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T H E E X C L U S I V E M O N T H LY P U B L I C AT I O N A B O U T T H E G O O D L I F E I N G S TA A D

Friday 18 June 2010 - Issue 4 - CHF 3.50 excl VAT

Warming up LOCAL NEWS

Retirement centre Saanen AG

SPECIAL FEATURE

Roland Haldi ALSO IN THIS ISSUE

· Successful young yodelers · Direct trains between Vaud and Interlaken · New riding centre update · Soccer Super League team in Saanenland · Across the desk with Toni Knecht

MAGAZINE


C A L E N DA R 2 0 11 BEAUTIFUL PICTURES OF THE SAANENLAND

13 High quality photographs by Jörg Baumann, Ivan Inäbnit and Jonas Bach. Calendar format: 46 x 32 cm. Cost of calendar: SFr 31. The calendar is available from July 2010. Order online at www.mdruck.ch/kalender2011 The Saanenland calendar can also be bought at Müller Martketing & Druck AG or at bookstores in the Saanenland for SFr 31.

I would like to order ______ copie(s) of the Saanenland calendar 2011 for the price of SFr 31 (shipping & handling exclusive).

Name / First name Street Send your order to

Code / Town Phone

Müller Marketing & Druck AG Kirchstrasse 6 3780 Gstaad Tel. 033 748 88 74 admin@mdruck.ch www.mdruck.ch

Date / Signature


Friday 18 June 2010 Page 3

Contents

GSTAADLIFE IS AVAILABLE IN THESE HOTELS

Letter from the Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Local News Successful young yodelers . . . . . . . . 4 Direct trains between Vaud Riviera & Interlaken. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Retirement Centre Saanen AG. . . . . . 5 New riding centre update . . . . . . . . . 5 World Cup lounge at the Steigenberger. .6 World-class billiard tournament in Gstaad . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Soccer Super league team comes to Saanenland . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Grand Hotel Park is renovating . . . . . 8 The future of public debts . . . . . . . . . 9 Feature Events Column

Roland Haldi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Events calendar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Switzerland of the East. . . . . . . . . . . 11 Côte d‘Ivoire 2010 FIFA World Cup team in Saanen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Letter from the Editor - A sporting summer The country is in the grip of World Cup football fever as the 2010 championship gets under way in South Africa. With the opening ceremony in Johannesburg followed by the first match between South Africa and Mexico which was drawn 1–1, for the next month it will be difficult to avoid the soccer fever anywhere in the world and Switzerland is no exception. Swiss hopes are high for its team and events are planned across the country to allow fans to cheer on the home side. Many companies are even offering relaxed working hours to enable employees to watch tournament matches. Here in the Saanenland there are many viewing venues that will attract the local crowds to the festivities of the competition. According to press release from the Gstaad Saanenland tourism office, Richies Pub in Gstaad, Jam Pub in Saanen, Split Clubbing in Gstaad, the WM Lounge im Stollen at the Steigenberger hotel are all recognized viewing venues. Further afield In Lausanne, viewers can crowd around a giant outdoor screen at the Place de la Navigation in Ouchy, Geneva at the la Praille football ground and by the Pati-

UPFRONT

noire des Vernets. Party organizers are borrowing ideas that worked for Euro 2008, when fans went along to places such as the Seefeld-Razzia Bar in Zürich, which can hold up to 200 spectators in its 1920s theatre hall. The Zürich tourist office has collated the names of many places in Zürich, including a big screen in the courtyard of the National Museum. The Swiss showed some potential in managing a 1-1 draw in a run up to the competition against world champions Italy. Swiss President Doris Leuthard is in South Africa to support the Swiss team, which will need all the help it can get in its tough first game. Tote sport’s displays a 11:1 odds on Switzerland winning the cup, with favourites noted as Brazil and Argentina. Bet365 offers four to one odds that Spain will go on to win the tournament. The Spanish team won all of their World Cup qualifying games. Recently England’s goalkeeping legend, Peter Shilton, came out to say in British press that Spain was his competition favourite. So it looks like a sporting summer is with us here in the Saanenland for 2010. Soccer fever will have many

of us fascinated via big screens, as the worlds best soccer players put their best feet forward, whilst the worlds top Beach volley-ball contestants get themselves warmed up for the Swatch FIVB World Tour 1to 1 Energy Grand Slam, which takes place in Gstaad from 5th to 11th July. The Allianz Swiss open Gstaad follows shortly after the Beach volley from the 25th July until the 1st August and the Hublot Polo Gold cup Gstaad follows the Tennis from 19th to 22nd August. Further, the 6th & 7th August is the 3rd edition of the Glacier 3000 run for those who relish running an elevation differential of approximately 2000 m, and the annual summer traditional Alpine Wrestling on the Rellerli will decide who has what it takes. However there will be those who may just fancy an invigorating stroll through the beautiful alpine meadows of the Saanenland or a few laps in the Saanen public pool. Whatever your game, I wish you well with it throughout the summer.

***** GSTAAD PALACE: +41 (0)33 748 50 00, info@palace.ch ***** GRAND HOTEL BELLEVUE: +41 (0)33 748 00 00, info@bellevue-gstaad.ch ***** GRAND HOTEL PARK: +41 (0)33 748 98 00, info@grandhotelpark.ch ***** WELLNESS & SPA HOTEL ERMITAGE-GOLF: +41 (0)33 748 60 60, ermitagegolf@ermitage-gstaad.ch **** HOTEL ALPENROSE: +41 (0)33 748 91 91, info@hotelalpenrose.ch **** GOLFHOTEL LES HAUTS DE GSTAAD: +41 (0)33 748 68 68, mail@golfhotel.ch **** GRAND CHALET: +41 (0)33 748 76 76, hotel@grandchalet.ch **** HOTEL ARC-EN-CIEL: +41 (0)33 748 43 43, www.arc-en-ciel.ch **** HOTEL BERNERHOF.: +41 (0)33 748 88 44, info@bernerhof-gstaad.ch **** HOTEL CHRISTIANIA: +41 (0)33 744 51 21, info@christiania.ch **** HOTEL GSTAADERHOF: +41 (0)33 748 63 63, gstaaderhof@gstaad.ch **** CHALET HOTEL HORNBERG: +41 (0)33 748 66 88, willkommen@hotel-hornberg.ch **** HOTEL OLDEN: +41 (0)33 748 49 50, info@hotelolden.com **** HOTEL STEIGENBERGER: +41 (0)33 748 64 64, gstaad@steigenberger.ch *** HOTEL ALPENLAND: +41 (0)33 765 91 34, hotel@alpenland.ch *** HOTEL ALPHORN: +41 (0)33 748 45 45, office@gstaad-alphorn.ch *** HOTEL ALPINE LODGE: +41 (0)33 748 41 51, info@alpinelodge.ch *** HOTEL BELLERIVE: +41 (0)33 748 88 33, bellerive-gstaad@bluewin.ch *** HOTEL KERNEN: +41 (0)33 748 40 20, info@hotel-kernen.ch *** HOTEL LANDHAUS: +41 (0)33 748 40 40, landhaus-saanen@bluewin.ch *** HOTEL SAANERHOF: +41 (0)33 744 15 15, hotel@saanerhof.ch *** HOTEL SOLSANA: +41 (0)33 748 94 94, info@solsana.ch *** HOTEL SPITZHORN: +41 (0)33 748 41 41, hotel@spitzhorn.ch *** POSTHOTEL RÖSSLI: +41 (0)33 748 42 42, info@posthotelroessli.ch *** SPORTHOTEL VICTORIA: +41 (0)33 748 44 22, info@victoria-gstaad.ch *** Z'LOFT HOTEL: +41 (0)33 744 69 69, info@zloft.ch

Best wishes

Peter Sonnekus-Williams

GSTAAD LIFE, Anzeiger von Saanen, Kirchstrasse, P.O. Box 201, 3780 Gstaad, Phone: 033 748 88 74, Fax: 033 748 88 84, E-Mail: info@gstaadlife.ch, Website: www.gstaadlife.ch Management Board: Frank Müller, Peter Sonnekus-Williams Publisher: Frank Müller frank.mueller@gstaadlife.ch; Editor in Chief: Peter Sonnekus-Williams peter.sonnekus@ gstaadlife.ch; Project Management and content coordination: Sanet Sonnekus-Williams Columnist: Mandolyna Theodoracopulos Translations: Michele Hoffman Editorial: Anita Moser Polygraph Team: Jonas Bach, Kathrin Peters Printing: Müller Marketing & Druck AG, Gstaad Advertising: Peter Kuntze-Schneider peter.kuntze@gstaadlife.ch, phone 033 744 46 64 Subscriptions: Fabienne Koitka tel. 033 748 88 74

HOTEL BÄREN: +41 (0)33 755 10 33, hotel@baerengsteig.ch HOTEL GELTENHORN: +41 (0)33 765 30 22, F: +41 (0)33 765 32 31 HOTEL SANETSCH: +41 (0)33 755 10 10, F: +41 (0)33 755 18 11 HOTEL VIKTORIA: +41 (0)33 755 10 34, hotel_viktoria@bluewin.ch HOTEL WILDHORN: +41 (0)33 765 30 12, hotel@wildhorn.ch


LOCAL NEWS

Successful young yodelers ADOPTED & TRANSLATED FROM THE ARTICLE BY KATRIN REICHENBACH AVS 07.05.2010 During the first weekend of May, the regional qualifications for the young yodeler and young musicians competition 2010 took place. The two solo yodelers Franziska

Raaflaub and Martina Reichenbach qualified for the national finals held on June 12 2010 at the northwestern Swiss yodeling festival. Photo: zvg

Martina Reichenbach, Franziska Raaflaub, Sarah Iseli, Elvira and Orlinda Perreten

Fun optimistic clothing at a great price T-shirts, Sweatshirts, Pants, Caps & Accessories

Come and see us! Cheseryplatz 3 / CH-3780 Gstaad Tel: +41 33 748 14 00 / www.lifeisgoodgstaad.ch

PRESS RELEASE: AVS 21.5.2010 Action is progressing according to plan for the 2015 "TransGoldenPass” railway connection between Montreux and Interlaken. The innovative project with the new bogie system, adaptable for two different rail gauges, will make the direct

journey between Montreux and Interlaken possible without having to change trains in Zweisimmen. This improvement and more attractive offers are expected to have a positive effect on tourism in the Bernese Oberland and the Vaud Riviera. Photo: zvg

Construction work in Saanen exposes 13th/14th century structure

Direct trains between Vaud Riviera and Interlaken

ADOPTED & TRANSLATED FROM THE ARTICLE BY ANITA MOSER AVS 21.5.2010 With the demolition of the rear part of the house adjacent to the “Kleine Landhaus” more structures from the 13th/14th century have been exposed. An Archaeological team from the

canton of Bern is currently excavating the historical site and the findings may call for a re-evaluation of early local history. The public will be informed once concrete results are at hand.

Introduction of the “TransGoldenPass”.


Friday 18 June 2010 Page 5

LOCAL NEWS Photo: zvg

The computer-generated visualization shows the winning project, "young@heart".

A project is chosen for the Retirement Centre Saanen AG ADOPTED & TRANSLATED FROM THE ARTICLE BY CHRISTINE EISENBEIS AVS 2.3.2010 In 2003 the company Retirement Center Saanen AG was founded with a vision to actualize a retirement centre in the Saanenland. Ten years will have passed from the instatement of the company until the first elderly residents move into

their new retirement home. A milestone in this process was reached earlier this year when a competitive project tender was finally awarded. The architect firm Heinz Fahrni from Steffisburg, with their aptly named project known as “young@

Confirmed Beach Volleyball start date

New Riding Centre should be finished in December 2010

PRESS RELEASE: AVS 04.5.2010

which started back in July 2009 was delayed,” said Bethli Küng. “There was a risk that the project would not meet with the building inspectorate approval criteria. The participants had to create a project continued on Page 7

ADOPTED & TRANSLATED FROM THE ARTICLE BY ANITA MOSER AVS 07.05.2010 The construction of the new Equestrian center has begun in the Mettlen. The stables should be ready for occupancy in December 2010. Horses, at present are being stabled in a temporary consideration. The new development includes an indoor riding arena, stables for 26 horses, outdoor riding space, apartments / studios for employees, parking spaces and about two hectares of pasture.

Photo: Anita Moser

The 2010 Beach volleyball Swatch FIVB World Tour – 1to1 energy Grand Slam will take place from July 05 – 11 on the Gstaad centre court. Tickets can be bought online at www.ticketcorner.com or www.railaway.ch. Tickets for the Side Events can be bought in the run-up from the office at the Sports Events Gstaad GmbH or at the box office.

heart” was awarded the project. This was announced by Bethli Küng, President of the company - Retirement Center Saanen AG. “We set ambitious targets and therefore the announcement of the winner of the architectural competition

The new bridge joins the site of the indoor riding arena with the outdoor riding space.


LOCAL NEWS Photo: zVg

World-class billiard tournament coming to Gstaad REFERENCE GSTAADLIFE.COM

The "Stollen" dance club at the Steigenberger hotel.

World Cup lounge at the Steigenberger REFERENCE GSTAADLIFE.COM

Hohmann (Germany), Niels Feijen (Nederland). The top players from Switzerland are Sascha Specchia, Dmitri Jungo and Philippine Francisco Bustamante. The total prize money is Euro 50’000. The tournament will take place at the Sportzentrum Curling hall in Gstaad. Photo: Christine Eisenbeis

Few people knew that the Steigenberger Hotel has a dance club. Although it has been closed for the last 15 years, the “Stollen” has reopened its doors as a World Cup Lounge for the duration of the FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Until July 11 all 64 matches will be shown on a large projection screen and monitor, accompanied by the

Gstaad will be hosting a new world-class sporting event from September 16-18, this time billiards! Organized by Marcel Frattini, this world-class billiards tournament has over 250 participants with big names such as: Ralf Souquet (Germany), Thorsten

best party atmosphere. Before and after matches there are chances to win the “tip of the day”, play table football, play X-Box football, or simply enjoy some music. Amongst the many places where you can watch the World Cup in Saanenland this summer, the Steigenberger Hotel  is definitely one to check out. Marcel Frattini, organizer of the world-class billiard tournament.

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Rougemont – luxueux appartement 187 m2 Luxueux et spacieux appartement avec accès direct à la terrasse et au superbe jardin. Situation exceptionnelle permettant de profiter de la magnifique vue sur la vallée et les montagnes. Etudié pour jouir des plaisirs de chaque saison. Spacious and stunning apartment with direct access to well designed garden. Exclusive location and majestic elevated views to mountains and valley. Designed for all season pleasure.

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Prix : CHF 3 700 000 CF Immobilier – Compagnie Foncière SA Phone +41 (0)26 925 10 00, Fax +41 (0) 26 925 10 05 info@cfimmobilier.ch – www.cfimmobilier.ch


Friday 18 June 2010 Page 7

continued from Page 5 with a welcoming and warm feel as well as display an optimal working environment for employees. They further had to choose construction and building materials that fit in with the Saanenland specification. Not exactly a simple task,” Bethli Küng added.

The chosen architect Heinz Fahrni Bethli Küng mentioned that she was very proud of the fact that the tender was so enthusiastically attended. Proposals were submitted from firms in Hamburg, Vienna, Innsbruck and from across the whole of Switzerland. The winner however came from close by. Architect Heinz Fahrni, whose office is in Steffisburg, said that early in the process he recognized that an espe-

The Jury "The competition challenged the jury and the participants alike," said Peter Breil, jury member and architect of the firm Atelier 5 in Bern. “It is a big challenge to integrate a retirement centre with 42 beds and 20 apartments, into the gentle landscape of the Saanenland. The building must respect the protected objects in the environment, the cultural building aspects and the building regulatory aspects." Breil believes that the winning project is capable of delivering according to these criteria. “The project ‘young@heart’ has grasped the architectural task and reflects an understanding of how people want to live up here," said Breil. He further congratulated Saanen on the project. Purposeful realization "We want the planning application for the preliminary project to be moved forward as quickly as possible," said Bethli Küng. She is still convinced that the first residents should move into the retirement centre in 2013. According to Bethli Küng next steps are to move forward and initiate further processing and start the project implementation. An estimated investment of around SFr 22m is needed for realization. Such a figure does not include the land acquisition. The building rights agreement with the municipality needs to be addressed as does the rental agreement with the operator.

Unless additional contributions are to flow in from the private sector AZS AG plan to obtain the funds for the new building from the Municipality of Saanen as the main investor and further from the banks. A detailed financial plan can only be set out once the complete cost estimate is available. On March 26 2010 the voters of Saanen were called on to decide regarding the topics concerning the project planning contribution. Further subsequent meetings were held regarding local planning revisions, the construction contract with the Municipality of Saanen as the property owner, and their contribution towards the construction costs.

A topic that affects everyone The elevated need for action in the communities of Saanen and Gsteig has not changed since the realization of the age paradigm findings from 2002. An increased life expectancy which is attributed to better medical care, requires consideration of such projects as the Retirement Center. The topic of old age is also a very sensitive issue and needs to be considered holistically. "So far, all the hard work has paid off. My wish is that the future residents of the retirement centre unanimously agree that what we deliver is suitable to be referenced as their true home,” said Bethli Küng.

Soccer Super league team comes to Saanenland on Saturday July 3 2010 ADOPTED & TRANSLATED FROM THE ARTICLE BY ANITA MOSER AVS 27.04.2010 Stephan Niedermaier, board member of the Young Boys Bern has confirmed that his team will play on Saturday July 3 at the inauguration of the new soccer field Schützen-

boden. Who they will play against is still to be confirmed however, according to FC Sarina it should be an equal opponent and therefore another club of the Super League. Photos: Anita Moser

A well represented tender Out of an initial 90 entries received by the Retirement Center Saanen AG, 22 architectural firms were selected to compete. Following this decision the 22 firms submitted proposals for which it was concluded by the assessment team that none of the proposals met the full expectation. The jury then decided to implement a “revision” of the projects "Leporello", "young@ heart" and "Gesseney". Following the continued assessment of these three projects, the jury eventually concluded that the second in ranking project "young@heart" was a suitable, sustainable project base to take forward. At this point in the process there were still doubts about the chosen design fitting the village image and landscape. The jury then lifted the anonymity clause regarding the project and recommended a further revision. After the presentation of the revised project on February 19 2010, the jury approved the project and assured its public display for approximately 3 weeks at the Rütti School.

cially high importance was placed on roofs in the Saanenland. His challenge therefore, was to integrate the large project of a retirement home into a chalet style building. From the onset of the project Heinz Fahrni said, "Our project cannot be put into a chalet but we must be able to implement the developers request for a protecting roof over the building.”

LOCAL NEWS

The new soccer field, Schützenboden, is already in operation.

Paul Reichenbach, Katrin Schmocker and Toni Bühler of FC Sarina.


LOCAL NEWS

“If guests can’t come to us, we’ll go to them “ ADOPTED & TRANSLATED FROM THE ARTICLE BY ANITA MOSER AVS 26.05.10

The five-star hotel, which accommodates guests from all over the world, is currently a large construction site. For its 100th anniversary the Grand Hotel Park is treating itself to an all-round renovation. Our philosophy won’t change, says Director Jean-Yves Blatt: “Our guests feel at home at the Park Hotel and it shall remain so in the future.” In order to keep in contact with guests during the reconstruction the management has come up with some ideas. Although the five-star hotel is closed for renovations until December 17th, work is still being done in the background. Individual spaces in the generous Spa area in the basement were temporarily converted into offices. The reception is also in the basement. “The department of operations, logistics and marketing are in full operation, and we are busy with the preparations for the various anniversary celebrations,” says Jean-Yves Blatt.

“Marco Polo” is temporarily the canteen The kitchen is operational during the renovations and the restaurant Marco Polo serves as a canteen. “We currently cater daily for 50-80 construction workers. During the peak season in June / July it will be up 150 people,” says Blatt. The work was allocated, wherever possible, to

The hotel goes to the guest Although the hotel is closed this summer it keeps in contact with the guests. “Since the guests cannot come to us this summer we will go to them,” says Blatt. For regular guests, rooms in five-star establishments were booked in the surrounding areas and various activities are planned. More events are to take place abroad. “In June we go to Geneva, Paris and London, in August/ September we will be in Milan, Madrid and Munich, in September – the Emirates and America and probably in September or October in Russia,” says the native from Saanen, who lives in Rougemont with his family. An ice rink and a hot-air balloon The Grand Hotel Park not only equips itself internally. The owner Dona Bertarelli wants to offer guests exclusivity. For example the hotel guests can take off in the hotels own hot-air balloon. “We want to have a product that makes

us stand out from our competitors, and at the same time relates to the region,” says the hotel manager. Hot-air ballooning has been established for a long time in the region. “Ice skating and ice hockey are also traditional in the Saanenland and therefore in line with old traditions. The tennis court will be turned into an ice rink in winter. “The ice rink will be opened at the same time as the hotel in mid-December,” says Blatt. The hotel manager speaks openly about the renovations, but doesn’t divulge anything about the total investment costs. “We treat numbers as confidential.” The father of three much rather speaks about his employees. In winter the Grand Hotel Park employs at full capacity 180 people, in the summer 140, of which some are employees at the hotel for 30-35 years. One of them is Luigi Kronegg. The native Lenker had his last working day at the end of May and celebrated his 65th birthday the next day. "I thank Luigi Kronegg very much for his work, for his presence and commitment and I wish him all the best for the future," says the hotel manager. Photo: Anita Moser

Gstaad like The renovation work is within schedule, said Jean-Yves Blatt. The rooms will be renovated from the ground up, including all cables, wires and connections to be replaced. The room numbers are now reduced from 99 to 94 new units. As a showcase there will be four new duplex penthouse suites under the roof. “The suites are between 190 and 395 m2, the largest suite will have its own spa area.” The hotel is to remain true to the Gstaad chalet style - with a modern touch, says the hotel manager. The architects are Herbert Gnägi & Hugo Schranz, and responsible for the interior is

Federica Palacios. She knows the Gstaad clientele. She has designed chalet interiors for some famous people previously and knows what the customers expect.”

local or regional companies. Outside companies can use the hotels staff quarters for their employees.

Jean-Yves Blatt, Director of the Grand Hotel Park, in front of the hotel which is currently under renovation.


Friday 18 June 2010 Page 9

LOCAL NEWS

The future of public debts ACROSS THE DESK WITH TONI KNECHT World War II, but also by forcing many governments to step in and provide assistance on a massive unprecedented scale to prevent their economies from sliding into depression. Budget deficits have exploded, reaching trillions of dollars. Consolidation is difficult when interest rates are poised to increase while growth rates are being unlikely to rise. Having said that, even when consolidation occurs, it does stabilize debts towards GDP. Unfortunately, the problem in the long run is even worse than that. One of the reasons is the aging population. Unless policy changes, debts will rise up to 3 times the current levels. It goes without saying that the problem needs to be addressed right now. Why that? Public deficits are an

intergenerational redistribution, with today’s population profiting from goods and services for which coming generations will have to pay for. Default on debt might certainly also be an option. Less government spending will surely reduce the deficit, but such measures will most likely also have a negative impact on the economy, at least in the short run. Some of the current expenditures, like the stimulus packages and the bailouts of the financial sector, will not last forever, reducing the currently very high deficits in future. Given the poor political prospects of increasing taxes or decreasing government spending, the most elegant way to tackle debt is to monetize it, i.e. let the central bank buy it. In most of the developed countries, the central bank is independent from the gov-

Photo: Sanet Sonnekus-Williams

The sharp increase of public debt in advanced countries has become a problem and a real threat to the financial markets and the world economy. As of today, debt-to-GDP ratios of 100 % is becoming a common fact. Should we care? Post World War II debts above 100 % of GDP were already common, for example 120 % in the US and 300 % in the UK. Japan for instance, as the most recent example, has been living with high debt for years. The last industrial countries which happened to default, were actually World War II losers. Today, Greece is only the Canary in a very frightening coal mine of ballooning government debts. The recession connected with the 2008 financial crisis distinguished itself not only by being the most brutal for many developed countries since

Toni Knecht, Head of Private Banking at Saanen Bank ernment and one of its objectives is to fight inflation. Monetizing the debt would obviously contradict this goal. This would ultimately lead to a loss of purchasing power from a currency devaluation. In a worst case scenario, it could even lead to a hyper inflationary financial environment.

Roland Haldi – An Olympian BY PETER SONNEKUS-WILLIAMS Schönried local Snowboarder, Roland Haldi was chosen for the Swiss Olympic team who visited Vancouver for the 2010 winter Olympics earlier this year. For Roland this Photo: zVg

Roland Haldi

was the culmination of a lifetime of work. I spoke with Roland to hear his story as he reflected on his experience and build up to becoming an Olympian.

Roland was first schooled in the Primary school of Schönried followed by the Secondary school in Ebnit. Following his schooling he continued his studies to be an Automotive mechanic which allows him to be effective in his family business which is within this field of expertise. Albeit, Roland’s primary work today is his sport. 90% of his time is dedicated to training and associations with the activity of Snowboarding. Roland remembers being a young boy on the local

This was soon changed he says, as the sports recognition took off and became formalised rapidly. It was always Roland’s goal, to ski for Switzerland and to become an Olympian. Now the 31 year old has to his credit - been chosen as 1 of Switzerland’s best 4 snowboarders for 2010 and to partake in the Olympic games for Switzerland. He is ranked number 14 in the world cup ranking and has his sights set firmly on the next season world cup and the future Olympics.

mountains switching from skiing to snowboarding as the new sport began. He recalls being stopped on the chairlift because the strange contraption, his snowboard, was not considered agreeable to the chairlift operators, in the beginning.

The 2010 Olympics was an emotional event for Roland, he highlights the opening ceremony, where everyone present is a winner. Each athlete there has been chosen as the best their country has to offer continued on Page 10


continued from Page 9 and the feeling of pride and elation was most memorable for Roland. The competition itself is of course also memorable itself, albeit not necessarily a memory of elation. The weather was dominated by rain and fog, “not ideal conditions and there was not enough snow for a warm up”, says Roland. Roland’s first run left him with a good feeling. He approached it with a “do

the job” attitude which resulted in a good ranking of 5th / 8th overall. (there are 2 disciplines per run, hence the 2 places). It was the second run that proved to be difficult where 4 gates before the finish a mixture of limited visibility, whilst on the edge and a bumpy terrain proved to work against Roland, losing his crucial places which resulted in him being knocked out of the competition. And that was it, the

Event Calendar

Gstaad. Fun Cup on the beach area near the Sports Center. Registration via mail: nikirichebach@hispeed.ch, Rate: SFr20. Reservation possible. Registration until 14.06.2010 necessary. Contact +41 (0)33 744 57 40.

TUESDAY, JULY 06 22h00: Beach Side Event “Open Season” in the Festival Tent Gstaad. Rate: SFr30. Reservation possible. Pre-selling of tickets at the beach volley office. Contact +41 (0)33 744 SATURDAY, JUNE 19 & SUNDAY, JUNE 20 06 40 or www.beachworldtour.ch 20h00: Country music weekend on the WEDNESDAY, JULY 07 & 14 Arnen lake. Saturday from 20h00 RubberEvery Wednesday in July & August. Alp necks-Rockin’Country Band. Sunday from 10h00 Andy Martin & Friend with an American visit with breakfast above Gsteig at family Simon & Marlene Walker. Adults SFr16, Brunch! Contact +41 (0)33 755 14 36. children SFr8.50. Meeting point at 08h45 SATURDAY, JUNE 26 & SUNDAY, Schulhaus Feutersoey, maximum 12 people. JUNE 27 For more info contact +41 (0)33 755 8181 or Folk music feast in Gstaad-Saanenland: gsteig@gstaad.ch Saturday starts at 16h00. Sunday starts at 10h00. Different locations in Saanen village. WEDNESDAY, JULY 07 Contact +41 (0)33 744 56 39 for more infor22h00: Beach Side Event “Delilahs”. Conmation or www.volksmusik-gstaad.ch cert by female group at the Festival Tent, SATURDAY, JULY 03 Gstaad. Rate: SFr30. Pre-selling of tickets at Dance in the Restaurant Heiti: Salsa night the beach volley office. Contact +41 (0)33 744 with Mario Reisch of K’Dance at the Restaurant 06 40. Heiti. Contact +41 (0)33 755 11 97. THURSDAY, JULY 08 SATURDAY, JULY 03 22h00: Beach Side Event “Marc Sway” Induction of the ne w football ground in at the Festival Tent, Gstaad. Rate SFr35. Saanen at the Fussballplatz. Additional info Pre-selling of tickets at the beach volley office. www.fcsarina.ch or contact +41 (0)79 333 Contact +41 (0)33 744 06 40. 30 19.

information.

well just what he had achieved, as did the Ski Club Schönried. Roland will no doubt carry on in great style with his competition at world class level and in so doing continue to be a great asset to the people and place of the Saanenland.

Friday June 18 2010 until Friday July 16 2010

FRIDAY, JUNE 18 SUNDAY, JULY 04 20h00: Reunion of the community Saanen. 20h00: Alphorn Days at the Saanen Local council of the commune Saanen meet in church. Experience a piece of Swiss tradition. the Landhaussaal. For more info contact +41 For more info contact +41 (0)33 744 58 36. (0)33 748 92 10. MONDAY, JULY 05 – SUNDAY, JULY 11 FRIDAY, JUNE 18, JUNE 25 & JULY 02 Swatch FIVB Beach World Tour Grand Slam 20h00: Concert Saaner Proms. Concert in the heart of Saanen. Join in and listen to good 2010: The best Beach Volleyball teams of the world are playing on the Center Court of Gstaad! music. Detailed information to follow. Contact Enjoy the unique beach ambiance in the Swiss +41 (0)33 748 81 60. Alps, an event for the whole family. Contact +41 SATURDAY, JUNE 19 (0)33 744 06 40. 09h00-17h00: Beach Volley Fun-Cup

SUNDAY, JULY 04 Inauguration of the newly renovated Catholic Church in Gstaad. Details will follow. Contact +41 (0)33 744 11 41 for more

next day he awoke with a negative emotion and felt quite mentally broken. So many years of work, so focussed and so quickly brought to conclusion. That’s how it is in world class sport, “we all watch as spectators and the emotion is all a part of the show, however for the athlete it is a big deal” says Roland. The Schönried citizens received Roland back from the games with applause however, knowing too

FRIDAY, JULY 09 22h00: Beach Side Event “SPAN” at the Festival Tent, Gstaad. Rate SFr35. Pre-selling of tickets at the beach volley office. Contact +41 (0)33 744 06 40.

FRIDAY, JULY 09 20h00: Final Alphorn concert at the Schulhaus in Schönried. Phone +41 (0)33 744 58 36.

ROTARY CLUB GSTAAD-SAANENLAND Meetings every Monday 12h00 22 February 2010 to 8 March 2010: Palace Hotel Gstaad; 15 March 2010: Krone, Lenk; 22 March 2010: Golfhotel, Saanenmöser; 29 FRIDAY, JULY 09 – SATURDAY, JULY 17 March 2010: Sonnegg, Zweisimmen; from 5 Davidoff Saveurs – Gourmet week. Famous April to 14 June 2010: Golfhotel, Saanenmöser. chefs will tickle your taste buds with exquisite President: Rot. Ruedi Minnig (033/722 25 23) cuisine during this week. Various locations. Program: Rot. Andreas Hurni (033/744 36 28) Contact +41 (0)33 744 68 32 or www.davidoffLIONS-CLUB GSTAAD-SAANENLAND saveurs.ch Meetings normally each first and third SATURDAY, JULY 10 week of the month on Thursdays, either 19h00-20h30: Concert of Tomazobi at the at 12h00 a.m. for lunch or at 7h00 p.m. for 1to1 energy Lounge, Beach Village. dinner. Meetings in Wellness & Spa-Hotel No entry fee. Contact +41 (0)33 748 47 47 for Ermitage-Golf, Schönried, Tel. 033 748 60 60. more info. For details and program contact Urs Wittwer, president, 033 748 99 11, SATURDAY, JULY 10 info@wittwer-fleurs.ch, 22h00: Beach Side Event “The Powerhtttp://gstaad-saanenland.lionsclub.ch tones”. Young musicians come to Gstaad to make a big party! Location – Festival Tent, CHURCH SERVICES Gstaad. Rate SFr35. Pre-selling of tickets at the St Peter’s English-Speaking Anglican beach volley office. Church, Château-d’Oex SATURDAY, JULY 10 Sun June 20 17h30 Reverend Penny Frank. 10h00: Alphorn Promenade concert at Evening Prayer Gstaad – Hotel Rössli. For more info www. Wed June 23 10h00 – 11h00 Bible Study – alphornatelier.ch “A clean heart”, Reverend Penny Frank Sun June 27 To be advised WEDNESDAY, JULY 14 Wed June 30 10h00 – 11h00 Bible Study – 16h00: Summer feast in Saanen. Visitors and locals meet on the Bahnhofstrasse in Saa- “searched & known”, Reverend Penny Frank nen – good ambiance and live music. Contact IMPORTANT NUMBERS Ambulance 144, Police 117 FRIDAY, JULY 16 Police office 033 356 84 31 19h30: Menuhin Festival Gstaad: András Fire-brigade 118 Schiff I – Opening Concert. Rates: SFr40 – Saanen Hospital 033 748 02 00 SFr160. Locality: Saanen Church. Reservation Château-d‘Oex Hospital 026 923 43 43 possible, contact +41 (0)33 748 83 38. Car accident service 033 744 88 80 FRIDAY, JULY 16 – SUNDAY, SEPTEM- Veterinary 033 744 35 31 Medical emergency 0900 57 67 47 BER 05 Dental emergency 033 748 02 00 54th Menuhin Festival Gstaad. A classical music festival with world-famous artists. Different For additional useful numbers please visit www.gstaadlife.ch/usefulnumbers locations. Contact +41 (0)33 748 83 38 or +41 (0)33 748 81 63 for more info.

info@menuhinfestivalgstaad.com

For the latest local weather forecast visit www.gstaadlife.com/weather


Friday 18 June 2010 Page 11

COLUMN

Switzerland of the East BY MANDOLYNA THEODORACOPULOS quickly realizes that despite political corruption and stereotypical Middle Eastern posturing, the Lebanese are rich, sophisticated people. In particular, Lebanese Christians, who have a fondness for travel, food, art, design, architecture, and the intellectual.

I was less than eager to discover the Arab world. My previous experiences in Egypt and Turkey put me off visiting countries where Western woman are demeaned. Nevertheless, I boarded a plane last weekend headed for Beirut. I figured it was a safe bet. If a country exists where the natives are used to foreigners, Lebanon is it. In addition to the number of foreign refugees, Lebanon has been occupied by Persians, Greeks, Romans, Ottoman Turks, and the French among others. I had further hopes for my experience given the level of education and literacy in Lebanon, which stands above that of many of its neighbors. The Lebanese are very hospitable and friendly. That there are only about 4 million people living in Lebanon gives it a small town feeling. Puttering about the capitol, one

The great disappointment however, is the architecture. Beirut is a panoply of unfinished or bombedout concrete edifices littering an otherwise pleasing coastline. The sheer number of these unsightly buildings is evidence to the fact that good taste is subjective indeed. Fortunately for those with even a remote sense of design, peppered about these virtual disaster areas are a couple of nice buildings from the 19th and early 20th centuries, as well as other hidden gems. Beach clubs like Le Sporting bring one back to the 1950s, before the civil war and the Israeli bombings destroyed much of the country’s infrastructure. Nevertheless, Beirut is a stylish place. Hip bars, restaurants, and cafes blanket the city center. New buildings, shopping malls, and developments are taking root, all the big designers have boutiques and opulent hotels abound. Dozens of

cranes dot the skyline, a good sign that Lebanon is prosperous despite its more recent set-backs. It seems like every wealthy Lebanese family is building a skyscraper. Politics are such that developers try to outdo each other. One family has managed to have the flight path moved just to get an extra few meters on top of their tower. Unfortunately, building codes are practically nil, and without a preservation society, the situation is somewhat out of hand. Prices are high, very high actually, with not a bargain in sight. People drive fancy cars and wear designer clothes very casually. But one can still find little wonders from another epoch like, Deep Music, a hole in the wall in Hamra where a Marxist music lover sells cassette tapes of famous Lebanese singers like Fairuz and Fouad. I was fortunate enough to be invited by a Lebanese friend who helped organize a series of cultural lectures and performances over a 10 day period called Home Works. Every afternoon and evening we attended a different talk or concert in various venues around the city. One night in a theatre that looks more like a concrete blob than an old movie house we saw some very modern Flamenco that was perhaps slightly pretentious, though a spec-

tacular insight to the state of the art. A few miles down the road at B018, we had drinks in an amazing subterranean bar with a retractable roof that looks like a submarine or a spaceship beneath a disk-shaped car park. It is perhaps the coolest bar I have been to, built on the site of one of the worst militia attacks from the civil war. As there is not much to see in town for the average tourist, these functions and chic destinations made for an unusual cultural experience, as well as a touristy day visiting the ancient Roman ruins in Baalbek to see the temples of Jupiter, Venus, and Bacchus. The road to Baalbek is not much different to the coast, and concrete monstrosities trash much of the countryside, but a glimpse of snow-capped mountains and the enigmatic Baalbek stones made the potholed journey worthwhile. A few blissful days were spent at the beach near Saida a few hours north of the Israeli border. Lying in the sun eating lots of hummus and other Lebanese delicacies, I looked out in the distance towards Greece and was struck by the marvelous cultural diversity spread about the Mediterranean.

Photo: zVg

Côte d’Ivoire 2010 FIFA World Cup team in Saanen Sven-Goran Eriksson’s Côte d’Ivoire 2010 World Cup team set up training camp in Saanen prior to their trip to South Africa.


GALLERY FRAMING

BUCH BILD GALERIE

FRAMING IN GSTAAD

KIRCHSTRASSE 3 7 8 0 G S TA A D P 033 744 89 66

Opening hours: Tue–Fri 14–18h

Sat 10–16h

Closed Sundays and Mondays

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Gstaad Life  

Gstaad Life - the exclusive monthly publication about the good life in Gstaad.

Gstaad Life  

Gstaad Life - the exclusive monthly publication about the good life in Gstaad.

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