Looks like I’ll be spending part of the Christmas holidays somewhere very special this year: Switzerland!!!
B has been commissioned to work on a project there for five weeks, and I’ll be joining him in late December. When checking out his schedule, we discovered he would be working in Gstaad at that time. Here’s what I found out about Gstaad on a tourism website:
GSTAAD – twinned expertly with Cannes – is an odd place. You’d think, from the high profile of its name, that it would be some kind of glittering Geneva-in-the-Alps, a fantastically expensive mountain paradise. Yet although its instant name recognition may effortlessly attract Europe’s royal households, celebrities galore and countless lesser hangers-on, Gstaad is in fact just a one-street village, a rather charming, attractively located place full of restored weathered-wood chalets – even if there is an overabundance of jewellery shops and furriers. Nonetheless, its high-roller status makes it a village like no other. If you fancy being snubbed by the world’s richest people, come here for Christmas week, scene of a heady round of sparkling soirées and lavish banquet-style dinner parties all but barred to ordinary mortals.
Glossy magazines may advertise the town as some kind of winter wonderland, but St Moritz steals its luxury-class thunder on this score: Gstaad is really more of a place to spend the odd ten grand renting a hillside chalet and sipping champagne around town than it is somewhere you can get stuck into any serious skiing. Where Gstaad really enters into its own, prosaically enough, is as a centre from which to hike the little-known Saanenland during the summer months.
Not quite sure what to make of this, considering that I wasn’t planning on sipping all that much champagne around town…
More encouragingly, I’ll be heading over to Zermatt for a day or two. This travelogue has me very excited about the place – imagine seeing the famous Matterhorn! Woo hoo!