Friday, 6 January 2017
Belle Époque Week
Vintage Winter Sports
If you have now parked your traditional bicycle for winter, you may feel inclined to put something else in your hands and seek out some vintage ski equipment for the annual Belle Époque Woche in Kandersteg, Switzerland (from the 22nd to the 29th of January).
For the Belle Époque Woche, skiers wear clothes from the Belle Époque era and use old equipment, such as open wooden skis for skiing in the Telemark style.
The epicentre of the event is the Hotel Victoria (1895) in Kandersteg, its name reflecting the origins of the British visitors who helped pioneer and popularise winter sports in the region. The hotel organises tea dances and dinners for the event, with local shops and bars also joining in with the genteel spirit of the occasion.
What a splendid excuse to don thick woollens, loden capes, melton coats and tweed everythings — leaving the tracksuit-clad world behind for a while.
You can head up to Oeschinensee to try the sled run or simply park your skies conspicuously in the snow outside a coffee shop — with Franzl Lang yodelling in the background — and enjoy hot toddies all day (no one being the wiser to your sloth).