If you thinking of heading north from Cape Town, for a European Summer, then I suggest you drop in on Switzerland and while you are there, take a short trip by train from Geneva to Gstaad.

In the 60’s Time magazine named Gstaad ‘The Place’ becoming widely known for its famous part-time residents and vacationers – international jet setters; nobility; film stars, all confirming over the years that it is one of the oldest playgrounds in Europe, playing host to global elite.

Besides this it’s one of the most enchanting Swiss resorts in the Alps. Quaint, tranquil, breathtaking views from every angle of the mountains, picture perfect postcard images that will catch your breath, mountain air, traditional food and events. We call this Swissness!

Swiss Summer can be hot but the air is still light. We often go to Lauennen, a charming mountain village, not far from Gstaad noted for its old, well-preserved chalets and 16th-century church. It’s a perfect place for hiking, biking, nature lovers and a swim in the lake, refreshingly cold just like Cape Town.

Out of season life takes on a different buzz. I love this time of year in the mountains. Old-fashioned farm culture, traditions that carry on regardless, oblivious to whose who in the zoo. I’ll give you a good example – The day of the Alpine cattle descent. Known as the Alpabzug and the Engelberg Market in the village square. You can buy local produce, hand crafted objects, honey, bread and of course Alpkäse. The cheese is made from the milk the cows have produced during their summer holidays high up in the Alps. On the descent the cows come through the village center to the accompaniment of traditional alphorn players and yodelers. This festival is one of the best ways to experience genuine Swiss tradition, folklore and the understanding of the concept “Swissness”.

Recently the construction of a suspended bridge is of great national pride which showcases Swiss pre-eminence in technology and engineering to enable visitors to experience the Glacier in the summer from a different perspective.

Every time I go back, I am in awe of this picture perfect part of Switzerland that is situated in the heart of the Berner Oberland as well as in my heart. I know exactly why Gstaad is my love.

QueenB!……..Abuzzing off



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