Baselworld, 2019

The biggest watch and jewelry trade fair in the world, dating back to the year 1917. That is more than a 100 years of tradition. I was taken aback by the magnitude. I knew that it would be big since most of the luxury watch and jewelry brands of the world were participating but I did not expect it to be so grand! Especially in a country like Switzerland where everything is generally on a much smaller scale. But I guess when you think of watches, you think of Switzerland. It feels almost like a celebration of the watch industry and as the name suggests, it really is a world of its own.

You cannot miss the main entrance. You look up in the sky and the open roof looks like a huge watch bezel. The scale really depicts the opulence of it all. Once you enter the hall, get your tickets (CHF 60 for a day) and finally walk inside the gates, you are free to explore any of the numerous booths on display. For a minute it really made me feel like I was at an airport with a lot of time on my hands. Except that there is no duty free shopping. Actually there is no shopping. You are not there to buy the watches or the jewelry.  Baselworld is really an exhibition. The biggest watch and jewelry brands are here to showcase their latest creations. It is kind of like the Paris fashion week for watches and jewelry. Rolex, Tag Heuer, Hublot, Patek Philippe, Cartier, Gucci, you name the brand and its there. The one brand that was missing this year was Omega. There is a huge selection of products from a wide range of price. The biggest brands of the world choose this platform to launch their new products and you are one of the first few to see them. It really is a watch lover’s paradise. If you are looking to buy a watch, here is an opportunity to get greater insights into the brands of your choice. We spent quite a bit of time at the Rolex exhibition and I can say that I now have a fairly good idea of the options available within my price range.

One of the best exhibitions this year was by Citizen. The beautiful gold watch parts dropping down from the sky like rays of light. It was very well done. We spent a fair amount of time at the booth taking pictures of the beautiful installation and exploring the new collections.

The fair is not just about the brands showcasing their products. It is a lot more than that. We were really interested in watching the fashion show but we couldn’t make it in time for the last show. Imagine the irony…we reached late for a watch show! That’s the price you pay when you travel with kids. If you check out the events calendar on their website, there are a lot of activities chalked out for the day. The best thing is to download their free Baselworld official app from the apple store. It lets you know all about the events scheduled for the day and the various brands showcasing their collections. If you would really like to experience Baselworld you must spend a day there and make sure you download the app one day before, plan your day and start early the next day!

I will come back soon with my next adventure. Till then keep exploring and bon voyage!

Gstaad, Switzerland

Switzerland is full of untouched natural beauty. However, once in a while when I get an overdose of the simplicity and the nature, I rush to Gstaad for my quarterly dose of glitz and glamour. It is undoubtedly my favourite town in this lovely country.

Every time I visit Gstaad I feel like I’ve been transported to another time period. It has this old world charm which stays with me the whole day, even when I’m back home. I am a very dreamy person so this place is the perfect place for me to romanticize about. It is typical Switzerland in terms of its beautiful chalets, a lovely little train station and the gorgeous mountain range. However, unlike the rest of Switzerland, which is so simple and natural, Gstaad is really very chic and glamorous. It is like a timeless piece that never goes out of fashion. Name a fashion brand and you will find a store hidden in one of the lovely little chalets. I was particularly struck by the Dolce and Gabbana window display. It was really so dramatic and glittery that I felt everything that shines in Switzerland was all in here! But the store was housed in a typical Swiss chalet. Nothing fancy about the exterior of the store. Here’s what I love about this place. It is so refreshingly modern and fashionable but still in touch with its roots and tradition. It is still so Swiss!

The tourists on the streets certainly outnumber the locals living there. However, it is never overcrowded. Maybe because not a lot of people know about it. It is still in a way a hidden gem.

Where to eat

As I have mentioned in my earlier blog, with children, food is a key part of our every travel. In Gstaad we have this one bakery that we always visit. It’s called the Early Beck café and it has a good selection of chocolates, pastries, sandwiches and cakes. It even has a little play corner inside. It’s the ideal place for us to take a break with the kids. I love my desserts so I mention the bakery first. However, there are two lovely options for the main course. You have the choice of authentic Swiss cheese fondue and other Swiss delicacies at the Posthotel Russli café or delicious Indian food at the Mango restaurant. There are of course many other restaurants in the town but we always tend to go to one of the fore mentioned. Personally, I love the ambience inside the Posthotel Rossli café. It is a very charming little restaurant and oh so Swiss! Mango restaurant, on the other hand, has the option of vegetarian, vegan, gluten and lactose free food. My husband being a vegetarian particularly enjoys his food here. My market research on restaurants of Gstaad cannot be complete without mentioning the Gstaad Palace hotel. The 5 star luxury hotel frequented by celebrities from all around the world. Be it movie stars or sports stars, they have all at some point visited or stayed in the Gstaad palace. So if you are in a mood to splurge, you head to the Le Grand restaurant for a cup of tea and some nibbles. The restaurant’s terrace is really so picturesque. You do not need to be formally dressed for the afternoons but evenings (7pm onwards) the men need to be in a jacket. In case you need some pampering, you must visit!

Things to do

There is just so much to do in Gstaad that I am sure I cannot possibly cover it all. In the winters, it looks stunning with the snow all over and the chalets beautifully lit up in the dusk of evening. A lot of people go to Gstaad for the skiing and the snow sports. And in the summers there is loads to look forward to. I remember watching the Swiss tennis open last summer and it was the first time my kids watched live tennis. It was quite an experience. Then there are the beach volleyball and polo matches. You must check the Gstaad website before you visit because there is always something happening in the summers.

How to reach

Before I forget I must mention how to reach Gstaad. We don’t live very far from the place so we always take our car. I find taking the car most convenient when it comes to travelling with kids. Also, the route to Gstaad is so breathtaking that I want the freedom of stopping and taking pictures. However, if you don’t want to drive, there is the option of taking the beautiful Golden Pass panoramic train, which starts in Lucerne. It is indeed a very scenic trip.

Hope I have given you enough reasons to travel to this beautiful town. I promise it won’t disappoint you.

I will come back soon with my next adventure. Till then keep exploring and bon voyage