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Gstaad, USA

Glacier 3000 - Gstaad Sunday, September 28, 2008
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Gstaad

I had never been to Gstaad before - and since it wasn't too far away from Interlaken, I decided to visit a new part of Switzerland. Gstaad lies in the south west of the country, on the boundary between the Bernese Oberland and the Vaud Alpes. Since we only had one full day here, I thought we'd do some biking and the local peaks. Unfortunately, the highly touted electric bikes were not available for rent on Sunday, so we too the Post Bus (included with your SwissPass) to the Col du Pillon.

Area Adventures

Gstaad area activities including hiking in the summer, and in the winter snowboarding/skiing up to 3,000 meters above sea-level. There are 62 different lifts, a total of 250 kilometers of pistes, various sled rides, snowparks and gorgeous hiking routes. Rustic huts, sunny terraces and trendy snow-bars invite you to relax between activites. Gtsaad Mountain Rides comprises five independent ski regions. Included is the Glacier 3000 - the only glacial area in the Berner Oberland - with a guaranteed offer of winter enjoyment from October until the beginning of May. Here is a list of the mountain lifts: Rinderberg-Zweisimmen, Parwengesattel-St. Stephan, Saanenmoser-Saanenwald, Saanenwald-Saanersloch, Saanenwald-Hornberg, Horneggli-Schonried, Rellerli-Schonried, Wispile-Gstaad, Eggli-Gstaad, La Videmanette-Rougemont, Wasserngrat-Gstaad, La Braye-Chateau d Oex, Glacier 3000, Heiti-Gsteig and Lauenen.

Gstaad Area

View from the mountain at Wispile

We caught the bus to Glacier 3000 - Glacier des Diablerets. There are two cablecar lift stations, Reusch and Col du Pillon bottom stations are 20 minutes drive away from Gstaad.

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View of the Hotel Bellevue in Gstaad.

Car-free village of Gstaad.

Gstaad.

An example of the beautiful chalets in the area.

After we took the two stage cablecar to Gstaad 3000, we were at the top of the mountain.

Ticket.

Cablecar ticket.

Here is the mechanical toboggan run down from the top.

A view down the chairlift from the top.

A view of the top.

Looking at the valley below with Gstaad in the distance.

The cablecar up to the summit.

Glacier 3000 cablecar.

Cablecar to Col du Pillon station.

After Glacier 3000 I went up the Wispile aerial tram to the mountain-top.

The sunny mountain-top at Wispile.

Wispile cablecar ticket.

Wispile cablecar ticket.

Information brochure on Wispile mountain lifts.

Information brochure on Wispile mountain lifts.

Wispile Mountain

The Wisplile mountain is paradise for families and children. There are two marked slopes to Gstaad-Grund (Chlosterli) and Feutersoey. Try the unparalleled panoramic hike along the crest of Wispile followed by a toboggan-ride town to Gsteig. (Tobbogans and sleighs can be hired at Wispile station.) During snow season do this on a night when the moon is full and the slopes are glittering like diamond fields. Wispile base station can be reached by ski-bus, on foot in 15 minutes departing from the railwaystation or with the car as there is ample parking at no extra charge. Full-moon sledding.

The gondola up to Wispile.

The ridge hike - just spectacular. This was worth the trip to Switzerland all on its own.

Looking a few thousand feet to the valley below.

A view towards Gstaad from the Wispile cablecar.

I hiked back to town from the Wispile station, it was a beautiful fall day.

Back to the Hotel Bellevue.

We had dinner in town at the Hotel Olden.

The food and atmosphere were incredible.

Dining at the Hotel Olden

Dessert

Hotel Olden - CH-3780 Gstaad - Switzerland - Phone +41 33 748 49 50 - Fax +41 33 748 49 59 info@hotelolden.com The Hotel Olden was known as the Pinte Inn in 1690. In 1895 it was a victim of the huge fire of Gstaad. A total of eight houses fell victim to the fire. Of these, only four were rebuilt as stone houses. Following reconstruction the house continued to be operated as an inn and was purchased in 1924 by the Mullener family. The Olden achieved renown with international patrons thanks to the in-house family orchestra, as the daughters, Hedi and Nelli, were exceptionally gifted yodellers. In 1952, Fausto Donizetti bought the Olden and transformed the business into the elegant restaurant which became famous the world over. In 1960, he established the legendary La Cave together with Hedi, whom he had married in the meantime. Since then the restaurants of the Hotel Olden have become a meeting place for international guests and heads of state as well as the locals. Bernie Ecclestone and Marco Piccinini are now the proud owners of Hotel Olden. They have lavished a great deal of attention on the hotel, having completely renovated the rooms, the restaurants and kitchen.

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End of Day - Gstaad

Shopping

Here is a interesting on-sale item - marked down from 7,500 CHP to 2,980 CHP (the Swiss Franc is almost the same as the USD at the time of this posting. This was more of a relaxed day. It was really cold on top of Glacier 3,000 - just below freezing even though it was around 15 C (59 F) in the valley below. The hike on the ridgeline at Wispile was very memorable, and one of the most beautiful scenic hikes in Switzerland (albeit short). To top off the day, our dining experience at the Hotel Olden will have me returning someday soon.

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