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T h e e x c l u s i v e m o nt h ly p u b l i c ati o n a b o u t t h e g o o d l i f e in g s taa d

Friday 27 January 2012 - Issue 1 - CHF 3.50 excl VAT


· Voters approve loan increase for SFr 29.2m eldercare center IN THIS ISSUE

· Police ­security ­survey shows ­public feels safe · Meet the author of new book 'Come pesci nella rete'

· Graff Diamonds sparkle at Grand Hotel Park · Peggy Hinaekian exhibits in Hotel Gstaaderhof · Short story: Swiss Blue (part three)


· Vive La Confederation Helvetique!

A breath of fresh air


BOUTIQUE GENEVE : 13, RUE DU RHONE P O P - U P S T O R E - G S T A A D P A L A C E - 1 1 TH T O 1 9 TH F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 2 +022 311 70 71 | w www.boucheron.com

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Letter from the Editor������������������������������������������������������� 3 In-depth article Voters approve loan increase for SFr 29.2m eldercare center; project plans optimized again������������������� 5 Local News Police security survey shows ­public feels safe����������������������������� 7 Where has discretion gone? �������� 9 GPs no longer 'on-call' after 8pm���������������������������������������� 9 A Saturday morning of holistic treatments at the Grand Hotel Park SPA������������������������������������������ 9 Skiing safely ��������������������������������� 10 Schönried restaurant closes due to water damage�������������������11 Meet the Author of new book 'Come pesci nella rete'�����������������11 Figure skating gala 'Waltz on Ice' at the Grand Hotel Park ��������������11

Money Matters Local News Short Story Events Column

Swiss EU Tax deal Scepticism . . 12, 13 The investment at the end of the rainbow ����������������������������� 12 The next Swiss Central Bank ­Governor - Thomas J. Jordan����� 13 Possibly four sailors for the ­Olympics from GYC��������������������� 15 Graff Diamonds sparkle at Grand Hotel Park��������������������� 17 Traditional GYC Patron's Dinner at the beginning of the year ��������� 17 Wood oven pizza bakers fill gap in the mountains������������� 18 Peggy Hinaekian exhibits in Hotel Gstaaderhof ������������������ 19 Swiss Blue (part three)����������20, 21 Events calendar����������������������������� 22 Vive La Confederation Helvetique!������������������������������������ 23

Letter from the Editor ­ adonna and the cost of privacy. M Recently the head of Gstaad Saanenland Tourism, Martin Bachofner, made a public appeal to the residents and patrons of Gstaad. He asked us to be conscious to the fact that as a society we should remain collectively confidential regarding visiting celebrities and people of VIP status. This is something Gstaad has always prided itself on and is a part of the reputation of the place. Discretion and confidentiality have long been a part of the Gstaad intrigue. So what went wrong when Madonna recently arrived in Gstaad for a whiff of Alpine air and a fondue? It seems that the paparazzi that followed her up from Geneva airport were a little too pushy. The press


machine and its commandoes are a lot more assertive than in the days when the likes of Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Jackson arrived in the Saanenland. The Madonna watchers, be they professionals or not, were swarming and asking questions, pressurizing the public. Of course Martin Bachofner is quite right to remind us that when asked, we are not obliged to answer. We all lived through the Roman Polanski saga of recent and I think as a society we handled the sensitive matter well and with a quiet decorum. I guess if Madonna’s brief was complete privacy then a different routing into the Saanenland skipping Geneva Airport could have been a solution.

Anyhow, in proof that all is well in Gstaad I share with you an observational experience of this past weekend. Following an excellent morning of skiing, I headed to the lounge of one of our 5-star hotels for a light lunch with my family. Peering around I recognized the world’s most prominent diamond merchant doing just as I was, so too were a few family members of one of the leaders of Europe, noone seemed bothered at all. Just another day in Gstaad.

Peter Sonnekus-Williams Editor in Chief

also on www.gstaadlife.com

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: ­Diana Oehrli Editorial: Christine Eisenbeis, Martin Bachofner, Sanet Sonnekus-Williams, Peter Sonnekus-Williams, Toni Knecht, Tina Dosot, Huck Scarry Polygraph Team: Jonas Bach 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

UPFRONT Gstaadlife is available in these Hotels ***** Gstaad PALACE: +41 (0)33 748 50 00, info@palace.ch ***** GRAND HOTEL PARK: +41 (0)33 748 98 00, info@grandhotelpark.ch ***** GRAND HOTEL BELLEVUE: +41 (0)33 748 00 00, info@bellevue-gstaad.ch ***** WELLNESS & SPA HOTEL ERMITAGE: +41 (0)33 748 60 60, welcome@ermitage.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 Bellerive: +41 (0)33 748 88 33, bellerive-gstaad@bluewin.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 des Alpes by Bruno Kernen: +41 (0)33 748 04 50, info@desalpes-kernen.ch > active from 15 december 2011 *** 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 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

Picture on the Front Cover by: Nick Wallace Cheseryplatz 6 3780 Gstaad Tel +41 (0)33 744 13 87 info@fotogstaad.ch www.fotogstaad.ch

Unique artistic images of mood and emotion. Including scenes of Gstaad, Saanenland & Pays-d‘Enhaut.

For further information please visit www.view-finder.ch or Art Photo, Alte Lauenenstrasse, Gstaad. Also see further images on display at our showroom in Dorfstrasse, Saanen. And contact us via info@view-finder.ch.

Ian Wilson

Gerax_SA_Gstaad_Life_206_139_mm_Layout 1 01.07.11 08:48 Seite 1


Bissen Project, F. Frisardi




Gschwendstrasse 2 I T +41 (0)33 748 45 50 I F +41 (0)33 748 45 51 I info@gerax.ch I www.gerax.ch

Friday 27 January 2012 Page 5

In-depth article

At the December 9, 2011 municipal assembly, voters approved a SFr. 25.4m loan to finance the building of an eldercare center in Saanen. There were 312 votes for and 40 votes against the resolution. No voter voiced an objection to the loan amount, nor to the municipal council’s proposal to increase the original loan amount from SFr 2.15m to SFr 25.4m. However, there was voter discussion regarding the appearance and functionality of the two proposed buildings, encompassing the eldercare center. In particular, one citizen criticized the form of the roof, saying it was not in the usual local architectural style. Further interest was expressed in the future use of the hospital building. Municipal council president Aldo Kropf stated that the Canton of Bern, as owner of the building, had yet to make a decision. In preparation of the vote and during the weeks leading up to December 9, the Gemeinde Saanen and the planners of the project held an information meeting. “I would have the great pleasure, if you all would say: ‘Yes, we stand behind it [the project]’ on your way out the door tonight,” said Bethli Küng, president of the Alterszentrum Saanen AG. Had the vote not passed, a problem would have remained, as the shortage of eldercare beds in Saanenland was expected to increase. “We have huge waiting lists at the existing nursing homes,” Küng said. “It has been proven that we have too few places.” If all goes according to plan, construction on the property below the

hospital would begin in spring 2012; and the nursing home and assisted living units would be operational by 2013. Construction project to cost SFr 29.2m At the meeting, architect Heinz Fahrni from Steffisburg gave a detailed presentation of the SFr 29.2m project. It was a crucial decision to split the eldercare center into two buildings. It made sense to separate the nursing home from the assisted care apartments. In the nursing home, there will be a separate group for people with dementia to be located on the first floor, in order to provide the inhabitants access to the garden on the slope side of the building. Double rooms upon request Double rooms will be made available in the nursing home only upon explicit request. In total, 42 care beds and 20 small, assisted care apartment units will be created. The building, in which the units will be located, is to have commercial spaces on the ground floor. Fahrni suggested some examples of fitting tenants for those spaces: a hairdresser or physiotherapist practice. The ‘business atmosphere’ is to give the building life and to create a village character. The main access to the two buildings is to be multifunctional, enabling it to be used for deliveries as well as a recreational space for residents and visitors. A fountain and tree plantings are planned. Money should not be a hindrance A one-bedroom apartment will cost SFr 1,120 per month, a two-

Foto: zVg

Voters approve loan increase for SFr 29.2m eldercare center; project plans optimized again

Architect Heinz Fahrni, winner of the bid project “young@heart” has had to change his plans many times. bedroom apartment SFr 1,540 and a three-bedroom SFr 1,900. However, money, or the lack thereof, should not hinder someone from moving in, according to Bethli Küng. Whoever cannot afford the rent can apply for individual rent reduction from a foundation called the Rüeggfond. This procedure differs from those conditions of a nursing home, which are bound by the health guidelines set by the cantonal authorities. Those residents unable to pay the tariffs - using their social security and pension payments as well as private assets - will be helped by supplementary services from the social security office. Since 2010, the canton has stopped financing adult day cares and nursing homes. Therefore, the eldercare center in Saanen must fend for itself in finding money. Suggesting itself is financing through contributions from the “à-fonds-perdu” and from a loan from the Gemeinde Saanen as largest shareholder (84% of share capital). “The loan interest rate corresponds to the reference rate set for mortgages by the Federal Housing Office,” said Christian Gafner, munici-

pal council member. “The interest rate is fixed for 10 years. Amortization is to occur within 50 years. The Alterswohnen STS AG, as future operator of the center, is paying 0.5% of the building costs of the nursing home as property value retention of the Alterszentrum Saanen AG.” Again and again: the roof Since the project won in an architectural competition, a lot on building plans has changed. The roof, especially served as a constant discussion point. Architect Fahrni optimized the building plans, so now we will get a gable instead of a hip or pitched roof. Pure timber construction in a nursing home is impossible for safety reasons, according to Fahrni. Many see the planned project as not sufficiently being in chalet style. “From our point of view, the object was already quite well adapted to the chalet style,” Fahrni said. “Essential elements have been included here and the building is not something totally strange.” TRANSLATED AND ADAPTED FROM THE ARTICLE BY CHRISTINE EISENBEIS AVS 25.11.2011 AND EXCERPT FROM THE ARTICLE BY ANITA MOSER AVS 13.12.2011

ACBANG_GstaadLife_2012_206x139mm 23.01.12 16:15 Seite 1

FUR FASHION COCKTAIL collection fall/winter 2011/12

We would like to invite you to the presentation of our new fur and cashmere collection. During the cocktail we show you Highlights and Trends of the international Fur Fashion.

Tour Dates 2012

GSTAAD Gstaad Palace

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Grand Hotel Park Thursday,


February 16, 2012

7.00 pm 7.00 pm

TEL. 044 / 211 07 11 FAX 044 / 211 08 12


U rS

vON U N g E r g A L L E r y

KLEINES LANDHAUS, SAANEN PHONE +41 (0)33 744 44 11, www.UrSvONUNgEr.cOm

Friday 27 January 2012 Page 7

In-depth LOCAL NEWS article

Police security survey shows public feels safe A recent police survey on security drew mostly positive results. The survey was based on input from persons aged 26 years and older and had a response rate of 56.4%. Of the 897 persons contacted, 506 persons participated either by telephone or online. The majority of respondents said they felt safe outdoors after dark; only 6.9% felt unsafe; 13.6% worried for family members. The number of people fearing falling victim to a crime within the next 12 months was at 4.6%. The presumed probability that one would be affected by a break-in during the next 12 months was at 15.3%. These values lie well below the Swiss average. Regarding traffic, area respondents stated that they felt the police sufficiently checked parked cars and cyclists as well as conducted enough speeding controls. Nationally, positive perception of the police as service provider and satisfaction with police work were high. That perception was less so within the canton of Berne, where respondents—more so than in any other canton—felt a deterioration. The Saanen population, however, appeared more satisfied on a national comparison. Here, only police response time rated negatively. Reasons for this are likely to be lengthy travel times at night. According to statistics, the average response time was 13 minutes for a performance level of 80%. The relationship between a feeling of insecurity and the true objective security situation is complex. Pure statistical figures are not representative of the emotional state of those affected. Police crime statistics show the number of incidents, including traffic accidents, radar observa-

tions and reports by local police, are below averages. It is worth noting that the low crime rates in Saanen quickly rise or sink due to seasonal fluctuations (weather-related accidents, for example). Nevertheless, injuried party complaint filings were reported in 2010. While a decrease in crime compared to the prior year was reported, there was a slight increase in breaches against the Aliens Act and of federal and cantonal laws. For example, there were 15 violent injury offenses registered, of which 60% represented fights resulting in injuries that occurred after midnight in bars in Gstaad. They involved mostly men, half of them tourists; 70% of the offenders could be identified. In seven cases of domestic violence, half were guest workers in the hospitality industry. Also, 38 cases of break-in and thievery were recorded in 2010; 50% were in Gstaad and 33% in Saanen. Only in 13% of the cases were homes broken into; all others were related to shops (60%), restaurants (10%) or clubs (13%). The number of accidents involving personal injury was 22 (0 deaths) and remained unchanged when compared to the prior year. The majority of accidents involved motor vehicles; only in two instances were cyclists or pedestrians involved. Traffic accidents on snow and ice covered roads were relatively high. The most recognized cause of accidents was alcohol-related. Speed controls in 2010 measured 9,082 vehicles, of which 571 ex-

ceeded legal limits. And of these, 529 interventions resulted in fines and 42 in legal action. The speeding quota of 6.3% remained unchanged compared to the prior year but lower than in year 2008 (7.4%). It was under the cantonal average of 7.3%. Saanen residents named vandalism as a most urgent problem to solve followed by road traffic and night noise. For less than 10% of respondents, the “hanging around” of adolescents and youth violence were identified as problems. In the cantonal police report, the following action items and measures were identified: - Maintain positively perceived police presence. - If necessary, improve specific measures concerning vandalism. - Improve the care of victims of violent crimes. - Optimize response times (when possible). - Keep very low crime rate for burglary and thievery through prioritization of appropriate actions. - Keep and optimize road traffic control activities. - Review the possibilities of separating bicycle, motorcycle and automobile traffic. - Maintain, if not increase, control activity to check driver’s ability and fitness to drive. - Maintain police presence on main traffic thoroughfares. The majority of points fall under the job scope of cantonal police, as the Gemeinde is solely in charge of stationary traffic including bicycles and mopeds (main road GstaadEbnit-Saanen) and vandalism on

the Promenade. The department of infrastructure is reviewing the possibilities for a new school bicycle path from Gstaad to Ebnit to replace Gschwend and Öyetlistrasse. Solving the problem of overturned flowerpots and torn down Christmas decorations on the Promenade during the nighttime, is difficult if not impossible due to the nimbleness of nighttime perpetrators. Providing an all-night police presence would be impossible. Before the merging of the cantonal and communal police forces in 2007, the Gemeinde had a unit of five municipal police officers. During the transition, three of the men converted to cantonal status, and since then, the Gemeinde contractually pays them for service. For municipal services, the twomember security staff continues to be responsible. To support this team in peak season, additional private security services are hired to help with noise prevention and with traffic in Gstaad. Preventative measures such as information campaigns (i.e. noise and alcohol) have been communicated to local operators of night clubs and organizers of events. Finally, the roundtable made up of police, operations, and youth work is taking effect. In total, the Gemeinde’s cost for these efforts amount to SFr. 877,000 in 2010; for 2012, that number is estimated at SFr. 950,000. Complementing this “safety net” are the valuable efforts of private business owners, property managers, and chalet owners. The interaction of all of these elements is critical to the security of our resort. TRANSLATED AND ADAPTED FROM THE ARTICLE BY THE GEMEINDE SAANEN AVS 20.12.2011


Chalet à Rougemont

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Mrs. Catherine Reichenbach and her experienced staff look forward to welcoming you once again and treating you to the fabulous food you enjoyed in the past. So just pick up the phone and book your favourite table.

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Catherine Reichenbach & team

16.01.12 16:59

Invitation 2012

Tombola tickets on sale for our wonderful prizes throughout the evening!

Tombola Sponsors: Boërl & Kroff Chalet Hotel I m E ink

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Auctioneer: Lock Kresler, Christie’s of London Live music by Johnny Baker

Helicopter vip lunch - Stefan Marti


Dress code: Cocktail

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A huge thank you to all our generous sponsors !

Friday 27 January 2012 Page 9


Where has discretion gone? The arrival of pop goddess Madonna made big waves. “Finally! A veritable top celebrity, here at our destination!” one could hear many people say. The invasion of journalists in search for personal stories ensued, as did uninhibited interviews with residents, pedestrians and other guests. The articles showed that information had been provided too readily. The problem here is a showy outspokenness. Where has the fa-

mous confidentiality towards our guests gone, the trump ace that Gstaad holds in comparison to other top destinations in the alpine region? Celebrities select Gstaad, because they can enjoy their holiday undisturbed and protected from the paparazzi. This must be respected. A careless handling of information gets me thinking. Is it right to give information to journalists so willingly? Or wouldn’t it be better to

think twice and then to say: “I’m sorry, I cannot comment,” or “I prefer not to talk about this publicly; please talk to an official person.” How would you feel if suddenly everyone revealed details about your private life that later would appear on the internet, radio and in the print media for the world to see and thrash? Madonna’s visit serves as a good event to force us to think about the value of protecting the

privacy of each individual. This is not about limiting freedom of speech; I just urge a deliberate and responsible handling of information. Our guests and fellow citizens would appreciate more sensibility and security. In this vein, I wish you all a wonderful New Year in 2012. TRANSLATED AND ADAPTED FROM THE ARTICLE BY MARTIN BACHOFNER, GSTAAD SAANENLAND TOURISMUS AVS 30.12.2011

GPs no longer ‘on-call’ after 8pm A new regulation affecting afterhours ‘on-call’ physician emergency services in Saanenland took effect January 1, 2012. Due to increasingly undersupply of primary care services in Saanenland and Obersimmental, general practitioners in the region are now only able to guarantee their emergency services on a limited basis. These physicians have requested that the Spital STS AG take over night-time emergency ‘on-

call’ services in the region between 20h00 and 8h00. The resident general practitioners of the Obersimmental, Saanenland and the Spital STS AG along with hospital sites Zweisimmen and Saanen were able to secure the ambulatory health care of the region thanks to this new regulation. How it works During the day, the resident general

practitioners in Obersimmetal and in Saanenland are accessible as usual through their practices. Between 20h00 and 8h00, however, general practitioners will no longer offer home visits; and they will no longer be accessible during this time. Please contact the emergency number: 0900 57 67 47 (Medphone). If necessary, Medphone will forward your call to either Zweisimmen or Saanen hospital or to an ambulance. For the

most urgent and unavoidable situations such as death, the hospital sites of Zweisimmen and Saanen will contact the appropriate GP who has the background information. The 24-hour emergency departments of both hospitals remain accessible and receptive at all times. The other inpatient and outpatient services of the hospitals remain unchanged. TRANSLATED AND ADAPTED FROM THE ARTICLE BY DOCTORS AND SPITAL STS AG AVS 28.12.2011

A Saturday morning of holistic treatments at the Grand Hotel Park SPA By Sanet Sonnekus-Williams Recently I had the pleasure of enjoying

smell test allowing me to choose the

a morning of treatments at the exclu-

fragrant oil most comfortable for me.

was as effective as it was luxurious.

cial treatments in the ‘Euoko’ product range - from the radiant booster, to the

sive five-star Grand Hotel Park spa.

With the chosen oil, Vera used applied

As I floated away in a bubble of bliss,

anti-ageing grand experience - with

The luxurious establishment offers ho-

pressures to stimulate the nervous

therapist Ilaria Vaiano’s soothing voice

extraordinary results.

listic renewal in a setting of complete

system, Swedish and neuromuscular

brought me back to reality, although

tranquillity, promoting an enhanced

techniques to relieve muscular tension,

short-lived as I was treated next to an

Blanketed with vitamins, omega-rich

sense of wellbeing.

and lymphatic drainage to encourage

‘Euoko’ facial; an exclusive brand that

plant oils such as jojoba, evening prim-

healthy circulation, dissolving away all

represents the cornerstone of the most

rose and arctic strawberry seed oil, green

The Spa Manager, Maria Zampetaki

of the stress and tension of my week

innovative and unique skin treatments.

tangerine and marine extracts, and even

and her team made sure I felt very wel-

past. This intense massage ritual drawn

Starting with a deep cleanse Ilaria re-

a peptide that is found in the venom of

come. Therapist Vera Coccassini treat-

from a fusion of eastern and western

vived my skin with plant extracts and

the Temple Viper, I said goodbye to the

ed me to an ultimate ‘Aromatherapy

techniques enabled the therapist to

vitamins from this heavenly product.

spa team and drifted off into the Grand

Associates’ experience starting with

work on my body, mind and spirit. The

Impressed by her knowledge and dedi-

Hotel Park lounge for a light meal with

a consultation to establish my emo-

massage is adaptable and Vera added

cation, I enjoyed being educated in this

my family - what a uniquely memorable

tional and physical condition. Thereaf-

her own ‘signature’ to it and treated me

very special and unique product. Once

and incredible experience on an extraor-

ter Vera carried out an aromatherapy

with an aromatherapy experience that

again I was treated to an array of spe-

dinary Saturday morning!


Friday 27 January 2012 Page 10

Skiing safely BY Peter Sonnekus-Williams Gstaad is not an overcrowded ski region. Slopes are well prepared and signposted and there are snow patrols reminding people of correct protocol on the piste. However accidents still happen keeping the emergency services busy throughout the season with the usual high incidences of leg and shoulder injuries. The reason why there are still relatively high incidents of ski accidents is clear when discussing the point with local ski instructors. Many of them tend to mention the same points. In summary it seems that the technological advancement of the ski combined with the slick grooming of piste has skiers going a lot faster than in the past. This has happened without an equal safety counter balance or a dramatic im-

provement in skier competence. Technological advancement in skis has been pretty much revolutionary in recent years. A modern day ski is characterized by being narrow at the binding and wide at the front and rear. It is much easier to turn than the old “Pommes Frites” skis. The saying goes that, a twitch of the ear is enough to turn a modern ski. This is a key advancement and has essentially made it easier to ski. Deep carves are now possible which results in less braking and the achievement of higher speeds. This exhilarating ski method however puts a lot of demand on the skier, who in many cases is not as capable as the ski’s attached resulting in questionable control capabilities. A momentary loss of control can turn into a nasty crash. Modern skis are

FIS 10 key rules of ski conduct: • Do not endanger or prejudice others. • Move in control. Adapt your manner of skiing or snowboarding and speed to your ability and to the general conditions on the mountain. • Do not impede the route of the skier and snowboarder in front of you. • Leave a wide berth when overtaking. • Look up the slopes each time before starting. • Only stop at the edge of the piste or where you can be seen easily. • When climbing up or down keep to the side of the piste. • Obey all signs and markings. • Always provide help to others and alert the rescue service. • All persons involved in an accident including witnesses must exchange names and addresses.

as technologically advanced, within their sports category context, as competitive racing cars are within theirs. The difference that resides in this comparison however is that the racing car has a pro racing driver in it and the skis are often attached to a once or twice a year leisure pilot. Looking back In past years the Wasserngrat was a minefield of moguls that needed to be negotiated en route. This was hard work and only the best of skiers were able to work their way down the slope. Speed control was paramount; physical condition and fitness was just as important. Today the spectacularly groomed Wasserngrat pistes are as smooth as a motorcar highway, capable of accommodating skiers at speeds of over 80 KPH. You no longer need a masterful skier to tackle this slope. A taste for speed, a dose of courage, reasonable skills and good equipment will have you blasting down 5 to 10 times in a morning session. Faster and more extreme Skiing is certainly changing in the same way as nearly all sports are, faster and more extreme is the trend. This will filter through all layers of the sport from casual to professional participation, from equip-

ment to environments. The counter balance to all of this is improved safety and deeper fellow consideration. Such methods have been implemented into many sports. Surfing for example now has big wave riders wearing buoyancy devices. Strapped to their legs are emergency oxygen cylinders, which can be used in the event of a surfer being held underwater for too long. They only take off on a wave, one person at a time, and Jet ski’s pick up the surfers to get them out of the line-up once they have kicked out from a wave. Motor sport has similar analogies, where safety equipment and protocol has vastly improved over the last 20 years. It seems to me that there is still a long way to go with skiing regarding counter balancing the forces that have us going faster with not necessarily equal skills. Wearing helmets and back armour devices are a good start, however I am sure that airbag technological developments that are being built into motorcycle racing suits and helmets, once perfected will find their way onto our slopes, Until then, maybe it is prudent to stick to the rules provided, ski most of the time between 30% and 60% of the speeds we know we can reach, and adopt an empathetic attitude to all those on the piste by skiing in consideration of others.

In-depth LOCAL NEWS article

Friday 27 January 2012 Page 11

Schönried restaurant closes due to water damage two leaseholders, Heinz Reichenbach and Ueli Burger, regret not being able to continue their restaurant business. The owner of the building stated that a renovation could only begin in spring, once the snow has

melted off the roof. The restaurant is to remain closed until further notice. Hotel Ermitage across the street could hire some of the Alpin Nova employees on short notice. “Our whole Christmas and New

Year’s business literally fell into the water,” Reichenbach said. “This is hard for us. We have invested a lot of heart and soul into this restaurant. We feel very sorry for our employees. The last few weeks have not been a nice situation for all.” Water was first detected dripping through the wooden ceiling December 16. At first, staff tried to improvise but soon found that the situation had become unbearable for customers. “Even if we had wanted to, we could not have provided customers with an atmosphere that was expected from us,” Reichenbach said.

Photo: Jonas Bach

Photo: zvg

The restaurant Alpin Nova in Schönried was forced to close January 1 due to water damage caused by moisture brought by the large snowfalls of late December 2011. Leaks in the flat roof were suspected. The


The restaurant Alpin Nova will remain closed for the time being.

Un giorno incontro la Piromalla e le dico: “Fatti un blog”. Lei si è fatta il blog, Bella e d’annata. Poi, giuro, non le ho detto più niente. Lei ha scritto con Marika Come pesci nella rete, il libro che in questo momento avete in mano, ma giuro io non le avevo detto niente. Credetemi, ha deciso da sola. Io non le ho detto niente. Voi non sapete come è fatta la Piromalla... D’altra parte la Piromalla si chiama Januaria, non so se mi spiego. Perdonate anche lo spiritoso vezzo di scrivere “feisbuc” per intendere facebook. In fondo le ragazzine coi brufoli continuano a mettere i cuoricini sulle “i” al posto dei puntini.

sions (Internet addiction disorder) and the dangers of always being connected. Activities that would normally be considered troublesome, such as compulsive gambling or shopping are becoming ever present online habits in our modern society - the writer poses the question of such activity and offers much insight into the phenomenon - therefore the books title, translat-

Claudio Sabelli Fioretti

Marika Borrelli, bi-laureata, giornalista free lance, blogger, formatrice e docente, esperta di Comunicazione. Collabora con diversi quotidiani e periodici, anche on line. Appassionata di questioni di genere e di lifestyle. Il suo motto preferito? «Se le cose vanno bene, non c’è motivo. Se vanno male, non c’è giustificazione». Januaria PiroMallo collabora con le principali testate giornalistiche: «Oggi», «Panorama», «Capital», Dagospia, “Corriere del Mezzogiorno”. Firma con Marika un blog sul sito de “Il Fatto Quotidiano”. Ha pubblicato Bella e d’Annata. Corso di sopravvivenza socialmente scorretto (Milano, 2007) che è diventato anche un blog. Ha tenuto corsi al Master di Giornalismo dell’Università di Suor Orsola Benincasa.


The eight-year-old Carlotta (third place European championships), Alice (Italian junior champion), and Sarah (figure skating champion) were

amongst the performing figure skaters. Responsible for the choreography were legendary Ice skater Mary, former star of the first Holidays on Ice, and Ice skating icon of the skating school Gstaad - Georgette Buehlmann, inventor of the spins. Januaria Piromallo organized the event. White candles, the lights on the

Come pesci nella rete Trappole, tentacoli e tentazioni del Web

e 20,00

Figure skating gala “Waltz on Ice” at the Grand Hotel Park Not even a few drops of rain could interfere with the magic of the gala “Waltz on Ice” at the Grand Hotel Park.

Marika Borrelli Januaria Piromallo

Christmas tree and the Christmas carol “Silent Night” provided the suitable ambiance for Santa Claus’ arrival on his sleigh, with his bag full of gifts for all the attending children. At the Ice bar there was hot chocolate, Guezi and Gluhwein to enjoy. TRANSLATED AND ADAPTED FROM THE AVS 28.12.2011

ed into English - ’So are we or are we not all fish in the Net’? Come and meet the Author Januaria in Gstaad at Cadonau on February 11 2012.

Photo: zvg

Photo: zvg

Nevrosi da Facebook, ansia da Twitter, affanno da MySpace. Se dentro, non ho pace e tutti sanno tutto di me. Se fuori, sono un povero escluso. E, invece, sembra che ci possa essere una eventuale terza via: ce la spiegano con ironia e sapienza due blogger di lungo corso che nei misteri dei social network si orientano perfettamente. Altro che pesci nella rete…. Isabella Bossi Fedrigotti

Come pesci nella rete

Januaria Piromallo with her new book at the first signing in ­December 2011 at Cadonau.

Januaria Piromallo, Italian journalist lives between Milano and Gstaad. She also consults on the topic of Journalism at Suor Orsola University. From her first book, “Bella e d’annata” she made a blog and now from the blog to another book “Come pesci nella rete”, a good example of ‘what goes around comes around’. The book covers the fascinating topic of internet compul-

Marika Borrelli – Januaria Piromallo

Meet the Author of new book ‘Come pesci ­nella rete’

comunicazione e m@ss-media

Come pesci nella rete è un saggio semi-serio, saggio poco saggio. Nel senso che è serio nelle statistiche e nella ricerca delle fonti, divertente nello stile. Scritto a quattro mani da due giornaliste blogger (www.bellaedannata.it), racconta di entusiasmi e dannazioni nel mondo dei social media, Facebook e dintorni. La maggior parte degli spunti derivano dalla lettura avida di giornali, testi e ricerche internazionali riconfezionate con commenti ed episodi che ci raccontano come sono gli Italiani alle prese con il Web. In una ottantina di micro-capitoli vengono sviscerate manie, curiosità e fatti seri legati alla nostra nuova vita di cyber-umanità.

Young ice skaters on the ice rink at the Grand Hotel Park for the gala “Walz on Ice “.

Money Matters

Friday 27 January 2012 Page 12

Swiss EU Tax deal Scepticism The agreements refer to the “Rubik” model for dealing with the undeclared billions held by foreign customers in Swiss banks. It is a quick and easy agreement whereby the countries whose taxpayers have tried to hide their assets get an inflow of money straight away, and Swiss banks remain relatively attractive to the super-rich who prefer to keep a low profile. It works by levying a withholding tax

on the assets held in the banks. In other words, a tax is automatically levied on the interest they earn, and then remitted to the country concerned. But no information about the identity of clients is provided. And that is the sticking point: the European Union is insisting on “automatic exchange of information”, so that tax evaders can be tracked down. Even in Germany, which has reached a ‘Rubik’ deal with Switzerland, the Social Democrats, the

Greens and some of the country’s states have expressed opposition. Brussels has already questioned the validity of the agreement, and France has made it abundantly clear that it’s not interested. It wants to be able to find and punish tax evaders. Only Italy has made positive noises, with Prime Minister Mario Monti saying an agreement with Switzerland was a “possibility to be checked”. The German finance

ministry has said that it will not completely renegotiate its agreement, but that it will consider making changes here and there. For her part, Swiss Finance Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf has said she is prepared to examine “specific technical questions”, but not change the core of the agreement. It is by no means certain that the two tax agreements will pass the hurdles of the Swiss parliament ei-

The Investment at the End of the Rainbow Amidst troubled markets one sector that emerges as a predictable store of value with substantial upside potential is Agriculture – through active ownership in real assets and productive land use. As billionaire investor Jim Rogers put it in a CNBC interview on 28 December 2011, “I don’t see much reason to own equities… I think ag will be a great place for the next 10-20 years.” He expects global economic problems to get worse. If his thesis is wrong and conditions improve, “I’ll make money in commodities because increased demand will generate shortages,” he says. “But if the world doesn’t get better, then governments print money and the way to protect against that is to own real assets.” Craigmore Sustainables is an asset manager that invests its own

money in this opportunity set, and has been developing an active ownership model on behalf of its investors in New Zealand Farming and Forestry since 2008. NZ farming provides a diversified source of return: in particular protein (NZ produces 35% of the international trade in dairy ingredients) but also livestock, wool, and horticultural products. New Zealand land prices have declined by 20-40% since peak valuations in 2007. Commodity prices have strengthened over the same period, and demand from China is steadily rising. Craigmore believes there is potential for significant capital gains when farm yields revert to their long term average levels. Putting it another way the present deleveraging in NZ land represents a terrific entry-point to the farmland asset class. In contrast US Mid-

western farmland prices were up 25% in 2011 alone. The New Zealand farming sector is the world protein leader. Furthermore, New Zealand enjoys a stable political and legal system. Craigmore’s founder and CEO, Forbes Elworthy believes firmly in purchasing high quality land and hiring top quartile farmers with strongly aligned interests to manage it. As he puts it, “it’s never a mistake to buy quality.” Coutts & Co is a strong supporter of responsible and green investment principles. Following a successful Swiss event hosted by Coutts with Jim Rogers as the keynote presenter, Coutts has now partnered with experienced farming firm and research institute, Craigmore Sustainables, for a further seminar on the same themes. On Tuesday, the 28th February,

Coutts and Craigmore will co-host a pre-dinner reception and presentation at The Grand Hotel Park in Gstaad to discuss investment in the New Zealand agricultural sector. The seminar will be informational only with no particular securities or investment products being presented, but rather the overall risk and return profile of the asset class will be explored. ‘Whilst Coutts does not include this sector as yet proactively in its investment approach, we are interested in Craigmore’s research and perspectives’, David Woolley, Senior Client Partner at Coutts in Zurich said, concluding, ‘We are interested in bringing thought provoking debate and fresh ideas to our clients – we too are open to listen!’ If you are interested in this theme, please email david.woolley@ coutts.com or phone +41 (0)43 245 65 49.

Friday 27 January 2012 Page 13

ther. The right wing People’s Party says the negative aspects of the Rubik system outweigh the positive ones. And parties on the left of the political spectrum are in any case relatively sympathetic to EU demands for automatic exchange of information. Some economists and tax experts have cast doubt on the effectiveness of Rubik. Sergio Rossi, a professor of economics at Fribourg University told Swiss radio and television that it was based

on a philosophy that could have worked in the last century, when foreign capital “sat in Switzerland and did not move for decades”. But he sees things moving now in the direction of the automatic exchange of information; Switzerland will simply have to negotiate skilfully with the other side “to get the biggest possible advantages for our country”, he says. Switzerland could benefit from the

fact that many European countries are in urgent need of a fresh injection of money, because that’s just what a Rubik deal would provide. A study by the Booz & Company consulting firm showed that at the end of 2010 residents of Germany and Britain had SFr270 billion ($216 billion at the December 2010 rate) deposited in Swiss bank accounts, 60 per cent of which was untaxed capital. To regularise these holdings, a withholding tax would be

Money Matters

levied on them at a rate of between 19 and 34 per cent. This would bring several billions into the British and German state coffers more or less immediately. At the moment, when everyone else is calling for exchange of information, Swiss banks are offering an alternative: instant billions, at no cost, and with Swiss precision. But if this alternative is rejected, Switzerland has little else to offer. GstaadLife Editorial and agencies.

The next Swiss Central Bank Governor – Thomas J. Jordan Most probably, Mr. Thomas Jordan will be appointed as the next chairman of the Governing Board of the Swiss National Bank. Mr. Jordan has been at the Swiss National Bank since 1997, moved up from the economics department and is now Vice Chairman. Based on that, this move seems to be pretty obvious. Mr. Jordan is well qualified and his CV shows that he is an academic at heart who has never worked in the private sector. “Euro Technocrat” might come to some of the reader’s mind. There is no doubt that he has been a strong advocate of an active and interventionist role in financial markets by the SNB. Having said that, he also was actively involved with the bailout of UBS in 2008. The SNB created a SPIV where UBS dumped its toxic assets.

This came to a $60 billion transaction, 90 % of its funding came from the SNB, the balance from UBS, but the SNB back doored the money to UBS to get the deal done.

of his first acts will be a confirmation that the peg will be maintained.

Mr. Thomas Jordan was also at the very origin of the SNB announcement last September 2011, that it will not allow the Swiss franc to appreciate above CHF 1.20/€ and that it will print infinite amounts of its own money to achieve this.

It goes without saying that the Hildebrand affair has significantly weakened the SNB. The real drama however is that there are powerful political forces here in Switzerland who are philosophically opposed to the unending reserve accumulation by the SNB. These oppositions have had a major victory with the re­ signation of Mr. Philipp Hildebrand. They have forced him out; something they have been attempting to do for years. Those said forces have also proved that the ethic standards, for which our country was standing for for decades, have now been abolished. We can conclude that a simple media campaign, coupled with mainly illegal actions, can force out of his job even a Central Bank Boss.

This would lead to the conclusion and could be strongly suspected that one

We also conclude that the opposition to the strategies and tactics of

As we all may recall, in the 4th quarter of 2008, the financial world was at the verge of coming apart. There were big funding problems with Swiss Banks as global liquidity dried up. Mr. Jordan was actively involved with formulating the SNB response. He flooded the domestic market with liquidity.

the SNB will not end. Should we see another significant increase in Swiss reserves, this issue is surely going to come right back on the table. An additional reserve accumulation is now inevitable. So the stage is getting set for a showdown and Mr. Thomas J. Jordan will step up to the plate and aggressively defend the peg. One has to sympathise with the Swiss dilemma : a massively strong currency that is pricing manufacturers of cuckoo clocks out of global markets. But Switzerland is not one economy only, but two. The other is a financial one, whose main attraction is a sane management of a sound financial system. At this point, one should consider that it should not be the role of a Central Bank to suddenly initialize steps towards structural policy. WRITTEN BY MR TONI KNECHT, MEMBER OF THE EXECUTIVE BOARD OF MANAGEMENT, SAANEN BANK AG, TELEPHONE +41 (0)33 748 46 47.


Friday 27 January 2012 Page 14

Winter in the Mountains... Body – Mind Week Imagine a special time to nourish your body and to fine-tune your mind! March 4-9, 2012 The Palace Gstaad, Michael Morton, Phd., (psychologist and expert on complementary and alternative medicine), and Maya Burkhard (a respected and experienced personal coach and facilitator) have put together an uplifting five-day experience. During the “Body-Mind Week” you will have an opportunity to nourish your body and mind with a selection of the Gstaad

Palace Spa Services as well as exploring and learning ways to enhance and maintain a healthy body and a fine-tuned mind for being your best self. Each day in body and mind week begins with a series of warm up and relaxation exercises from expert Spa staff. Daily input from Michael and Maya provides you with a clear and concise overview of the latest neuroscience and health research with practical ways and simple techniques to benefit from it in your own life. A relaxed, insightful and discrete time, where

Event Calendar: 27.01-04.02 - Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad Every Sunday in February - Seafood Buffet – noon to 3.00pm (*) 02.-06.02 - Chatila Jewellers «Winter Jewellery» Exhibition 09-12.02 - Sabbadini, Exhibition of Haute Couture 09-14.02 - Andrew GN, Exhibition of Haute Couture 10-17.02 - Vicedomini, Exposition de mode 11.02 - Playboy Night at GreenGo (**) 10-20.02 - Boucheron, Jewellery Exhibition 11-13.02 - Loris Azzaro, Exhibition of Haute Couture 14.02 - Valentine’s Day Dinner 15.02 - DJ Falcon at GreenGo (**) 15.02 - A.C. Bang - Fur Exhibition Show 16-19.02 - Chopard, Watch & Jewellery Exhibition 16-18.02 - Tesla Test Driving Days 17-19.02 - Kessaris, Jewellery Exhibition 18-21.02 - Sciretti, Fur Exhibition 20-24.02 - Hom Le Xuan, Interior Design Exhibition 21-22.02 - Dan Roma, Custom madeshirt Exhibition 23.-26.02 - Sabbadini, Jewellery Exhibition 23-26.02 - Seamann Schepps, Jewellery Exhibition 25.02 - DJ Laurent Wolf at GreenGo (**) 03.03 - DJ Igor Blaska at GreenGo (**) 05-10.03 - Indian Gourmet Week (*) (*) Reservations with the Maître D’ (**) Reservations with the GreenGo Maître D’

each participant can discover their own best personal strategy for a more balanced and empowered life.

***** Private SPA Share relaxing moments in the Palace Private SPA Suite including private sauna, steam bath, lounge corner, pool and a private changing room. 2 hours including a 1h private yoga session CHF 340.- (price for two). For reservations please call Palace SPA +41 (0)33 748 58 90; (subject to availability).

***** Palace SPA Morning Enjoy the Palace SPA in the morning. Get a free SPA access, an aroma full body massage (50 min) and taste a light 3-course lunch in the Le Grand Restaurant (including soft drink) for CHF 200 per person.

***** E-Shop Surf, Shop and buy with a single click – Welcome to the new EShop of the Gstaad Palace. From now on, you can select from a large list of Palace items and experiences. Book an exclusive cooking lesson with Peter Weiss, order a traditional handmade Saanenland sledge made by Andreas Kolly or choose from an array of exclusive products. Either a gift for yourself, to bring joy to friends or an option of a voucher, the choice is vast and it’s yours… www.palace.ch/eshop

Friday 27 January 2012 Page 15

In-depth LOCAL NEWS article

Just before Christmas the world’s best sailors competed for honors at the World Championship in Perth. They competed not only for medals, but also for a step towards a desired Olympic qualification. Nathalie Brugger, Flavio Marazzi and Enrico De Maria, all sports members of the Gstaad Yacht Club, succeeded in their quests and achieved their desired step towards Olympic qualification and are now a little closer to representing Switzerland in the 2012 Olympics in their respective classes. A good result, but not a perfect sailing week. In general Head coach Tom Reulein is pleased with his athletes’ performances. Nathalie achieved two important accolades. 11th in the national valuation, she got a start for the Laser Radial and achieved the selection criteria of Swiss Olympic at the same time. Flavio Marazzi and Enrico De Maria achieved qualification in the same manner. They also reached the 11th ranking in the national valuation. Sailing, an expensive science. Tom Reulein knows how important the support of the GYC is for the sailors on their way to the Olympic Games. “Without the support of the club the young sailors could not

afford this expensive sport.” “The GYC is very important for our athletes. The financial profit of sailing is not very high, because the sport is cost-intensive, especially when preparing for the Olympic Games. The Club supports the field where the Swiss Sailing Team reaches its limits, which means covering the financial needs of the athletes for the most part. The SST AG mainly supports the organizational, political and professional structures,” Reulein explains. The sport of sailing is a science. The Swiss Sailing Team works together with weather forecasters, experts in terms of measuring the sea currents, material experts and so on. Tom Reulein is convinced that the goal of the Swiss athletes could be an Olympic medal in London. “It will be tough, but when everything develops ideally, this goal can be attained. E.g. Nathalie Brugger proved with her 6th rank at the Olympic Games in Peking that she can perform at the Olympics. Flavio and Enrico belong absolutely to the world’s best and have done so for several years,” says Reulein. Challenging Olympic estuary. “Of course the Olympic waters in Weymouth are special,” says Reulein. “The results of the World

© Photos: Juerg Kaufmann

“Mission possible”: Four sailors for the Olympics

championships in Perth are no hint as to who will be up front in Weymouth,” he concludes. “It can get very uncomfortable in Weymouth.” Nathalie Brugger grimaces. Reulein describes. “There is a tough program planned for the Swiss sailors following the World Championship. After a two week important rest, the next training begins - in the gym as well as on the water.” “At the end of January the next World Cup takes place in Miami. These World Cup races are important for the ongoing process of Swiss Olympic qualification. Whoever is sailing within the top 12 in one of the three qualification races, is most likely to be selected for the participation in the Olympic Games by Swiss Olympic on 5th June 2012.” After the World Cup in Miami, Nathalie will train with the best regatta sailors in Mexico, before the next World Cup takes place in Palma.

A Windsurfer for Gstaad. Since the beginning of 2011, the Gstaad Yacht Club has been supporting another sportsman on his way to the Olympic Games. Windsurfer Richi Stauffacher brought Switzerland into the best 14 nations. Stauffacher already achieved the 14th ranking at the Olympic Games in Peking and came 24th during his first participation in the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004. Now he is at the best age to reach for success. “On the water, experience has quite a big role to play,” says Head Coach Tom Reulein. Now Stauffacher can count on his own experience, but also on the experience of GYC Commodore Peter ­Erzberger and the support of the Gstaad Yacht Club. www.swiss-sailing.ch www.gstaadyachtclub.com


Friday 27 January 2012 Page 16

Honouring Gastronomy Already renowned for the talent of its critically acclaimed Executive Chef, the Grand Hotel Park takes a step further again this winter. Expect a feast of the senses, from the Grand Restaurant with its Mediterranean menu, to Marco Polo offering Asian flavors, from the Green-

house with light and lean cuisine to the Chalet Waldhuus for a memorable raclette or fondue. Not to forget the Caveau, meeting spot for wine enthusiasts and cheese and charcuterie tastings. Further the bar is the place for made-to-order sushi and snacks. Ladurée pastry house from Paris will delight gourmets with its candies, their famous macaroons, teas, marmalades and other sweets. Furthermore Chef Giuseppe Colella and his team present a weekly Sunday Brunch – a splendid show of their talents.


Six exceptional evenings with three Chefs to be enjoyed in February in our restaurant Marco Polo.

Graff Boutique launched and now receiving guests. The House of Graff is synonymous with the most fabulous jewels

in the world. The name symbolises rarity, beauty, excellence and, above all, the best quality, craftsmanship and diamonds. A diamond company extraordinaire, Graff

Ted Scapa creative drawing workshop Famous Swiss TV presenter, collector of modern art and preferred artist of children and their parents alike, Ted Scapa offers a creative drawing workshop for all ages. Escape for an inspired moment into a world of fantasy. Workshops on 15th & 16th February. Exhibition of his works: 10th - 18th February.

Ted Scapa

The mythical apres-ski fashion brand has taken on a rejuvenation. LOOK invites you to discover its newest collection in the boutique across from the Grand Hotel Park SPA.

produces polished diamonds from rough sourced from mines around the world, making it one of the world’s leading diamond companies. Tens of thousands of carats of rough diamonds are cut and pol-

Unique activities: Feb 9th to 13th 2012 Exhibition Graff Diamonds Feb 15th to 20th 2012 Exhibition of De Grisogono, cocktail reception on ­February 17th. February 16th to 18th 2012 AC Bang Fashion Show February 16th to 17th 2012 Chef Oth Sombath, gastronomic evenings at the restaurant Marco Polo February 19th to 20th 2012 Chef Patrice Caillault gastronomic evenings at the restaurant Marco Polo February 21st to 22nd 2012 Chef Andre Jaeger, gastronomic evenings at the restaurant Marco Polo February 24th Le Richemond, Geneva at the Grand Restaurant

ished by expert teams around the world. Each Jewel is unique, from the perfectly cut diamond to the magnificent hand finished piece. The Grand Hotel Park is the home of Graff Diamonds in Gstaad.

Friday 27 January 2012 Page 17


Graff Diamonds sparkle at Grand Hotel Park by Peter Sonnekus-Williams

designer Jean-Pierre Gilardino made use of oak panels, hand engraved with a gold leaf finish to create a luxurious effect, contrasted with dark wood panels in the opulent entrance, creating a distinctively chic and modern style for the presentation of jewels.

In the heart of the lobby of the Grand Hotel Park, the new Graff Diamonds Boutique integrates perfectly into the design of the Hotel and still radiates with its unique own style. The Monte Carlo-based Photos: zvg

One of the major highlights in Gstaad this winter so far has been the opening of the exclusive Graff Diamonds Boutique at the Grand

Hotel Park. Graff Diamonds joined the glamorous official opening ceremony on 27 December 2011 with an exhibition of gems and stunning pieces of jewellery under their slogan “The Most beautiful Jewels in the World.”

The typical forged gate with fan pattern, which adorns all of the Graff Boutiques around the world, was not missing. Visitors and guests of the Grand Hotel Park were mesmerized

by the exhibition of rare diamonds, sapphires, emeralds and rubies. Graff also presented exquisite watches – an alliance between the know-how of the diamond cutter from Graff and the experts of Swiss precision clocks. The exhibition “The Most beautiful Jewels in the World” can be visited by the public daily from 9-13 February 2012, 12h00 until 23h00 at the Grand Hotel Park, Salon Pinto Bibliothéque (Lobby level).

Traditional Gstaad Yacht Club Patron’s Dinner at the beginning of the year On 2nd January 2012, the Patron of the Gstaad Yacht Club, His Majesty King Constantine of the Hellenes, following established tradition, invited Honorary, Founding, and all members and their guests to the Annual Dinner in the clubhouse. In his welcome speech Commodore Peter Erzberger was pleased to welcome Her Majesty Queen AnneMarie of Greece, Princess Benedikte of Denmark and Princess of SaynWittgenstein-Berleburg. The evening was held under the theme “Memories of St. Tropez”. The decoration and the menu, impeccably presented by Robert Speth’s team, were perfect, and brought back memories of the summer to the winter ambience of Gstaad.

The “Memories of St Tropez“ were presented in a great slide show of the successful regatta held for classic yachts of at least 100 years of age, and restored to their original state. 19 Yachts sailed for the GYC Cente-

nary Trophy in a pursuit race format held in front of St. Tropez. The inaugural Centenary Trophy regatta was won by ‘Bonafide’. The days in the Château St. Tropez, which had been re-decorated to mimic the GYC clubhouse, was also a great success.

But there was also another reason to celebrate: An out-of-court settlement has been reached with the Grand Hotel Bellevue and will form the basis for a long lasting relationship under the new lease.

Friday 27 January 2012 Page 18

Wood oven pizza bakers fill gap in the mountains When Jan Grünig lived in Thun, he often ordered pizza to be delivered. So numerous were the providers in the city, that it was often difficult to decide from whom to order. “It was practical,” Grünig said, “to have the possibility to call a pizza service if one hadn’t cooked anything or hadn’t gone food shopping.” Living in Saanenmöser, Grünig, 24, realized that something like this was lacking in Saanenland. He and Raik Süss discussed the idea and were spurned into action when they learned that Pizzeria Rütti was closing. Raik Süss and Jan Grünig founded Pizza Montagna in February 2011. The bakery is located in Saanenmöser. Philipp Brand, 25, from Gsteig jumped at the opportunity to stand

in for Süss, who had a full time job and a family. Grünig acquired his pizza chef diploma and transferred his knowledge to Brand. Now, from Wednesday to Sunday, Brand and Grünig are in the bakery. It is hot in there, because a fire is burning. One hour before the first order arrives, a fire must be made in the oven. The two bakers have already cut the ingredients and prepared the desserts. “Baking pizza is a little science all onto itself,” Grünig says. “A normal pizza delivery uses an electric oven. We have a wood oven. This makes everything more complicated, but the pizzas are more delicious.” The oven allows for five pizzas to be baked side-by-side.

“Last winter we received only positive feedback,” Philipp Brand said. In the meantime, both young men have fine-tuned their delivery system and have found a process that is potentially worth patenting. Customers can receive hot pizza on the table, even if the drive takes 30 minutes. Pizzas are delivered in a special box, in which temperatures are clearly higher than 100 degrees. “The pizza dough is everything,” Grünig says. “When it is not good, you can’t get a good pizza.” The two men make everything themselves, from the dough to the tomato sauce to the desserts. They buy local fresh meat. The house specialty is “Pizza Montagna,” featuring special dried beef and the best mountain cheeses.

Photo: zvg


Jan Grünig and Philipp Brand in their wood oven pizza bakery in the mountains. They may remain open in summer. Until recently, it was difficult to deliver to households, because there was no house numbering. “Now that there are street names and house numbers, this was made easier for us,” Grünig says. TRANSLATED AND ADAPTED FROM THE ARTICLE BY CHRISTINE EISENBEIS AVS 16.12.2011


Peggy Hinaekian exhibits in Hotel Gstaaderhof An exhibition of abstract art by Peggy Hinaekian takes place until April 2012 at the Hotel Gstaaderhof. Peggy’s works consist of oil and acrylic on canvas and on paper, and limited original etchings. Peggy has loved the Saanenland for many years as a holiday destination and exhibiting in Gstaad is natural for her. Art too, is a top priority at the Hotel Gstaaderhof and the owners Doris and Jost Huber regularly invite well-known artists to exhibit their work there. The motto of Peggy’s exhibition “The fire and the blue” describes what viewers can expect. Born in Egypt, graduated at the Italian Academy of Art “Leonardo

da Vinci” in Rome, Peggy is foremost a color-field painter and fascinated by the warm earth tones of the desert landscape and the cool blue hues of the oceans. She rarely works with a preconceived vision for the final product, thus allowing the possibility of ambiguity and surprise. Conceptually she tries to immerse the viewer in the perceptual experience of space, color and light.

Foto: Tina Dosot

Friday 27 January 2012 Page 19

traveler, Peggy Hinaekian is also a sagacious observant. Her awardwinning art has been exhibited internationally. She works in Switzerland and the United States. TRANSLATED AND ADAPTED FROM THE ARTICLE BY TINA DOSOT AVS 28.12.2011

Peggy Hinaekian

By using color and texture she “breathes” movement into her abstract landscapes to guide the viewer into the paintings, making him/her wander into a different reality. Even abstract, there is always a subject. A passionate and intrepid



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short story

Friday 27 January 2012 Page 20

Swiss Blue (part 3) by Huck Scarry

Swiss Blue is a short story appearing in four parts in the winter issues of GstaadLife. This is the third part. In the previous two, we accompanied Jack Douglas, a young American who has recently moved to Switzerland, who has come up from Geneva for a weekend of skiing in Gstaad. When we last saw him, Jack was skiing alone at Pra Cluen. It was a quiet Friday afternoon, and he had the run for himself. Fredi Schneeberg, the lift attendant, has just put Jack on the chairlift back up to Pra Cluen. Fredi walked across the snow to the mouth of the rail fence outside the station entrance. A little red and white plastic chain hung from a nail atop the first fencepost. He lifted it up and let the short links run through his rough palm. At the last link, he placed the chain over a small nail on the opposite post. He then walked back inside the station. He lifted a red scarf smudged with oilstains from a nail on the wall. As the next chair swung around beneath the great wheel overhead, Fredi walked alongside it, and deftly half-knotted it to the open safety bar. The chair rumbled under the wheels of the first pylon and began its ascent upward, the scarf wagging brightly in the sun. Fredi had decided on the scarf as an extra precaution: late in January, the man at the top had had a skiing accident, and had been replaced with Meylan. Meylan was a nice young man from the Pays d’Enhaut, but without a word of German in his Vaudois head. When Meylan saw the red scarf approaching the upper station, he would know that there were no more skiers on the lift, and it could be shut down. Fredi then took the hand receiver from the wall phone, and dialed for Meylan at the other end. “Ouais?” Meylan yawned through the line.

“On ferme!” Fredi announced in French. We’re shutting down! “Okay, patron” Meylan replied, “Compris!” “Wait for the scarf!” Fredi called. “D’accord, patron. I’ll come down with the patrol.” It was a small treat at the end of a boring afternoon at the summit hut, to do the last “clean-up” run with the ski-patrol. Fredi hung up the receiver, looked up the chairlift, and watched the scarf disappear into the woods. Then he went out, around to the side of the station, to the lavatory. Jack’s second run had been fantastic. Now familiar with the terrain, he could leave all caution aside, and just thoroughly enjoy the mountain for himself. When he passed the bottleneck, he decided to dispense with any more turns, and did a fast schuss the last few hundred meters down to the station. He flew over a hump and was airborne for a moment; his heart skipping a beat. His skis made a sharp clap as they hit the snow again. He swerved behind the base station, faster this time, sending a bigger plume of snow into the air. The crystals sparkled like gold in the yellowing, late afternoon sun. Beside the entrance to the station

was affixed a make-believe clock, with the inscription ‘Last Run’ in four languages beside it. The hands were set at five o’clock. Jack always smiled when he saw these primitive ‘toy’ clocks in railway stations and mountain lifts around Switzerland; the land of high-precision timepieces. Jack looked at his Timex. It was only 4:25. There was just time enough for a last run. He pushed himself over to the rail fence at the entrance, but was surprised by the little chain hanging between the posts. Jack pushed himself beside the fence and peered inside the station. There was no one around. There was enough snow behind the entrance that the top rail of the fence reached only up to Jack’s knee. Without a second thought, Jack placed himself parallel to the fence, and one-two stepped with his skis over to the other side. He pushed himself inside the building, and in the darkness, quickly looked about to see if the attendant was in sight. A chair swung around and Jack pushed himself forward, plunked himself down on the seat, and began riding out and upwards into the golden light. Closing the safety-bar, he rested his feet on the foot-bar, and looked up at the Rubli and the Gummfluh, their edges shining in the last sun. He smiled and

thought how lucky he was to have made himself such a memorable afternoon. As his chair left the forest, for the last stretch above the treeline to the top, Jack saw the little Vaudois flag again come into view. He looked to his left out to the run, which was now pretty much entirely in the shade. It would be a bit colder now, Jack thought, and the snow faster. Then he saw two black dots gliding down below the wall of the Gummfluh. They were the only other skiers Jack had seen here all afternoon. Just then, the cable slowed down, and came to a halt. “Damn!” thought Jack. Hopefully, the stop wouldn’t last long: chairlifts often paused in order to load things on or off. He looked in the direction of the run again, but the two skiers had disappeared. Jack’s patience began to ebb. “What CAN they be doing?” he said aloud. He turned in his chair to look behind him, at the succession of empty chairs hanging silently in the late afternoon light. The air was pink. He looked at his watch. It was 4:45. “But the clock had said ‘five’”, he said to himself. “What’s going on?” “Hey-O!” he shouted to the summit station. He shouted again, louder, waving his ski poles in the air. “Can’t that guy see

Friday 27 January 2012 Page 21

me?” he said, his voice rising nervously. There was no sound, nor any movement around. It was deathly still. “Help! Au Secours! Hilfe!” Jack screamed, a bit of panic entering his voice. He let out a crazy, wild scream, more like a howl, which grated, and burned his throat. He looked down at the ground below him, and tried to evaluate how many meters separated him from the snow. The sun winked; its rim fell behind the ridge of the Videmanette, and Jack was startled by the immediate drop in temperature. The pendulum clock on the wall made a single chime. Mr. Winter looked up from the papers on his desk and read the time: 5:30. He turned toward the window, which was now a rectangle of sapphire blue. Outside, whatever wasn’t either snow or sky had lost all its color and appeared simply as a black silhouette. This was a moment Mr. Winter always loved, for it briefly made everything look like the traditional scissor-cut paper “découpages” done by artisans of the region. He leaned to check his windowsill weather station. The barometer had continued its fall since earlier in the afternoon. Now that the sun was down, it was a bracing -8 degrees outside. He turned in his chair and looked up at the velvet board where the hotel-room keys hung from brass hooks. About half of them were absent, but among those hanging was Number 8, the room he’d given to Douglas. Mr. Winter thought a moment about the cheerful young American, and the beautiful afternoon he must have spent on the mountain. He imagined him now sitting in a cosy, smoky café, warming-up with a steaming glass of gluhwein between his hands. Downstairs, he heard the front door open and close, and then recognized the footsteps coming up

the creaking stairs. It was his son, Thomas. “Good evening, Papa” Thomas said. He lifted a hinged hatch at the end of the reception counter, and walked into the office. “Salut, Thomas” his father replied. They chatted a moment about the weather, and the current state of the reservations. The phone rang, and Mr. Winter picked it up: “Hotel Postillon, Gruetsi!” There was a moment’s pause. “No, I’m very sorry” he said, “Nothing until Monday, I’m afraid. Another time perhaps. Goodbye!” “A typical Friday?” Thomas asked. His father just smiled back. Then he slid his chair backwards and stood up. “Siesta-time!” “No problem, Papa” Thomas said, studying some reception forms. Mr. Winter patted his son’s shoulder and went downstairs to his apartment. When he awoke, an hour later, it was pitch black outside. From where he lay, low on the sofa, he could see up through the window to an illuminated streetlamp. Dancing around it was a swarm of swirling spots, looking like furious flies. “Here it comes.” Mr. Winter yawned. He sat up, rubbed his face, and walked over to the window. The snow was coming down hard. His barometer, a good Swiss one, never lied. He washed up, brushed his hair, put on a fresh shirt and a tie, and pulled on a comfortable tweed jacket. He opened the door to his apartment, which led into the front hall. He went over to the front door and opened it. A few centimeters of snow had already fallen. The doorstep had been recently swept. He would thank Thomas for that. A group of four approached the doorstep, and stomped their feet to remove the snow. “Guten Abend!” Mr. Winter smiled, standing aside

and holding the door to let them in. He guided the guests through the front hall, and opened a wooden door marked “Café”, and invited them in. A loud happy sound of voices and laughter poured out of the café door. The air inside smelled heavily of cigarette smoke, wine, and cheese. The thick smell was always startling – even to Mr. Winter – but after a minute, one didn’t notice it any more. Fondue was one of the best reasons for coming to the Postillon, and there was always a pot of it bubbling on at least one table. Mr. Winter checked the reservation of the foursome on the reservation sheet, and brought them to their table, wishing them a pleasant evening. He returned to the desk by the door and studied the sheet further, but there was no one down as “Douglas”, nor “Zimmer 8”. He put the sheet down. His eyes were distracted by a window, and the snowflakes beating at its panes. He straightened his tie and began his tour of the tables. This was a tradition; something he had done since he first worked for his parents. It was like a little ceremony, wishing each group of guests “Guten Appetit” and exchanging a few words. It was an ideal way of discovering anything that might be amiss with his hotel: Mr. Winter paid close attention to his guests. Tonight, talk centered on the sudden arrival of snow. He was asked more than once where one would find the best powder in the morning. He would smile and reply that although there would be no shortage of powder, he doubted if there would be skiing in the morning. The runs would have to be made safe of avalanches first. Perhaps a warm swim in the indoors pool, or a visit to the sauna might be an idea? The round of the tables completed, Mr. Winter went over to the bar and poured himself a glass of white

short story wine. He sipped it slowly. It was icy cold, but warming. He exchanged a few words with Marie, the waitress in charge this evening, and then left the café to find Thomas. His son was just putting the phone back in its cradle. “A typical Friday?” Mr. Winter asked. “Word has gotten round about the snow.” Thomas replied, “I think that’s the twelfth request so far.” Mr. Winter wasn’t looking at his son, but at the board of keys. Stubborn Number 8 still hung there. “Any sign of Mr. Douglas?” he asked. “Not yet.” There was a moment’s silence. Mr. Winter stood, watching the snowflakes at the window, as if hypnotized by the dancing sparks of a bonfire. “Is everything ok, Papa?” Mr. Winter pulled out of his reverie. “Oh, I’m ok. I’m just a bit concerned … why that young fellow hasn’t shown up.” “Oh, come on!” Thomas leaned back in his chair, “We have guests all the time who don’t show up until the bars close. This is Friday night, right?” “True. It’s just – he went skiing, and I think on his own. He’s about your age. If he were you, I’d be mighty worried”. “Look: we’re not Saas Fee or Zermatt. Most of the runs are below the treeline. It was a beautiful afternoon; he couldn’t have gotten lost. I’m sure this guy is sitting with friends, enjoying a Raclette or Rösti mit Ei. I wish I was!” They both laughed and Mr. Winter relaxed. “Papa, if you want, we have his phone number. I can give him a call if you like.” “Oh, no!” Mr. Winter protested, “That wouldn’t do. He might get the wrong impression. I guess I’m just getting old: Becoming a busybody.” The wall clock chimed eight. “Let’s listen to the weather” he said. He leaned over to the radio and switched it on.


Friday 27 January 2012 Page 22

Events Calendar ■■FRIDAY, JANUARY 27 – SATURDAY,

FEBRUARY 4 “Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad”: A classic music festival, greatly influenced by the violin. The starts of today & tomorrow will play music at different church venues in the region of Gstaad. Tickets for sale at the Tourist office Saanen & Gstaad. Visit www.sommets-musicaux. com or contact +41 (0)33 748 81 82.

■■FRIDAY, JANUARY 27 19h30: “Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad” in Saanen church: Camerate Bern, Jana Kuss, violin & Vadim Repin, violin. Rate: SFr 30-160. Contact +41 (0)22 738 66 75. Gala dinner at the ‘Salle Baccarat’, Palace Hotel at 21h30 – SFr 220. ■■SATURDAY, JANUARY 28 16h00: “Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad” Kapelle, Promenade Gstaad: Callum Smart, violin & Gordon Back, piano. SFr 25. Reservation possible, contact +41 (0)22 738 66 75. ■■SATURDAY, JANUARY 28 19h30: “Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad” Mauritius church Saanen: Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz. SFr 30-160. Dinner at the ‘Salle Baccarat’, Palace Hotel at 21h30 – SFr 220.

■■SATURDAY, JANUARY 28 18h00: Winter party at BerghausWispile Gstaad, with traditional Swiss music: Cable car ride up from 18h00-21h00 & down from 22h00-24h00. Contact +41 (0)33 748 96 32 for more info.

■■SATURDAY, JANUARY 28 – SUNDAY, 29 Youth ski run in Saanen: For more info, contact +41 (0)78 752 26 67 or www.scsaanen.ch

■■SATURDAY, JANUARY 28 – SUNDAY, 29 25th Free-ride Dominique Perret, Wispile Gstaad: 25-Hour team race to collect money for two children charities. Anyone can sign up. Participation fee: SFr 100/team. Phone +41 (0)21 804 10 70 or www.25freeride.ch ■■SUNDAY, JANUARY 29 16h00: “Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad” Kapelle, Promenade Gstaad: Chansik Park, violin & Tamara Atschba, piano. SFr 25. Contact +41 (0)22 738 66 75 for more info. ■■SUNDAY, JANUARY 29 19h30: “Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad,” Rougemont church: Dora Schwarzberg, violin & friends. Rate: SFr 25-45. Contact +41 (0)22 738 66 75 for more info. ■■MONDAY, JANUARY 30 16h00: “Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad” at the Kapelle, Promenade Gstaad with Yury Revich, violin and Lily Maisky, piano. SFr 25. Contact +41 (0)22 738 66 75 for more info.

Friday January 27 2012 until Friday February 17 2012

■■TUESDAY, JANUARY 31 16h00: “Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad” at the Kapelle, Promenade Gstaad: Elin Kolev, violin & Milana Chernyavska, piano. SFr 25. Contact +41 (0)22 738 66 75 for more info. ■■TUESDAY, JANUARY 31 19h30: “Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad,” at the Rougemont church: Finghin Collins, piano. SFr 25-45. Phone +41 (0)22 738 66 75 for more info.

■■FEBRUARY 1, 8, 15 19h00-21h30: Night Skiing on the Wispile. Rates: Adults SFr 10, Children 10-16years: SFr 5. Children up to 9 years are free! Phone +41 (0)33 748 87 37 for more info.

■■WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 1 16h00: “Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad” at the Kapelle, Promenade Gstaad: Soo-Hyun Park, violin & Tamara Atschba, piano. SFr 25. Contact +41 (0)22 738 66 75 for more info.

■■WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 1 19h30: “Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad” at the Rougemont church: Cyprien Katsaris, piano. SFr 25-45. Contact +41 (0)22 738 66 75 for more info. ■■WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 1 Landi Cup on the Wispile, Gstaad: Ski race for children up to 15 years of age. For more information, contact Mario Cairoli on +41 (0)79 703 07 38. ■■THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 2 16h00: “Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad” at the Kapelle, Promenade Gstaad: Lara Kusztrich, violin & Sophie Pacini, piano. SFr 25. Contact +41 (0)22 738 66 75 for more info. ■■THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 2 19h30: “Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad” at the Mauritius church, Saanen: I Barocchisti, Diego Fasolis, & Francesco Cera. SFr 30-160. Contact +41 (0)22 738 66 75 for more info. Dinner at the ‘Salle Baccarat’, Palace Hotel at 21h30 – SFr 185.

■■FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 3 16h00: “Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad” at the Kapelle, Promenade Gstaad: Albrecht Menzel, violin & Moon Young Chae, piano. SFr 25. Phone +41 (0)22 738 66 75 for more info.

■■FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 3 19h30: “Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad” at the Mauritius church, Saanen: Camerata Bern, Antje Weithaas, violin, Meesun Hong, violin & Katia and Marielle Labeque, piano. SFr 30-160. Contact +41 (0)22 738 66 75 for more info. Dinner at the ‘Salle Baccarat’, Palace Hotel at 21h30 – SFr 185.

■■FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 3 21h00: Oeyetli Live Concert at the Youth center Oeyetli, Saanen: For more info, contact +41 (0)33 744 57 40. ■■SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 4 16h00: “Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad” at the Kapelle, Promenade Gstaad: Lukas Stepp, violin & Julia Kammerlander, piano. SFr 25. Phone +41 (0)22 738 66 75. ■■SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 4 19h30: “Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad” at the Mauritius church, Saanen: Chamber Orchestra of Lausanne with Peter Csaba & Alexandra Soumm (violin). SFr 30-160. Phone +41 (0)22 738 66 75. ■■SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 4 & SUNDAY, 5 Snow Cross Motoneige, Boden Gsteig: Everybody is welcome. Contact +41 (0)33 755 11 20 for more info. ■■SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 5 18h45: Sledge tour by full moon on the Wispile: Ascent on the Wispile @ 18h45-19h15. Cheese fondue in the Berghaus Restaurant. Sledging to Gsteig; bus back to the Wispile station from Gsteig @ midnight. All information www.gstaad.ch or contact +41 (0)33 748 96 32. ■■SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 5 Eggli-Riesenslalom, Rübeldorf ski lift Saanen: For more information, www.scsaanen. ch or contact +41 (0)78 752 26 67. ■■FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 10 – SATURDAY, 11 20h00: 7th 24-Hour non-stop skiing/ snowboarding race in Gsteig: For more information contact +41 (0)79 394 10 25. ■■SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 5 17h15-18h00: Zither concert in Mauritius church, Saanen by Werner Frey. Free entry – collection. ■■SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 5 10h15-17h00: Chess tournament in Hotel Landhaus, Saanen. Tournament for everybody. Adults SFr 20; up to 16-years of age SFr 5. For more info, contact +41 (0)33 744 40 75. ■■TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 14 19h00-23h00: Saint Valentine’s Day Party at the Bergrestaurant Eggli. Phone +41 (0)33 748 96 12. ■■TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 14 – SUNDAY, 26 Art exhibition at Galerie Buchs, Gstaad. Oil paintings from Oskar Buchs. Closed on Mondays! Phone +41 (0)33 744 19 48 for info. ■■FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17 11h00-18h00: Winter market on the Kapälliplatz, Gstaad. Contact +41 (0)33 744 78 83.

■■FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17 Music program popular at Restaurant Bären, Gsteig. Reservation possible, contact +41 (0)33 755 10 33. ■■Rotary Club Gstaad-Saanenland Meetings every Monday 12h00 Palace Hotel Gstaad (033 / 748 50 00), President: Rot. Alfred Liechti (033 / 722 42 22), Program: Rot. Gerhard Amiet (033 / 744 94 49) ■■Lions Club Gstaad-Saanenland Meetings normally each first and third week of the month on Thursdays, either at 12h00 a.m. for lunch or at 7h00 p.m. for dinner. Meetings in Wellness & Spa-Hotel ErmitageGolf, Schönried, Tel. 033 748 60 60. For details and program contact Victor Steimle, president, 033 748 78 88, steimle@tundr.ch, https://gstaad-saanenland.lionsclub.ch ■■Church Services St Peter’s English-Speaking Anglican Church, Château-d’Oex 21 – 29 January 2012 Balloon Week. Open Church daily 10h00 – 12h00. 29 January 2012, 17h30 Evening Worship. Rev. Penny Frank 4 February 2012, 10h00 – 12h00 Open Church. Rev. Penny Frank 5 February 2012, 17h30 Holy Communion. Rev. Penny Frank 11 February 2012, 10h00 – 12h00 Open Church. Rev. Penny Frank 12 February 2012, 17h30 Evening Worshop. Rev. Clive Atkinson 13 February 2012, 9h30 – 10h00 Service of Healing. Rev. Penny Frank Web: www.allsaints.ch/chateaudoex Contact: pennyfrank1@gmail.com ■■Important Numbers Ambulance 144, Police 117 Police office 033 356 84 31 Fire-brigade 118 Saanen Hospital 033 748 02 00 Château-d‘Oex Hospital 026 923 43 43 Car accident service 033 744 88 80 Veterinary 033 744 35 31 / 033 744 06 61 Medical emergency 0900 57 67 47 Dental emergency 033 748 02 00 For additional useful numbers please visit www.gstaadlife.ch/usefulnumbers For the latest local weather forecast visit www.gstaadlife.com/weather

Friday 27 January 2012 Page 23


Vive La Confederation Helvetique! by Mandolyna Theodoracopulos groups adapt to the overall culture. American accent and other culturIn England, where foreigners can al differences. I chose to live in a impose their own rules on the host country whose customs I share in country, some say that infight- some way or want to adopt. Othering diminishes the nation’s overall wise I would not live here. strength. While London is one of the greatest cities on Earth, given I have always been a foreigner the choice, most people would pre- among foreigners in a foreign fer the quality of place. When “Distinctions can be life in Switzerland. one has a mixed an asset, at least for The racial scene background such individuals, and is rather more as mine—my fapeaceful. Foreign- everybody likes a little ther is Greek, my ers mostly respect variety. But groups mother is halfthe host culture. Austrian and halfhave to be One might recall Colombian, and I homogenous on a that Arabs were was born in New certain level.” not calling for the York—this is hard death of the Swiss when the people to avoid. America was a good place voted against building mosques in to grow up for someone like me. Switzerland. Being an immigrant among immi-

The human urge to migrate seems as strong as ever. People have been trekking out of Africa to colonize the planet for at least 60,000 years. Before us, Homo erectus had been making the journey for a million or so years. Surely the impulse is justified by our genetic code, motives notwithstanding.

Sometimes I wonder if governing people and controlling immigration would be easier if adults were more like children. Most children hate to stand out. They often come home from school upset because of some inconsequential difference between their classmates and themselves. They simply want to be like everybody else. Some people remain this way into adulthood, while others prefer being different. For children, different is scary and abnormal. For adults, being different can make you an “individual.” Pluralism works in places such as Switzerland because different

In contrast, Arab fundamentalists often express their distaste for England, the English, and English culture. As yet another foreigner living in England, I prefer to fit in as much as I can despite my more Photo: jba / photocase.com

Whether one is for or against multiculturalism, it is an unavoidable reality. Distinctions can be an asset, at least for individuals, and everybody likes a little variety. But groups have to be homogenous on a certain level. This is where things get confusing. How different groups choose to coexist is the contentious issue.

grants isn’t bad, though I imagine having a true homeland trumps all. Colonizing a place has to be done with grace on the part of the arrivistes and acceptance by the hosts. I think we have done quite well in

Gstaad, though some of the indigenous folks might disagree. Regardless, I am grateful to the Swiss because I feel very much at home here. Like me, Gstaad is ethnically mixed. Living among the Swiss, Spanish, Italians, English, Belgians, Germans, Arabs, Greeks, and others is only a microcosm of a greater reality, however distasteful this might be for purists. Processing current human migratory patterns isn’t easy. Many of us are still adjusting to our ancestors’ moves. With the exception of Africans living in Africa, we might all be considered migrants or children of migrants. The trouble is, open immigration can be the end of a civilization. If a people don’t defend themselves and keep themselves a people, they will disappear. Vive la Confederation Helvetique!

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GstaadLife Nr. 1, Januar 2012  

GstaadLife, the exclusive monthly publication about the good life in Gstaad.

GstaadLife Nr. 1, Januar 2012  

GstaadLife, the exclusive monthly publication about the good life in Gstaad.

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