- Posted May 22, 2012 by
Celebrating Swiss Cheese
I love cheese. So, when in Switzerland... I had to visit the Swiss "Cheese Cathedral" in Gstaad, a delicious monument to Swiss Cheese. A candlelit cave filled with thousands of rolls of Swiss Cheese.
Sample a traditional kind of Swiss cheese, surrounded by candles and wine? I'd say that IS divine!
Apparently, these underground caves are scattered all across the Swiss Alps as they are where farmers store and age their cheeses... and they each contain millions worth of cheese. However, the Gstaad Cheese Cathedral is one of the only ones the public can actually visit, by special appointment, and it is definitely the one with the best ambiance!
So, what did I find in the cheese cave?
Well, words can hardly describe what it feels like to stand amid all that delicious Swiss cheese in the Käse-Grotte (Cheese Cave), run by Molkerei Gstaad. Let's just say that the ambiance is incredible, and its nickname, the Gstaad "Cheese Cathedral," will make every bit of sense once you watch the video as Manager Rene Ryser shows me around and gives me a short lesson on Swiss Cheese.
I've never experienced anything quite like it!
Gstaad is the real Switzerland.
The local population is equal parts people and cows! It's a fact the locals joke about all of the time, but it's actually true. Indeed, Gstaad's direct vicinity has around 7500 permanent residents alongside around 7500 cows. Despite becoming an increasingly popular winter and summer tourism destination, farming is a major part of Gstaad's identity and locals love this about the community.
I'm glad I chose to pass through Gstaad. It still isn't on everyone's Swiss travel radar. But it should be. The small town is what an escape to the Alps should be all about. It is easily one of the most typically Swiss places I've ever visited. Unlike in many popular resort villages where modern monstrosities are being built, laws in Gstaad prevent the chalets on its slopes from being anything but traditional in appearance. In fact, what may look like a traditional two story Alpine chalet may actually be a multi-million dollar "underground" mansion owned by a Hollywood A-lister. And a farmer may live next door... But locals do not brag about this intermingling of celebrity. Actually, locals are proudly discreet and non-fussed about any big names in their midst. People come here to be normal, rather than to be seen. Likewise, paparazzi are so unwelcome in this small town and along the pedestrianized streets that countless celebrities have found sanctuary here, calling Gstaad a quiet Alpine home away from home.
Turns out there are a lot of hidden treasures underground in Gstaad...
GSTAAD "CHEESE GROTTO"
Opening yodel music, special thanks to Jodlerclub Schlossbrunnell of Switzerland
For more Swiss fun, check out Jodlerclub Schlossbrunnell's explanation of Swiss Yodeling in this report: http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-624002
Another fun report:
What does it take to be a Real Gladiator? http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-708127 (iReport Award Finalist)