Jacek Proniewicz travel blog

picture and movies from my travel

Posts tagged ‘Alps’

Gstaad at night

Gstaad is the village in the German-speaking section of the Canton of Bern in southwestern Switzerland. It is part of the municipality of Saanen and is known as a major ski resort and a popular destination amongst high-class society and the international jet set. The winter campus of the Institute Le Rosey is located in Gstaad. Gstaad has a population of about 3,200 and is located 1,050 metres (3,445 feet) above sea level

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Situated in the Berner Oberland, Gstaad is home to one of the largest ski areas in the Alps (220 km (137 mi) of slopes). The middle of the village features a picturesque promenade bounded by numerous shops, restaurants, art galleries, and hotels. Designer labels including Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Chopard, Brunello Cucinelli, Prada, Moncler, Ralph Lauren, and Cartier all have stores in Gstaad, while many smaller boutiques stock labels such as Chloe, Dolce & Gabbana, Tod’s, Burberry, Dior, Oscar de la Renta, and Marc Jacobs.

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Lenk in Simmental and Zweisimmen ski resort

Lenk im Simmental (or simply Lenk) is a municipality in the Obersimmental-Saanen administrative district in the canton of Bern in Switzerland.

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Lenk is the highest municipality in Simmental. The municipal area includes many mountains, the highest of which is the Wildstrubel (3,243 m (10,640 ft)). Somewhat below the Wildstrubel, by the Siebenbrunnen (“seven fountains”) comes the Simme River, which gives Simmental (“Simme Valley”) its name. A number of creeks flow into the Simme, and the Iffig Creek and the Iffigfall (its waterfall) are attractions for hikers.

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Simmenfalle waterfall

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Lenk

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Zweisimmen – Holiday resort

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Zweisimmen is located in the greenest valley of Europe called “Simmental” The historic trade city is also known as “the gate to the famous city of Gstaad”. Zweisimmen lies in midst of soft hills and at the bottom of the wellliked Mount Rinderberg. It is an excellent spot for enjoyable and restful summer and winter vacations and for exploring the destination of Gstaad and the valleys “Saanenland” and “Simmental”. In winter, the area offers a plenty of winter hiking trails.

Zweisimmen is popular for its four panoramic hiking trails and over 300 kilometers of hiking routes. Put on the hiking boots and explore our soft hills while you stroll through the pretty landscape. The area has several well marked routes available that guarantee fitness and fun. The Trotti-Bike ride from Sparenmoos to Zweisimmen is the perfect alternative for families. We recommend the luxurious Golden Panoramic Express train excursion from Zweisimmen via Gstaad to Montreux on Lake Geneva. Also in Zweisimmen you can swim – either in the Lake Seeberg or in the outdoor swimming pool. The local rivers Simme or Saane are ideal streams for river rafting.

Winter wonder land

Zweisimmen is also a paradise for winter hiking. Numerous good prepared trails await you. Enjoy the sun, the glittering snow and snow-covered meadows and forests. The high plateau Sparenmoos is a protected area and perfect for a snowshoe or a winter hiking tour. On well prepared cross country skiing trails you can enjoy nature, healthy air and beautiful views.

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Swiss cheese from the Alps

From milk to cheese in 5 stages

20130427-160935.jpg1. Curdling

When the milk first arrives, it undergoes quality controls before being filtered. Dairy milk is heated slowly and stirred constantly in a large cheese vat until the desired temperature has been reached. Rennet, an enzyme taken from the stomachs of young calves that can also be produced microbially, is added to the milk together with lactic acid bacteria (or possibly just acids). When making white mould cheese (e.g. Camembert) and blue mould cheese (e.g. Roquefort), mould cultures are introduced into the milk.
The stirring equipment is then switched off. After resting for 30 to 40 minutes, a jelly-like mass appears (protein in its set form), the milk has curdled.

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20130427-161134.jpg2. Pre-cheesing

The jelly-like mass is broken up using a “cheese harp”, a stirring instrument strung with thin wire. The pieces become smaller and smaller as they are stirred. The “curd” separates from the watery part, which is the “whey”. The smaller the pieces of curd, the harder the cheese will be at the end of the manufacturing process.
The whey can be processed further in two different ways. It is either centrifuged to obtain cream, in which case the whey cream is used to produce dairy butter, or the whey is replaced with vinegar or another acid and then used to make Ziger.

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20130427-161250.jpg3. Heating, forming and saline bathing

The curd is heated to 57°C maximum, whilst being constantly stirred. With the help of a cheesecloth, it is lifted out of the whey and given its shape, the “Järb”. The cheese is pressed to force the whey out. The lactic acid bacteria that have been added to the cheese turn the lactose into lactic acid. The cheese, which is still soft, is put into a saline bath for a period lasting from 30 minutes to two days depending on the size of the cheese. During this time, it absorbs salt and loses moisture. The rind forms – the cheese becomes stable.

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20130427-161350.jpg4. Fermenting and ripening

The fermentation process affects the formation of holes in the cheese dough and the aroma. The holes are produced as a result of carbon dioxide gas, which is released as milk sugar (lactose) is broken down by specific lactic acid bacteria. As this gas cannot escape, it forms bubbles. The bubbles make holes in the cheese dough.
As the cheese ripens, the protein is broken down into a more easily digestible form. At this stage, the cheese gets the taste that is typical of its particular variety. It can take from several days (e.g. Tomme) to several years (e.g. Sbrinz AOC) for the cheese to mature. During this time, the cheese wheel must be carefully looked after by turning and washing it regularly.

5. Quality control

The cheese is checked thoroughly before it goes on sale. This is to ensure that only cheese of excellent quality is sold. Hole formation, the quality of the cheese dough, taste and outward appearance (shape and conservation) are checked and assessed.

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20130427-161536.jpgWhat About the Holes?

The holes in Swiss cheese are formed by carbon dioxide pockets that result from the bacteria used to make the cheese. Hole size is serious business in Swiss cheese making. Hole size must meet certain size requirements and there must be a certain number of holes in a preset area.Whether you eat Swiss cheese made the old fashioned way or using the modern methods, true Swiss cheese is delicious when served with fruit, crackers, wine, or a simple loaf of bread.

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Aosta Valley

Aosta Valley
The heart of the Alps
Bordered by France and Switzerland, surrounded by the highest peaks in the Alps. Italy’s Aosta Valley is a region of spectacular scenery, world-class skiing and snowboarding, food of the highest quality and a history stretching back to Roman times. Discover this fascinating region this winter.

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