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August 2, 2013 - Issue 5 – CHF 3.50 excl VAT

Irene Kung A Portrait of Light

Alpine Guard Dogs

Swiss Sharpshooting

Madonna for a Day

Stanislas Wawrinka

All Bark and No Bite

Home, Home on the Range

Pampered Like a Popstar

For the Love of the Game



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Photo: Fotolia.com

Letter from the Editor

Golden Gate Bridge vs Gstaad Viaduct As a California girl, I can’t help but compare the Golden State to the evergreen Saanenland, especially when friends and family ask where the good life is best. Forgive me, lovely homeland of my youth. Hands down, the Saanenland wins. I was reminded of the stark differences between these two very different beautiful places while working on this issue of GSTAADLIFE.While they are each extraordinary in their own way, when comparing apples to oranges – or should I say avocados – I have to go with Gstaad. Gstaad goes Golden State This month, Gstaad gets a taste of California living with the opening of the GLOW! Healthbar, the first of its kind in the area. Smoothies are mother’s milk to Californians; juice bars must surely outnumber McDonald’s franchises, thanks to the wealth of fresh fruits and vegetables grown in its fertile valleys. Landlocked Gstaad may not boast its own seashore, but it does have its own share of


picturesque lakes high up in the surrounding mountains. And the lack of an ocean view doesn’t stop the town from hosting the active Gstaad Yacht Club, whose exciting high seas training programs for children are detailed in this edition. Hollywood, Gstaad-style In Los Angeles, shooting comes in just two forms – drive-by or film. But here, where violence is far less common, shooting is sport. GSTAADLIFE explores the world of Swiss sharpshooting this month, with insights into just how prominently gunning for sport features in this neutral nation. California may pride itself on its independent women (movie stars and rock stars included) but it hasn’t cornered the market, as you’ll see in our popular columns this issue. Last Word columnist Mandolyna Theodoracopolus takes on the delicate topic of today’s liberated women, encouraging them not to trade the yoke of the man for the yoke

of the personal assistant. Januaria Piromallo plays the queen of pop whose staff count is legendary, Madonna, for a day of hands-on treatment at The Alpina Gstaad in our Lifestyle section. Home is where the heart is My transition from California to Switzerland was cushioned by my years in Lausanne, known as the “San Francisco of Switzerland.” (Is it the hills? The alternative art museums? The large gay community?) But now I’m happy to be relocating to the Saanenland, where the altitude relaxes temperatures and this summer heat wave is more a friendly hello than a California bear hug. Because home is where the heart – and the Hobel cheese – is.

Best regards, Alexis Munier – Editor in Chief

at www.gstaadlife.com

Twitter: @GSTAADLIFE · Facebook: Gstaad Life · Youtube: GstaadLife GSTAADLIFE, Anzeiger von Saanen, Kirchstrasse 7, P.O. Box 201, 3780 Gstaad, Phone: 033 748 88 74, Fax: 033 748 88 84, info@gstaadlife.ch, www.gstaadlife.com, www.gstaadlife.ch Management Board: Frank Müller Publisher: Frank Müller, frank.mueller@gstaadlife.ch Editor in Chief: Alexis Munier Contributors: Mandolyna Theodoracopulos, Januaria Piromallo, Riitta Burri Layout: Desirée Bach, Arlette Bütschi Printing: Müller Marketing & Druck AG, Gstaad Advertising: Peter Kuntze-Schneider, peter.kuntze@ gstaadlife.ch, Phone: 033 744 46 64 Subscriptions: Flurina Mutzner, flurina.mutzner@mdruck.ch, Phone: 033 748 88 74


“Panic over. We’ve found our glasses.”

Contents 5

GSTAADLIFE Letter from the Editor


Cartoon – Oliver Preston


page 8

Local News Lift Tickets, Festival Premier Au Pays des Enfants, GLOW! Healthbar


Profile Irene Kung – A Portrait of Light


Lifestyle Over the Borderline into Massage Bliss


page 12

Sports & Leisure Welcome Back, Stan – Wawrinka Returns to the Saanenland


GYC Juniors Set Sail in Mallorca


Gstaad Living Local Apprentices Make Good at WorldSkills


GSTAADLIFE Recommends Walking on the Wild Side of Wolves and Dogs


Business Hamilton Lodge Gondola Dinner, Hotel Bären Gsteig


page 15

Traditions Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Guns But Were Afraid to Ask


Entertainment Events Calendar


Last Word M. Theodoracopulos – The Ladies’ Fall From Grace


Cover Photo: Amedeo Volpe Atelier Kung Bahnhofstrasse 16· 3777 Saanenmöser info@irenekung.com · www.irenekung.com

page 17


Special Advertising Section

Last Weeks of Clearance Sale, Price Cuts of 30 – 90% At the beginning of October, Schirato interiors / Alps Atmosphere Creation Sarl will open its boutique in the former Création d’Ambiance sales rooms (www.schirato.it).

After 24 years of activity, Création d’Ambiance Intérieur in Gstaad will close its doors at the end of September 2013. A complete clearance sale will go on until that date with massive price cuts ranging from 30 to 90 % on all goods.

The Création d’Ambiance Team looks forward to your visit. Création d’Ambiance Intérieur Suterstrasse 4 (next to the Cinéma) 3780 Gstaad Tel. 033 744 66 04

You will find lovely accessories which make ideal gifts, select lamps and rugs, fine paintings, high value furniture, exquisite cashmere and fur plaids, and many fancy cushions. There are price reductions even on precious antiques.

The New and Improved Reform-Huus Opens in the Drogerie Jaggi Organic products are all the rage across the globe – and in Swtizerland, consumption of these products is among the highest in the world. The Saanenland boasts one of the premier organic markets in the Reform-Huus, which just completed a three-month expansion designed to accommodate organic products. Located inside the Drogerie Jaggi, the Reform-Huus began in 2006 as a small health food and products section in the popular drug store. Founded in 1932 by druggist Werner Jaggi, the Saanenland institution is now run by grandson Peter Jag-

gi, the third-generation druggist whose idea it was originally to bring in organic products. The renovated section now features stone columns and woodwork, creating a natural, breathable space where clients can peruse products both on their own and with the help of four knowledgeable druggists. The store specializes in products for people with allergies and other digestive problems, with many options available for those who suffer from Celiac disease or lactose intolerance. Sufferers will find pasta, crackers and other staples in both lactose-and gluten-free varieties. Vegan Burgers, Mascara, Peanut Butter and More At the Reform-Huus, organic produce is available all year round. Fresh fruits, vegetables, and grains stock the shelves next to bread, soy and tofu products. There are many choices for vegans as well, from yogurt to ‘burgers’ and other meat-substitutes. Eco-friendly cutlery as well as hygiene sup-

plies made from organic cotton are another gem, while organic cosmetics round out the range of products found at the Reform-Huus. Customers will find all-natural brands such as Dr. Hauschka, Melvita, and Weleda – as well as Switzerland’s own locally produced line, Li. Last but not least, expats can find some of their beloved hard-to-find foods here. The Reform-Huus boasts a fine selection of almond, cashew, and peanut butter, as well as organic brown sugar – a must-have for those who enjoy baking their favourite American and English recipes. When it comes to organic, customers come to the Reform-Huus, With this latest upgrade, the Saanenland’s premier organic market will continue to provide discerning local consumers with the very best in health food and products.

Dorfstrasse 54, 3792 Saanen

Local News

Lift Tickets Discounted Again for Locals Second-home owners and tourists alike will have reason to smile this winter, as preferential lift ticket rates for the upcoming skiing season go into effect. Gstaad Mountain Rides, the company responsible for most of the ski installations in the Saanenland, announced several policies at its annual meeting that should be well-received by skiers. The SuperPass, introduced last year in collaboration with operators in the Pays d’en Haut, proved so popular that it will be reinstated this season. Nearly 1000 were sold last season, helping both semi-permanent residents and tourists afford the pricey winter sport. Discounted season passes for the Simmental and Thun district, which increased in popularity last year as well, will also be available. In addition to these preferentially priced season passes, the 2013/2014 season may also see a combined offer that would include Adelboden and Lenk.

ing high these days. While the fiscal year 2012/2013 fell below expectations, Gstaad Mountain Rides still boasted revenues of 25.3 million francs – the third-best showing of the past decade. In administrative news, Gstaad Mountain Rides bid farewell to outgoing President Ruedi Schenk. After 23 years of service, the baton was passed to Armon Cantieni, Director of Bergbahnen Destination Gstaad (BDG). Likewise, Vice-President Hans-Ruedi Steiner stepped down, while members Bruno von Allmen (Boardmember, Wasserngrat 2000) and Jürg Brönnimann (Head of Finance, BDG) were elected to the board. Berhard Tschannen, CEO of Glacier 3000, was confirmed for a further term. Photo: zVg


Festival Premier Au Pays des Enfants BY: GSTAADLIFE

The first edition of Au Pays des Enfants will be held July 27 to August 4, 2013 in the towns of Château-d’Oex, Rougemont and Rossinière. The festival, aimed at children of all ages and their families, will feature an exiciting array of activities: Almost 90 shows and events on six indoor stages, concerts, readings and street performances.Only indoor shows require paid tickets, which are a bargain at between 8 and 29 francs apiece. Each town has its own special plans, with Rougemont hosting renowned performers Gommette and Gabatcho and well as the group Makadam under the theme of ‘Clown’. GoldenPass trains will run more frequently to accommodate the 15,000 visitors expected to attend the nine days of fun.

These new policies reflect the current standing of Gstaad Mountain Rides, which is rid-


GLOW! Healthbar Opens – Juicing Up Gstaad’s Wellness Sector The phenomenon that has swept the world is now finally available in Gstaad. The Saanenland’s first juice bar opens August 1st on the Promenade. Located inside Pernet Comestibles, GLOW! Healthbar is a match made in juice heaven, pairing Pernet’s wide selection of exotic fruits and vegetables and GLOW!’s juicing expertise. The new juice bar is the brainchild of local wellness enthusiast Blanca Brillembourg and marketing guru Diana D’Hendecourt, who’ve invited juice guru Jill Pettijohn to headline the opening. Pettijohn, whose New York City clients include celebrities Nicole Kidman and Donna Karan, will be at the juice bar in early August to make à la carte recipes for customers and design bespoke smoothies, mixing the right enzymes and vitamins to meet the customer’s specific needs. A chacun son juice GLOW! will offer six signature juices, four

smoothies made with fresh hemp/rice/almond milk, and power shots like wheat grass, lemon ginger, goji powder, tahini and collagen. All ingredients are organic and farm-grown in Switzerland, including the kale and wheatgrass that are grown locally in the Saanenland. Freshly made everyday, the juices are blended with JAX coconut water, another product developed by Gstaad residents Jane and Max Gottschalk. All the rage in the US and Europe, coconut water is billed as a hydrating, low calorie drink whose electrolyte level is similar to that of human blood. To please younger customers whose tastes may not run to the exotic, GLOW! offers the one juice every kid can love: Lemonade. And for calorie-conscious customers, the bar features 3- and 7-day juice fasting programs for safe, effective detoxing. So whether you’re looking to juice your way to better health, weight loss, or just good taste, you’ll find your juicing pleasure at GLOW! – starting August 1.

GLOW! Healthbar is open during Pernet’s standards opening hours, Monday to Friday 8:30 to 12.30 and 14:00 to 18:30, Saturday 8:30 –12:30 and 13:30 –17:00.

Photo: Fotolia.com





House of Parliament by Irene Kung


An ancient oak tree glows in the night. Dancing shadows crisscross the Brooklyn Bridge. Long, foamy waves drag the viewer under. It’s no wonder they call her “Le Corbusier of the Click”. Renowned Swiss photographer Irene Kung was born in 1958 in Bern and has since trav-

elled the world in pursuit of the perfect image. Globetrotter Kung is now headquartered full-time in the Saanenland, where she has a farmhouse and adjoining studio. With a prestigious Hasselblad digital camera around her neck, Kung makes buildings and monuments like the Hagia Sophia, Westminster Abbey, Notre Dame and Milan’s Duomo come alive in her trademark light/dark Caravaggio style. Kung literally invented a genre.

Her photographs, taken just before sunset, ensure a smooth range of light and shadow. She uses little colour; the magic is in Kung’s post-production through computer processing that allows for delicate nuances – shades of grey shine as they were silver. The celebrated artist sat down with GSTAADLIFE to discuss her new home base here, future exhibitions, and why dreams are indeed her reality.

Profile to reveal the personality of the object itself.

Success only comes to those who dare to dream. IRENE KUNG

The dream-like aspect of my work is not accidental. Working via intuition, I approach the mysterious and essential content of the subject. Daydreaming makes it possible for us to see what’s behind things. We can’t think if we can’t imagine. I take portraits of people as well, but rarely exhibit them. For me, they are almost too personal to expose to the world.

ture. There you are, alone in your studio with brush in hand, for hours on end. Photography better suits my extroverted personality. Now, off I go to exotic places with my camera in hand, right into the hustle and bustle of cities – a great source of life and energy! – to interact with the objects and monuments themselves. I will paint again someday when I’m ready… just not now.

GL: What makes a great photograph? GSTAADLIFE: Your father was from Bern and your mother was Canadian. How did you discover the Saanenland? IK: I spent the first 15 years of my life in Bern and discovered the Saanenland as a child, coming here with my family to ski each winter. I love to ski and my house has the advantage of having a ski lift just next to it. It’s a special house – my father built in the early 1960’s. The Saanenland is home to me and it is THE place where I can relax and ‘recharge my batteries’ after travelling to big cities for my work. For me, the ultimate trip combines travelling for work and seeing friends!

GL: You began your career as a painter, is that correct? IK: I remember coming home from school as a child. There would be a special mood at home and I knew that meant my mother was painting; the only way to describe it would be happy, relaxed and curious. I began as a painter, not to follow in my mother’s footsteps, but because it came naturally to me. I focused mainly on still life.

GL: Why the switch to photography? IK: Painting is an introverted activity by na-

GL: What has brought you back to Saanenmöser full-time? IK: This is an interesting question...I can’t say why I came yet. I believe all decisions are made in the gut, long before our minds can rationalize or process them. I left Rome three years ago after nearly three decades of making my life and home there. After three years in Milan, I knew I had to go even further north, to the Saanenland, where something I can’t describe was calling me home.

GL: Do you have a specific approach to photography? What can you tell me about your technique? IK: My photographs are distinctive. They are mostly black and white and feature monuments, trees and animals. In fact, I am a portrait photographer – what I take are portraits of physical structures that blur out the rest of the world and focus exclusively on the objects. There are striking buildings whose beauty has been rendered banal by their surroundings. I aim to photograph ‘simply,’ and further simplify the images by removing the superfluous people and noise and trash later

Albero Genitore by Irene Kung

IK: Photography is all about light – and shadows, really. Anything and anyone can be beautiful if the lighting is appropriate. I love the dark that permits me to illuminate what I like.

GL: You’ve become one of the most celebrated photographers of our time, with exhibitions around the world and a loyal fan base. Besides undeniable talent, what is the secret of your success? IK: Success only comes to those who dare to dream. For me, dreaming is like relaxation for the mind – it allows us to hope, to think



Profile positively, and release our negative thoughts and energies. It’s the surest way to make our dreams come true. I have the good fortune to do something I love and earn a living –an incredible gift for which I feel truly blessed.

GL: How can local residents discover your work? IK: This fall I have a busy schedule, with exhibitions in China, the United States, Milano, Lucca and one in Switzerland in December, in Lugano. For those who can’t make it any of these or ParisPhoto, my latest book of photographs, The Invisible City, is available on www.amazon.com. Which reminds me – I’ll be in Beijing soon to sign copies at the book launch ceremony for the Chinese edition! Most importantly, I want to reconnect with friends both old and new in the Saanenland. I’m hosting an open studio during the Polo days, August 15 to 18 from 4 to 6 pm. During this time, visitors can see my studio, where I’ll have many different photographs and

light boxes on display and for sale. Atelier Kung is located at 16 Bahnhofstrasse, Saanenmöser. Visitors are welcome August 15 to August 18 from 4 to 6 pm each day. For more information, please visit www.irenekung.com.

Upcoming Exhibitions / Fairs November 23 – December 15, 2013 Photolux Festival · Lucca, Italy December 12, 2013 – January 31, 2014 Photographica Fine Art · Lugano, Switzerland December 2013 and January 2014, Dates TBD · Laura Rathe Fine Art · Houston, Texas, USA / Dallas, Texas, USA Autumn 2013, Dates TBD Book Launch – Chinese edition of ‘The Invisible City’ Beijing, China November 14 – 17, 2013 ParisPhoto · Paris, France

Chrysler by Irene Kung

Town house for sale Charming Chalet located in the heart of Saanen. The chalet occupies three floors with a living surface of 105 m2, two bedrooms, one bathroom, a guest toilet, a kitchen, dining room and living room. The ground floor holds 62 m2 with a cellar, laundry room and separate commercial space. Total surface 167 m2 Asking Price: 2.2Mio. ID Number: W-0193D0

Gstaad Telefon +41-(0) 33-655 65 05 www.engelvoelkers.ch/gstaad ·


Over the Borderline into Massage Bliss BY: JANUARIA PIROMALLO PHOTO: ZVG

Lucky Star – that was Madonna in Gstaad. (Oh, you thought it was just a rumour that Madonna was in Gstaad last season? Think again.) Madonna first came as a guest of the designer Valentino, to test her limits skiing on the slopes of Eggli. (She might not be the greatest skier, but hey, she has other talents.) Later, she stayed at The Alpina Gstaad with her staff – secretary, personal assistants, personal trainer, bodyguards, daughter Lourdes and boy toy fiancé. Madonna reserved the Majestic Suite. Yes, that’s the one with the private gym, the steam bath and the heated outdoor swimming pool with a view on the mountains. But that’s not enough for a pop star. For a truly star-worthy respite, you need shiatsu. Madonna apparently loves shiatsu. Usually the shiatsu therapist simply came to Madonna in the Majestic Suite. But as it turned

out, Madonna was willing to come to the mountain for a specialty treatment called the Tree of Life. According to the Kabbalah, the Tree of Life symbolizes the hidden laws of the universe. (Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you know that Madonna practices Kabbalah.) So Madonna donned a baseball cap and huge sunglasses, and snuck into the glittering Spa, where Bettina was waiting to rock her world. Bettina rocks my world But now, Bettina is waiting for me. The gracious young woman, half Chinese and half Swiss, is reported to have a magic touch in her hands. “Make me feel like I’m a Lucky Star,” I said. And she did. First Bettina revitalised and purified skin with a Himalayan salt scrub, very in minerals. Next she wrapped me up a baby in a detox herbal bandage. I

my rich like had

my choice of energising essential oils: ginger, rose geranium, manoi, jasmine, among many, many others. Apparently the choice is important (I chose manoi), as it helps to harmonize the body’s yin and yang. I was foamed like a vanilla milkshake! Under Bettina’s sure hands, my profound healing continued. With soothing Zen music playing in the background, she massaged me strongly, but gently, from head to toe. As she focused on pressure points to relieve my built-up stress, she melted my tensions away. The glorious finale: A delicious face massage that lifted my spirit, sending all of my senses on a journey to paradise. Ray of light When the heavenly treatment was over, I was certain my bio-energy field was as pure and crystal clear as the Saanenland’s best alpine water. I felt like a pop star – spoiled, pampered, cradled, smoothed and caressed. I was Madonna, la divina for a day.



Sports & Leisure

Welcome Back, Stan Wawrinka Returns to the Saanenland BY: ALEXIS MUNIER PHOTO: MICHAEL FÖHN

GSTAADLIFE had the pleasure to speak with Stan Wawrinka on July 15, just before his appearance at the Gstaad Open. Since the interview took place, Wawrinka retired from his quarterfinal match against Felciano Lopez after a medical timeout for back pain.

GL: This is your tenth time here at the tournament in Gstaad – one for the record books! How do you feel about participating in it again? SW: I feel great, because I’ve had a good season so far. I managed to win a clay court tournament against one of the best players on earth, David Ferrer. So I hope to play well in Gstaad – and I’m excited to see my fans there again.

GL: Tell us about your first Swiss Open, when you were only 18 years old. SW: I remember it well. I had received a wild card and played Jean-Rene Lisnard in the first round. I won the first set, but finally lost in the third set. There were many fantastic players there, like Roger Federer, Alex Corretja and Gaston Gaudio. I was really proud to have played in the tournament.

GL: What do you appreciate about the Saanenland and Gstaad in particular? SW: I always like to come here; it’s a beautiful region with lots of fresh air. Sometimes I come in winter to train as well. I always stay at the Grand Hotel Park, where I feel at home now.

GL: Do you feel you play differently on home turf in Switzerland than anywhere else in the world? How so? SW: I’ve always loved playing in Switzerland in front of my public, whether in Gstaad, at the Davis Cup, or in the Challengers. I’m always motivated to play well for my Swiss fans.

GL: Some might say you’ve spent years in the shadow of fellow native Roger Federer. But you’ve taken this time to play and train hard. How does it feel to come into your own now, as your career moves securely into the spotlight? SW: Switzerland is a small country, and it’s only normal that everyone’s attention was focused on Roger. He’s a tennis god and

Sports & Leisure can’t be compared to any other player. That said, lately things may have changed a little, because he’s won a bit less often these past years than during his record-winning years. I’ve also been winning more in general and playing better matches than before.

GL: Since your stellar game against Djokovic earlier in the season, you’ve said you just need a bit of consistency to reach the top ten. How are you taking steps to improve in this area? SW: I’m happy to be back in the top ten. My level has improved and I know that there are days when I could beat even the best players. I continue to train hard every day to better my skills and increase my changes against players like Roger, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray–who are still far ahead of the rest.

GL: You have a loyal fan base that adores you – and loves the way you interact with

them via social media. How does maintaining contact with your supporters inspire your performance?

public-safety campaigns. How do you feel every time you pass a Visilab or ‘Slow Down’ Police Vaudoise billboard?

SW: I like to stay in contact with my fans and give them updates via Twitter and Facebook. Sometimes it’s interesting to see their reactions after posting photos of my trips and my days on the court. (@stanwawrinka)

SW: I’m happy to have partners like Visilab and to have had the chance to help the Police Force of Canton Vaud with the road security campaign. I really like to shoot commercials from time to time… it’s fun and I have a blast on set, dressing up in disguises like the Joker, for example.

GL: You and your family are based near Lausanne, where you grew up. Why have you chosen to stay in the area? SW: I grew up in Lausanne and my wife lived in Geneva for many years. It’s perfect for us to live between the two cities. It’s a beautiful region and it’s always a pleasure to see the whole family when I come home.

GL: You’re fast becoming a household name – and face – as you partner with advertisers and serve as the spokesperson for

GL: On that note, you told the SonntagsZeitung that you’d love to drive a race car. Shall we introduce you to local resident Bernie Ecclestone? SW: Ha! Maybe it’s better not to ask him quite yet. I need to concentrate on tennis. I’ve had the good fortune of partnering with Autocorner in Lutry, which allows me to test drive the latest cars. But I’d like to see a Formula One car someday…why not take it for a spin, if I have the time and opportunity?

GYC Juniors Set Sail in Mallorca Teaching kids to sail is a dedication of the Gstaad Yacht Club (GYC). This year the club celebrated a first – hosting its sailing camp abroad. From 4th to 10th of July the third GYC Sailing Camp for juniors aged between 7 and 13 was held on the island of Mallorca. This was made possible because of the generous support of a GYC member who offered their private yacht as an excursion boat, so a big thank you goes out to them from all the children and coaches. They also gave access to training boats called Open Bic’s, which are much more agile and faster than the Optimists which the kids usually sail. The sailing on it was more challenging, but increased the learning curve positively. Out on the water On Thursday evening the seven girls from the Saanenland arrived in Mallorca and by Friday they were ready to take advantage of the first strong breeze. During the first few days, the young sailors learned and practiced the basics of sailing in the bay of Porto Colom, where they were protected from the bigger waves and the stronger wind of the

Mediterranean Sea. After 4–5 hours of training, the children had some time to enjoy the beach and go swimming. On the 4th day of the week-long camp, three of seven juniors ventured to sail out of the bay and made their first experience of sailing on the open sea. They were of course accompanied by the coaches’ support boat. A pirate’s treasure At the end of the camp, the junior sailors were rewarded for their fine efforts with a treasure hunt in a remote cove. This fitting fi-

nale was organized by the coaches, who said that a good time was had by all. Most importantly, coaches Dominic & Dominic reported that all of the children greatly improved their sailing skills during the camp, whether it was their first camp or third. The girls gained experience and are better young sailors for all their hard work. For more information: The sailing program continues on Lake Thun in August, and will continue in 2014. Interested parties should contact head coach Dominic: sportevents@gstaadyachtclub.com. Photo: GYC


GYC juniors make their way to the open sea.


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Gstaad Living

Local Apprentices Make Good at WorldSkills Two locally trained apprentices Vanessa Schnyder and Serafin Steinemann brought home the individual fourth and fifth place titles in the 2013 WorldSkills competition in Leipzig, Germany in July. Protegés of pastry chef Stefan Romang from Charly’s Gstaad and plasterer Rudolf Mösching of Mösching Gipser and Maler AG, the talented apprentices were part of the combined Swiss team which outscored all of the competition except for Korea, who won first place. Following Switzerland were China, Japan, Brazil and Germany in third, fourth, fifth, and sixth place respectively.

young professionals as well as trainees. Among the disciplines are very traditional occupations such as goldsmithing and bricklaying, but in recent years fields like web design and network engineering have also been added. “When we win or place well, it’s the best advertisement for our profession,” says Rudolf Mösching. This year more than 54 countries were represented in Leipzig, with more than 1,000 candidates attending. The event covered a massive 180,000 square meters and 200,000 visitors came to see the young candidates at work.

“WorldSkills is an excellent place for networking,” says Stefan Romang.

Candidates and apprentices sent to WorldSkills are traditionally the winners of the national SwissSkills competition. The event requires not only dedication and the highest professional skills, but a large amount of money. Despite partial government financing and scholarships, costs to attend the WorldSkills event are a concern for the competitors. Fortunately, the honour of competing and the potential success of winning keep their dreams alive.

The WorldSkills participants compete in 46 different disciplines and include seasoned

The Swiss advantage With an active apprenticeship culture, Swit-

Showing off their skills WorldSkills International is a non-profit association that promotes vocational education and training around the world. Every two years, candidates from member organisations compete in their respective service industry or labour categories.

Photo: Michael Föhn


zerland has traditionally done well in the competitions. In 2011, the Swiss Office of Professional Training and Technology estimated that there were 81,000 apprenticeship opportunities available in the country. According to the agency, young people are looking for more positions in the service, printing, design and decorative arts sectors as well as in the health, medical and social fields. Switzerland is also known for its so-called ‘dual-system,’ in which apprentices receive practical hands-on training while simultaneously attending theory classes in their disciplines. After earning their diplomas and working for a specific amount of time, they are then eligible to attend university or Fachhochschule, a specialised higher education institution that awards Bachelors or Masters degrees.


Walking on the Wild Side of Wolves and Dogs BY: GSTAADLIFE

If you’re hiking here in the Saanenland, there’s no need to beware of wolves, who are generally more afraid of you than you are of them. Surprisingly, a bigger threat is the dogs trained to drive them away. The recent proliferation of wolves in the Saanenland has prompted local shepherds to employ guard dogs – Herdenschutzhunde – to keep the wolves at bay. These guard dogs are trained to keep all predators away, and do not distinguish between hikers and wolves. The wolf population has grown rapidly in Switzerland since 1996, when their presence was first recorded since the population died out in 1690’s. Wolves regularly kill livestock in Switzerland’s Alpine regions, but regulations limit what shepherds can do about it. Only after an individual wolf has killed

25 sheep or goats in a period of one month or 35 in four months is it allowed to be killed. This is why guard dogs have become so important – and so common – in the Saanenland. For these working dogs, protecting the herd is the prime objective at all times. An encounter with an “intruder” may provoke a number of defensive postures – from persistent barking to all-out attack.

The hills are alive with wolves and dogs Herds reside on pastures in the summer months, pastures which are often crossed by hiking trails. Hikers may encounter guard dogs in several Saanenland locations, including but not limited to Sanetschgebiet and in the Simmental. While attacks are rare and usually benign, you should be prepared to protect yourself, your fellow hikers, and especially your dogs while enjoying Alpine trails.

How to Disarm a Guard Dog If you encounter a guard dog, remain calm above all. And remember these precautions: 1 Do not attack the dog. 2 Do not attempt to scare the animal with a stick or other weapon. 3 Do not approach the dog. 4 Do not feed the dog, as this may lure it away from the herd it’s supposed to protect. 5 Do not move too quickly, as guard dogs, sheep, and goats may react badly when surprised by quick movements, including running and cycling. If you’re walking your own dog, keep it leashed and close by. The best strategy: Simply ignore the animal and walk past it. The guard dog will eventually stop barking and return to its herd.



The Gourmet Gondola: Wining and Dining in Mid-Air BY: RIITTA BURRI

There’s fine dining in the Saanenland – and then there’s fine dining over the Saanenland. On August 31st and September 28th, adventurous diners can enjoy a three-course gourmet meal floating above the Rinderberg in a chalet-style gondola designed by hotelier and interior designer Jacqueline Wegink of Hamilton Lodge. With the Gourmet Gondola, Hamilton Lodge and the Derby Restaurant in Zweisimmen have created a culinary experience not to be missed.

At mid-station, the crew from Hamilton Lodge whisks away the first-course dishes, and delivers the main course, piping hot and accompanied by fine wines. The journey up to the mountain peak and back to the middle station allows guests plenty of time to enjoy the meal and the landscape under the setting sun. Once back at middle station, guests alight from the gondola and proceed to the Lodge, where a sumptuous dessert buffet awaits. The morning-after brunch Guests who’d like to make a weekend out of

For more information and reservations for the Gourmet Gondola, call 033 222 74 74 or visit www.derby-zweisimmen.ch or www.hamiltonlodge.ch Photo: zVg

“There was a high demand for something new and different in the area“ explains Jacqueline Wegink. “Tobias König of Zweisimmen came up with the idea, and I was really keen on extending the Hamilton Lodge décor into the gondolas, which travel just past our hotel.”

the event can arrange to spend the night in one of Hamilton Lodge’s 22 quaint rooms. There the epicurean extravaganza continues with a Classical Music Sunday Brunch on the sundrenched terrace, featuring talented young musicians from the Hochschule für Kunst und Musik in Bern during the month of August.

A high-flying feast The Gourmet Gondola offers an extraordinary repast from soup to nuts for up to four diners. Before setting off on this gastronomic journey, guests are invited to enjoy pre-flight cocktails at the base station. The first course is served as the gondola climbs over the treetops to the swelling of classical music from far below, played for the gondola dinner guests on a sweet summer night. Red checkered curtains, porcelain dishware, a real table built in and sparkling lights for atmosphere all contribute to this one-of-a-kind experience.

Economic Woes Sink Historic Hotel Bären BY: GSTAADLIFE

The 18th-century Hotel Bären in Gsteig will cease operations beginning September 1st. Scherz Hotel AG, which took over the 250year old landmark in 2010, will not renew its contract, citing economic reasons. “Since the acquisition of the Hotel Bären, the sinking economy has greatly disadvantaged our operational costs,” says Andrea Scherz, Board of Directors, Scherz AG. “Non-smoking and mandated lower blood-alcohol laws, rising personnel costs and the more difficult growing economic environment force us to take this step, which we find extremely regrettable.”

Long considered a regional gem, the Hotel Bären has struggled to stay afloat despite many efforts to attract guests. But building and maintaining a loyal customer base has proven challenging in Gsteig, which has only three hotels, two of which are now closed for renovation. The future of the hotel, including its new proprietors, remains unknown. At this time, no one can say whether September will bring simply an off-season pause or an indefinite closure. “We are trying our best to find a solution,” promises Gemeinde- and Gemeinderatspräsident (City Councilman) Markus Willen.

Photo: Michael Föhn



Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Guns But Were Afraid to Ask Photo: Marcel Marmet


Forget the Wild Wild West. When it comes to guns, cowboys don’t have anything on the Swiss. Gun culture is entrenched in Switzerland. With an estimated 1.2 to 2.3 million firearms in circulation, you can be sure that no matter which side of the Röstigraben you’re on, there’s always a rifle within shooting distance. But the Swiss love affair with firearms is not driven by blood thirst or violence. Here weaponry is deeply rooted in the Swiss national identity. Since the days of folk hero William Tell, who took down his enemies with a crossbow, the Swiss have armed themselves to thwart any and all enemy invaders. And although Switzerland has been neutral since 1815, visitors and foreign residents alike might be surprised to see Swiss natives carrying guns openly in public on trains, buses, and even at the grocery store. Gun control misses the mark The gun laws in Switzerland are among the most liberal on the planet. Yet the violent crime rate here is one of the lowest in the world, with just 0.5 gun homicides per 100,000 inhabitants in 2010 (ten times lower than the United States). That said, mass shootings are on the increase. There have been two such tragedies so far in 2013 alone: One in a factory in Menznau (LU) that killed four and injured six, and in Daillon (VS) that killed three and injured two. In a 2011 referendum, the Swiss overwhelmingly rejected stricter gun control laws. The saying “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people” could be a reasonable rationale here; in Switzerland the sense of social responsibility is high and guns are treated with care and respect. The peaceful Swiss actually consider sharpshooting a family pastime. Ready, aim, fire The majority of Swiss men are first introduced to arms during their obligatory military service, which usually begins at age 18 or 19 and continues through their early 30’s. Switzerland mandates that all active military personnel keep a personal weapon. Until recently soldiers were ordered to keep their service rifles or pistols at home; however, since 2010 soldiers also have the

option of storing their weapons at the local armoury. But with more young recruits opting to perform civil service instead of serving in the military, the days when every Swiss household contained a gun are becoming a thing of the past. More and more men who have finished their military service are also turning in their weapons rather than buying them at reduced rates from the military as a ‘parting gift’. Current statistics from the Small Arms Survey of Geneva show that only 20% of all Swiss households contain a firearm of some kind. In comparison, 43% of households in the United States contain a firearm. Gunning for pleasure Swiss living in rural or remote areas are often introduced to guns via hunting. The sportsman tradition is often passed from father to son – and, increasingly, from father to daughter as well. But you need more than a gun from Dad to hunt in Switzerland. First, you need to obtain a hunter’s license. Applicants must be at least 20 years old and pass a lengthy exam. Moreover, applicants can only take the exam after completing a year of courses covering everything from dog breeds and identification of flora and fauna to firearms

handling, amongst other topics. Hunting in Switzerland today is closely tied to forestry and conservation management; permits with quotas to kill specific sexes of animal are enforced. To combat overpopulation, females and younger animals are often designated for kill by the Federal Office of the Environment (FOEN), the body responsible for federal hunting regulations, while specific permits are issued cantonally. The art of Swiss sharpshooting Sharpshooting is a popular sport in Switzerland, where its 3,000-plus shooting clubs claim some 150,000 members. Shooting may be practiced from the age of 10 onward by Swiss citizens. Foreigners or non-Swiss residents must obtain a permit from the local authorities before they may shoot at a range. In order to gain membership, an applicant must be found able to properly and safely handle a gun; training will be provided to those who want to become permanent members. For some Swiss, shooting is an elite sport. Such elite shooting is regulated by the Swiss Sports Shooting Association, which is a member of the International Olympic Committee. Popular events include pistol shooting at 10, 25, 50 and 300 metres, and air rifle shooting at 10, 50 and 300 metres.



Entertainment Events Calendar Friday, August 2, 2013 through Thursday, August 22, 2013 Fri. Aug 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 Lauenen Foklore Evening with Yodelling Folklore Evening with Swiss music. Every Friday through August. Fri. Aug 2 – Sat. Sept 7 Gstaad 57th Menuhin Festival Gstaad A classical music festival with world-famous artists. www.menuhinfestivalgstaad.ch Sat. Aug 3 Gstaad Public Cow Sale on the Alp Gumm Tradition reins at this event for customers and gawkers alike. Sun. Aug 4, 11, 18, 25 Saanenmöser Art Exhibition Paintings by Oskar Fuchs and sculptures by Martin Hill. Sun. Aug 4, 11, 18, 25 Gstaad Wispile Events The «mountain breakfast» is served every Sunday from June to October. Thu. Aug 8, 15, 22, 29 Lauenen Guided Tour of Lauenensee Interesting tour with a local hiking guide through the nature reserve. Fri. Aug 9 - Sat. Aug 10 Golf Tournament Grand Hotel Park hosts the Pro-Am tournament. Sat. Aug 10 Gstaad Kids Run Parallel to the Glacier 3000 run.



Sat. Aug 10 Saanenmöser Public Sale of Cows on the Alp Hornberg Tradition reins at this event for customers and gawkers alike. Sat. Aug 10 Lauenen Span Concert Rock the night away with legendary local band Span. Tickets from 20-30 chf are available at the Tourism Bureau. Sat. Aug 10 Gstaad Sixth annual Glacier 3000 Run The attractive race begins in Gstaad, continues through Gsteig, crosses the Col du Pillon and ends at the summit of Glacier 3000.

Sat. Aug 10 Saanen Open-air party at the “Landhaus” With “Schnulze & Schnultze” Free entry. Sun. Aug 11 Saanenmöser Suufsunntig on the Alp Plani Traditional feast on the Alp Plani. Tue. Aug 13 Gstaad Zither concert Werner Frey plays original compositions on the zither. Thu. Aug 15 - Sun. Aug 18 Saanenmöser Atelier Kung Exhibition World-renowned photographer Irene Kung hosts an open studio at 16 Bahnhofstrasse. Thu. Aug 15 - Sun. Aug 18 Saanen Hublot Polo Gold Cup Gstaad The “royal“ game captivates the spectators every year with top-ranking players. Thu. Aug 15 - Sun. Oct 27 Saanenmöser Art Exhibition The famous draftswoman of motor sports with classic cars presents her works. Fri. Aug 16 - Sat. Aug 17 Zweisimmen Mannrieder Chiubi Concert featuring lineup of bands. Sat. 17 Aug 13 Gstaad Music Society Gstaad Concert at the “Kapälliplatz“ on the Promenade. Sat. Aug 17 - Sun. Aug 18 Bordairline Paragliding race.

Sun. Aug 18 Schönried Suufsunntig Traditional feast on the Alp Gspan. every year with top-ranking players. Thu. Aug 15 - Sun. Oct 27 Saanenmöser Art Exhibition The famous draftswoman of motor sports with classic cars presents her works. Fri. Aug 9 - Sat. Aug 10 Zweisimmen Gondola Dinner Food, music, “Gondeliromantik” dinner at the Hamilton Lodge. 89 CHF per person, 7:15 pm to 11:30 pm.

Your confidence is our highest commitment

Gstaad 033 748 77 88 · Feutersoey 033 755 19 51 www.raiffeisen.ch/saanenland


Wed. Jul 31 - Sat. Aug 3 Zweisimmen Summer Festival Varied program including a party night,concerts and more. www.gstaad.ch/zweisimmen

Classified For sale magnificent chalet in Gstaad, 3 minutes walk from the center of the village, marvelous panorama on the mountains, 8 rooms For informations: Cipher 27512 Anzeiger von Saanen, Kirchstr. 6, 3780 Gstaad or admin@mdruck.ch

Clubs Rotary Club Gstaad-Saanenland Meetings every Monday 12h00 Palace Hotel Gstaad (033 / 748 50 00), President: Rot. Christian Sieber (026 / 924 45 25) Program: Rot. Pascal Rey (026 / 925 10 00) Lions Club Gstaad-Saanenland Meetings each first and third week of the month on Thursdays, either at 12 pm for lunch or at 7 pm for dinner. Meetings in Ermitage, Wellness & Spa-Hotel, Schönried, Tel. 033 748 60 60. For details and program contact Philippe Werren, president, 033 748 84 00, philippe.werren@werrenag.ch, https://gstaad-saanenland.lionsclub.ch


Classified Occassional dog-sitter needed bigtopvintage@gmail.com

Church Services St Peter’s Anglican Church English-Speaking, Château-d’Oex Service every Sunday, 17.30 pm www.allsaints.ch/chateaudoex Contact: cliveatkinson@bluewin.ch

Important Numbers Ambulance 144, Police 117, Fire 118 Medical emergency 0900 57 67 47 Dental emergency 033 748 02 00 Dental Care Center 033 744 15 45 Police station 033 356 84 31 Car accident 033 744 88 80 Zweisimmen Hospital 033 729 26 26 Château-d‘Oex Hospital 026 923 43 43 Veterinarian 033 748 08 58/ 033 744 06 61 For additional useful numbers please visit www.gstaadlife.ch/useful-numbers.html

GSTAADLIFE is available in these Hotels **** * GSTAAD PALACE +41 (0)33 748 50 00, info@palace.ch

** * HOTEL DES ALPES BY BRUNO KERNEN +41 (0)33 748 04 50, info@desalpes.ch

**** * GRAND HOTEL PARK +41 (0)33 748 98 00, info@grandhotelpark.ch

** * HOTEL BELLERIVE +41 (0)33 748 88 33, info@gstaad4.com

**** * GRAND HOTEL BELLEVUE +41 (0)33 748 00 00, info@bellevue-gstaad.ch

*** HOTEL ALPENLAND +41 (0)33 765 91 34, hotel@alpenland.ch

**** * THE ALPINA GSTAAD +41 (0)33 888 98 88, info@thealpinagstaad.ch

*** HOTEL ALPHORN +41 (0)33 748 45 45, office@gstaad-alphorn.ch

***** WELLNESS & SPA HOTEL ERMITAGE +41 (0)33 748 04 30, reservation@ermitage.ch

*** HOTEL KERNEN +41 (0)33 748 40 20, info@hotel-kernen.ch

*** * HOTEL ALPENROSE +41 (0)33 748 91 91, info@hotelalpenrose.ch

*** HOTEL LANDHAUS +41 (0)33 748 40 40, info@landhaus-saanen.ch

*** * GOLFHOTEL LES HAUTS DE GSTAAD +41 (0)33 748 68 68, mail@golfhotel.ch

*** HOTEL SAANERHOF +41 (0)33 744 15 15, hotel@saanerhof.ch

**** GRAND CHALET +41 (0)33 748 76 76, hotel@grandchalet.ch

** * HOTEL SOLSANA +41 (0)33 748 94 94, info@solsana.ch

**** HOTEL ARC-EN-CIEL +41 (0)33 748 43 43, info@arc-en-ciel.ch

*** POSTHOTEL RÖSSLI +41 (0)33 748 42 42, info@posthotelroessli.ch

**** HOTEL BERNERHOF +41 (0)33 748 88 44, info@bernerhof-gstaad.ch

*** SAANEWALD LODGE +41 (0)33 744 69 69, info@saanewald-lodge.ch

**** HOTEL CHRISTIANIA +41 (0)33 744 51 21, info@christiania.ch

*** SPORTHOTEL VICTORIA +41 (0)33 748 44 22, info@victoria-gstaad.ch

**** HOTEL GSTAADERHOF: +41 (0)33 748 63 63, info@gstaaderhof.ch

** LE PETIT RELAIS +41 (0)33 744 35 65, info@lepetitrelais.ch

**** HOTEL OLDEN +41 (0)33 748 49 50, info@hotelolden.com

HOTEL BÄREN +41 (0)33 755 10 33, hotel@baerengsteig.ch

**** ROMANTIK HOTEL HORNBERG +41 (0)33 748 66 88, willkommen@hotel-hornberg.ch

GASTHOF GELTENHORN +41 (0)33 765 30 22, info@gasthof-geltenhorn.ch

**** HOTEL STEIGENBERGER +41 (0)33 748 64 64, gstaad@steigenberger.ch

HOTEL VIKTORIA +41 (0)33 755 10 34, hotel_viktoria@bluewin.ch

** * HOTEL ALPINE LODGE +41 (0)33 748 41 51, info@alpinelodge.ch

HOTEL WILDHORN +41 (0)33 765 30 12, info@hotel-wildhorn.ch

Photo: Fotolia.com

Last Word


I find it ironic that 21st-century women seem more dependent than their forebears. Are these so-called liberated women as powerless as they act? Perhaps they are just lazy or over-coddled? It is hard to say. There are few women anymore from good families who know how to cook, sew, clean, dress, and entertain in perfect style. Unlike in the 1950’s, rare is the woman that knows how to keep house. I am often struck by how disorganised many women can be. I suppose it should come as no surprise. Since the Industrial Revolution modern women have come of age in a time of rebellion, burning bras, leaving the kitchen and often hiring others to run the dishwasher and bake the cookies. If a woman has no interest in being June Cleaver, that is her choice. But why substitute the yoke of the man for the yoke of the personal assistant? Surely our mothers did not fight for liberation just to produce overindulged daughters. Of course, there are very capable women who work and play house with skill and aplomb, but they seem to be the exception in my view. Recently, however, I had the misfortune of encountering the modern, messy, inconsiderate kind – in the form of a houseguest. She slept almost all of the day. Having left her clothes strewn about the floor and not just in her room, she would also discard her empty glasses about the house, usually with a few

ice cubes on a marble table. She never offered to buy a meal – after I had given her three meals and a cozy bed in which to sleep. There was no offer of help with the dishes, nor a small bouquet of flowers, nor a bottle of vino to ease the nerves. Nothing! Worst of all, she left without tipping the housekeeper one cent. In her own life this woman has an army of full-time assistants. Unless you count having your photograph taken, she has few practical skills and even fewer ideas about how to entertain at home. She certainly takes no pleasure in homemaking. Fortunately, she was only an acquaintance, but I know of other women like this. Arriving like movie stars, they expect to be looked after – if not by you, by your “people” (should you have them). They expect you to attend to their every whim. Too many years of being waited on hand and foot have rendered them incapable of doing anything themselves, whether it be holding a mobile telephone, boiling a kettle of water, ordering a taxi, or driving a motorcar. Many of them actually have no driving license. They come expecting you to lend them clothes, provide handsome suitors, stay up with them all night…and then serve them breakfast. And lunch! And dinner! All while maintaining a pleasant mood. Oy vey, they must think everyone is in PR! These women couldn’t decorate a house or put together a dinner party if their lives depended on it. They can barely delegate, much less cook. How hard can it be to order de-

cent food from a good restaurant? Even the most hopeless ought to manage such a task. Believe it or not I have seen take-out food served at sit down dinners in aluminium containers. Here’s a tip, darling: First put the food on your own serving plates and then pass it off as your own. These women don’t even own most of their clothes – they borrow clothes from designers and basically live to have themselves photographed at parties. It is no wonder they are so messy and careless, one has to actually own something to value it. People like this don’t seem to live anywhere beyond the pages of HELLO! magazine. They go from party to party, from hotel to hotel, and from free bed to free bed, all with no sense or centre. For them, perhaps the height of luxury would be to live in a hotel and have a fulltime concierge. They have little idea of how to do anything that they haven’t picked up in Hollywood. If they do manage to throw a big party, they make it look like some dreadful PR launch party and actually have a guest list on a clipboard at home! Until these women can pull themselves together and get some kind of clue, there are sad days ahead for womankind – even worse ones for those of us who know the difference between a hostess and a Hostess Twinkie.


Profile for Müller Medien

Gstaadlife Nr. 5  

The exclusive monthly publication about the good life in Gstaad

Gstaadlife Nr. 5  

The exclusive monthly publication about the good life in Gstaad

Profile for mdruck