Life in the freezer...
Alpine beauty

Gstaad Life in The Freezer
Gstaad Life in The Freezer

With dwindling funds and the south of France being very quiet in the winter, we headed off to Gstaad in Switzerland to experience our first job working in a chalet. Having stayed the night in the beautiful town of Annecy we crossed the border at Geneva, eventually arriving in a place so completely different from the world we had come from. Schoolchildren wrapped up in their winter clothing of boots, bobble hats, gloves and rucksacks reminded me of Southpark. Gone were the sandy beaches and blue skies that we both loved and had become accustomed to.

Instead, we were greeted by snow-capped mountains, luxury shops and landscapes as beautiful as they were bleak. Gstaad, during the ski season, is the playground of the rich and famous. We had wondered why our season’s employers had offered to pay for our food. When we stopped at the supermarket we quickly understood why. The prices were quite simply, eye-watering. We spent the first few days in Gstaad trying to get accustomed to both the town and weather. Being completely out of our comfort zone this was not going to be an easy ride.

Snow ploughs and gritters lined the roads and Christmas shopping was in full swing. Having familiarised ourselves with the butchers, the bakery and the rest of the town’s shops we decided to stop off for a well-earned drink and a bite to eat. We sat in a small restaurant and ordered a pizza and a 50cl carafe of rosé. The pizza cost fifteen Swiss Francs and the rosé an incredible thirty-five – ouch!

With the snow falling heavily, Guss had adapted well though I spent much of the time picking myself up off the icy ground. Soon enough the chalet’s owners arrived. With Debbie being asked to make breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as doing all the cleaning and me armed with a snow shovel and a modicum of patience, how long would we survive in one of Switzerland’s premier resorts?

Gstaad is a renowned and exclusive Swiss alpine resort often described as a luxurious, charming, and picturesque destination but France will always be home for us...

Life in the freezer

An unexpected visit to Gstaad.