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A SWISS MOUNTAIN ADVENTURE 098

GSTAAD IS WIDELY REGARDED AS ONE OF THE MOST REFINED SKI DESTINATIONS AROUND, AND WITH ITS CHARMING TOWN FULL OF LUXURY BOUTIQUES SURROUNDED BY TOWERING SNOW-CAPPED PEAKS DOTTED WITH SKI SLOPES, IT’S EASY TO SEE WHY
TOBOGGANNING WAS THE SURPRISE HIT OF THE TRIP
Image: Eggli Schlitteln

Julie Andrews once said, Gstaad is the last paradise in a crazy world, and it’s here that the Mary Poppins and Sound of Music actress found peace in between her filming career. It’s a concept the local tourist board have taken to heart with their own slogan of ‘Come up, slow down’. Before I even set off, I’m beginning to get the idea that this most refined of Alpine destinations is certainly going to be a place of, well, peace and quiet. But there’s more to Gstaad than the bucolic green hills and quiet, snow-capped pine forests. It also happens to have some world-class ski slopes and a whole range of other adrenalin-fuelled snowsports to enjoy. I can’t attest to Julie Andrews’ skills on the slopes, but I was keen to put my own (rather rusty) abilities to the test as I joined a small group for a long weekend of Alpine adventure.

YOUR CARRIAGE AWAITS

We start by flying into Geneva, where a train takes us as far as Zweisimmen. Th ere, we board a smaller train with windows so huge we think we’ve accidentally stumbled into an aquarium. We soon realise why as we catch our first glimpse of the picture-perfect countryside rolling by: we’ve entered the Saanen region, a huge area of massive mountain peaks, green valleys and impossibly-cute Alpine villages. Th e four finger-like valleys of the Saanenland find their diamond ring at Gstaad, the star of the show, and the place where our train has just glided to a stop.

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