UPDATE Monday Sep29: and the winner is... Whitney Toyloy
This coming Saturday, September 27, Miss Bern, Emilie Lindblom, competes for the crown of Miss Switzerland. Our sister publication, the Anzeiger von Saanen, interviewed the attractive student from Zweisimmen. For those of you who understand German or who just want to see the beauty talk we have the video for you here:
It was much to Emilie's surprise that she won the competition for Miss Bern back in May of this year (they always say that don't they... "ahhh shucks, I didn't realize I was so beautiful"). As the winner of the Miss Bern contest, she was able to qualify for the 2008 Miss Switzerland competition automatically, just like her counterpart in Zürich, Alexandra Fejbli. Being the good citizens that we are, we have compied all the links you need to check out the other girls competing against Emilie: Rekha Datta, Lucile Epper, Katja Diethelm, Fiona Farina, Stefanie Frei, Nancy Kabika, Diana Knezevic, Dominique Knill, Alessia Novak, Lisa Panigada, Céline Roscheck, Nathalie Schillinger, Whitney Toyloy and Selver Yavuz. And while you can vote for the winner on Saturday night, let'skick off the voting right here by telling us your early favorite!
Last weekend, Louise Hyams, the Lord Mayor of Westminster (London), paid a visit to Gstaad. Swiss tourism and Gstaad-Saanenland tourism had invited her in order to maintain the good relations between Switzerland and England. On her program was a stroll through Gstaad, which she did in traditional kit accompanied by the politicos and bigwigs of Saanenland all walking in a curiously-pompous goose-step, a balloon ride, chocolate-making, and a ride up to Glacier 3000. And being a good sport, the Lord Mayor even tried her hand at the alphorn (above).
Above; Bethli Kung (left), Andreas Hurni and Brigitte Zahnd with Louise Hyams, Lord Mayor of Westminster. Click here for more photos.
What a birthday for the 20th Country Night Gstaad! Even though the weather was cold and miserable, Marcel Bach, the founder of the Country Night, has reported the proceedings were a complete success. Between the performances of Ricky Skaggs and Clint Black, a film with the highlights of 20 years Country Night was shown and as a special treat, 70 local yodelers sang for the first time together - getting in an early plug the cantonal yodeling festival next year. More photos after the jump...
Over the course of six days a couple weekends back, the movie Der Fürsorger was filmed here in Saanenland. The Swiss-Luxembourg-German co-production is scheduled to reach cinemas in 2009. Among the many involved were an actor from Gstaad as well as many local extras. So if you were wondering why Saanen was yet again closed for through traffic, for once it was not because of construction!
As previously reported, Saanenmöser was up for the new hospital location and a neutral analyst was to evaluate the situation (see Saanenmöser for new hospital location?). Well, everybody thought that the analyst would say yes to Saanenmöser but in the past week the whole thing has taken a turn in another direction. Willy Oggier, the health economist from Zürich who made the decision that all parties said they would abide by, said that both locations should be turned into health centers. And what is a health center? Well, that's a good question, and one that apparently nobody quite knows the answer to since the term has yet to be defined. So basically in typical Swiss style, the process has gone around a in complete circle, with everybody who was looking for a decision from this process left disappointed. Who is to blame? Who knows, but do let us know what you think about this latest twist in the hospital saga by clicking comments below. For the German-speakers amongst you, click here the all the details from the Anzeiger.
At the fall session of the Bernese cantonal government, the smoking ban for public areas was approved 97 to 41 votes with 12 abstentions. Following on example of Ticino and Geneva, cantons that have implemented their own smoking bans, the new law for canton Bern (which includes Gstaad but not Rougemont) will probably come into effect with 2009, with violators fined up to SFr 2,000. Smoking will only be permitted in separated, sufficiently ventilated fumoirs, which will be not served by staff to protect them from exposure to secondhand smoke. We here at GL.com are all for protecting the health of non-smokers, and commend the government for taking steps that would have taken the feds years to implement. But for the sake of saveurs in Gstaad, we also hope for a bit of creativity of our local hotel directors and restauranteurs to introduce genuinely pleasant smoking rooms -- don't worry they'll get up to get their drinks from the bar, and besides it's a good excuse for yet another round of renovation!
On September 10, a deadly accident occured on Sanetsch. A 32-year-old female mountaineer from Wallis, climbing together with one other person on the Roua rock face at a height of 1,570 meters, fell about 40 meters down the face suffering fatal injuries. The reasons for the fall are as yet unclear.
Above: the Pra Roua area above Sanetsch on the Wallis side
Put it in your calendar now because this will be quite an addition to next year's summers event calendar. From June 12 to 14 2009 yodeling will fill the air, alphorns will echo in the valleys, and flags will be hung and swung everywhere. The 45th edition of the Bernese yodeling festival will take place in Gstaad and this you should not miss. The Promenade, the ice skating area, the Cheseryplatz, the Bellevue lawn, the sportscenter in Ebnit, the tennis hall - pretty much everywhere - will be rife with the acoustic traditions of Switzerland. Organizers are expecting about 3,500 participants and as many as 40,000 visitors- so in crowd terms we're talking like last year's beach volleyball world championships...with a bit more clothing. So whether the prospects of mountain music in Gstaad excite you or fill you with dread for the crowds, mark in it in the calendar.
REGENSBURG--The mighty Danube begins in the park of the Furstenberg Palace and flows eastward for a distance of 2,000 miles across ten countries on to the Black Sea. Last weekend, Prince and Princess Heinrich von Furstenberg, the titular heads of the family who live in that palace, gave us a little tour of Walhalla, the German Hall of Fame situated further down the river from their park, in Regensburg, the perfectly preserved medieval town where a wonderful party celebrating Maya Schoenburg’s 50th birthday has left me feeling all of my 72 years. Make that 102. But first Walhalla. As everyone knows, it was the dwelling place of the Gods, into which warriors chosen by the Valkyries were admitted. Ludwig I of Bavaria decreed in 1842 that men and women of great achievement, not necessarily German, both in times of war and peace, should be commemorated in the temple he had built and bequeathed to the Fatherland. Needless to say, Walhalla is a Greek temple, a cross of the Theseum and the Parthenon, 125 metres long and 55 metres high. It is Doric, carved from marble, and, unlike the Greek temples which look out onto a sea of cement, surrounded by beautiful verdant hills overlooking the Danube.