” ANNA CHARLES

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ERMITAGE Wellness- & Spa-Hotel 033 748 04 30, welcome@ermitage.ch Golfhotel Les Hauts de Gstaad 033 748 68 68, mail@golfhotel.ch Hotel de Rougemont

Member of Design HotelsTM

026 921 01 01, info@hotelderougemont.com

Sporthotel Victoria 033 748 44 22, info@victoria-gstaad.ch Alpine Lodge B&B 033 748 41 51, welcome@alpinelodge.ch Hotel Restaurant Bären 033 755 10 33, info@bären-gsteig.ch

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

Sun&Soul Panorama Pop-Up Hotel Solsana 033 748 16 17, info@solsana.ch

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

Hotel Valrose 026 923 77 77, welcome@valrose.ch

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

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

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

Jugendherberge Gstaad Saanenland 033 744 13 43, gstaadsaanenland@ youthhostel.ch

Hotel Christiania 033 744 51 21, info@christiania.ch Hotel Gstaaderhof 033 748 63 63, info@gstaaderhof.ch Hotel Le Grand Chalet 033 748 76 76, hotel@grandchalet.ch Hotel Olden 033 748 49 50, info@hotelolden.com Romantik Hotel Hornberg 033 748 66 88, willkommen@hotel-hornberg.ch Hotel des Alpes Saanenmöser 033 748 04 50, info@desalpes.ch Hotel Spitzhorn 033 748 41 41, spitzhorn@spitzhorn.ch Hotel Alpenland 033 765 55 66, hotel@alpenland.ch Hotel Alphorn 033 748 45 45, office@alphorn-gstaad.ch


GstaadLife 7 I 2019

CHURCH SERVICES Christmas services 22/12, 5.30pm, St Peter’s, Château-d’Oex: Family christingle service

24/12, 3.30pm, St Niklaus Kapelle, Gstaad: Christmas carols 24/12, 5.30pm, St Peter’s, Château-d’Oex: Christmas carols 25/12, 10.00am, St Peter’s, Château-d’Oex: Family service with Holy Communion 25/12, 3.30pm, St Niklaus Kapelle, Gstaad: Family service with Holy Communion 29/12, 3.30pm, St Niklaus Kapelle, Gstaad: Evening service 29/12, 5.30pm, St Peter’s, Château-d’Oex: Evening service www.stpeters.ch Contact: cliveatkinson@bluewin.ch

CLUBS Rotary Club Gstaad-Saanenland Meetings every Monday 12 noon Gstaad Palace (033 748 50 00), gstaad@rotary1990.ch www.gstaad-saanenland.rotary1990.ch Lions Club Gstaad-Saanenland Meetings on Thursdays in the ERMITAGE, Wellness & Spa Hotel, Schönried 033 748 60 60. For details and programme refer to www.gstaad-saanenland.lionsclub.ch President: Thomas Staub, 033 744 94 34 tom.dusty@bluewin.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 Ambassador Club Gstaad-Saanenland Meetings every third Tuesday of the month, usually for lunch but for dinner in the last month of each quarter. Venue: Hotel Spitzhorn, 3792 Saanen, 033 748 41 41 President: Robert Stutz robertstutz@bluewin.ch Programme: Stephan Bettler stephan.bettler@werrenag.ch www.ambassadorclub.org

IMPORTANT NUMBERS Ambulance 144, Police 117 Fire 118 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

Inspired by nature 7:30am to 10:30pm

A taste of Patagonia 7:00pm to 10:30pm

Après-ski Thursday to Sunday 5:00pm to 8:00pm

Swiss specialities 7:00pm to 10:30pm

Sushi & live music from 12:00pm

Profile for Müller Medien

GstaadLife 7/2019, 13 December  

The exclusive news and lifestyle magazine of Gstaad

GstaadLife 7/2019, 13 December  

The exclusive news and lifestyle magazine of Gstaad

Profile for mdruck