On 17 March, the 36-year-old gondola lift took its last guests to the Eggli. In the adjoining mountain chalet, the last cup of tea was served because a new building is soon to follow. So, now’s the time to take a look back at this long-standing business.
Both locals and guests took advantage of the last two sunny days to say goodbye to the grey gondolas with the yellow and black benches. Many people even wanted to say goodbye to the cosy mountain restaurant. Guests, former hosts, staff and their children all looked around the wooden chalet one last time.
Hosts with heart and soul
The hosts who worked here before Christian Oberson and Fleur Kessels Oberson spent 18 years on the Eggli and put their heart and soul into the business. The first hosts were Nelly and Helmuth Breithaupt, followed by Annetta and Jürgen Dieckmann. In 1999 Christian Oberson took over with his former wife and was later joined by Fleur Kessels, who was already part of the team. "I never thought I’d stay this long," laughed the cook. At the beginning, he ran the business for Eggli Gondelbahn AG, but after the merger, the BDG took on the hosts. Twenty years later, Oberson admitted to feeling a little nostalgic.
Guests and locals
The various hosts over the last 60 years and the quality of the food and service were all very important to the many guests. Locals, tourists and chalet guests all felt at home on the Eggli. Fleur Kessels commented: "Not only did the ski instructors visit us with their guests, but they also brought their own families." It was obvious they felt well looked after. The many different visitors have inspired many pleasant and heart-warming encounters and a close connection has developed. “We’ve seen many children and young people growing up. Then, they return with their own children.”
Ready next winter
The new gondola will be ready next winter. The restaurant, however, will take two years to complete and is now being cleared, taken down and sold. Some of the equipment has been stored or modified to be used again later. The access roads have now been cleared for the major work that’s soon to take place, with temporary turning areas and storage places created and construction machinery in place on the mountain.
Next winter’s visitors will be able to buy simple food and drinks on the Eggli. It remains to be seen how this temporary solution will take shape. "We plan to do this during the summer season," said Fleur Kessels, who is responsible for the BDG’s catering operations. Christian Oberson was in charge of the building contractors during last summer’s renovations of other BDG mountain restaurants. "I get a lot of pleasure out of my job." As a result, he also gets a bit of a break from the day-to-day work in the kitchens, so, come the winter, he's keen to start cooking again. "The Eggli is part of my life – I couldn't have worked here for so long otherwise," he said, looking back at all the crazy events that have taken place 1557 meters above sea level.
Based on AvS/Blanca Burri
Translated by Justine Hewson
New construction on the Eggli
The new restaurant building will take two years to complete. The plan for the gondola lift is as follows:
- From the end of March: The cable line will be dismantled, along with the track and the valley and mountain stations.
- From June: The supports will be put in place
- August: Attaching the cable and cable splicing
- November: Test run and approval by the Federal Office of Transport
- December: Commissioning