So as I mentioned last week, there was a big music festival going on in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, that I booked last-last minute tickets to for my friend Bhav and me. I think I also mentioned work has been pretty stressful. Needless to say I practically had a panic attack on my way to RUN to the 6pm train to get the heck out of town. I caught it at airport and Bhav met me at the main station in town. After a few minutes of throwing our bags all over the seats, we settled in for our 2 hour ride with some strawberries and a bottle of champagne. I never saw so many heads turn with jealousy as when that I released the cork for that ever so distinct *POP!* There's nothing quite like the sound of champagne opening to signal a holiday commencing!
Notice the nets under the tables to hold all your ski gear. Clever!
Two hours, miles of gossip and a bottle of champagne later, we arrived in Sierre and asked till we found the funicular which would take us up the mountain to the resort town of Crans-Montana. I thought it was really cool that you took a funi up to the town instead of having the town situated way below (a lot of ski resorts here are like this). Our hotel was located conviently right behind the festival so it was close enough to hear the action and see the tents and walk home (you would think...more on this in a minute) but not loud enough to keep us awake. Brilliant!! We primped up for our night out - I decided to wear heels (again, more on this) and Bhav had some sexy boots of which one of the zippers broke as she was zipping it up. We were so clever that we laced it up around the outside with one of our long snowboard boot laces...function and fashion!! As we could not look any better at this point, it was time to head out.
We had dinner at a delicious little italian resto called La Raphaele. Yes, I am going to talk about the food, but I will limit it to just describing the tagliatelle pasta...it was thick and not flat, but more dense...I suppose in some way like the shape of a flattish carrot stick? Anyway, it was in a delicious super fresh tomato sauce with smoked mozzeralla and basil....mmmmmmmmmmm. The rest of the meal was also good, pizza, dessert and limoncello!
Next we headed out to the concert, again asking all the way there. Bhav, besides a fun friend is an excellent person to have with you when traveling, as she is never afraid to ask anyone for anything (leading to directions and also good tables and free drinks) and also seems to make friends (or flirt, though she dismisses this claim) with everyone around. And people always know her wherever she goes so there is further support to this argument. I digress...we were making our way to Caprices. So it turns out that the festival was in this humongous tent city. We walked into the tent city and went down about 80 flights of stairs and ended up in this big downstairs basement like thing filled with woodchips and drunk people. From here we walked down the hall to see...Eagle Eye Cherry. The best part was that we heard "Save Tonight" within about 3 minutes of walking in there. And it was THE LONGEST version of "Save Tonight" I have ever heard, at least 10 minutes, full of all the gimmicks...audience participation, clapping, reggae breakdowns, solo jams...saaaaaaaave tonight!!
After Eagle Eye we wandered around and saw another cool band called Nouvelle Vague. That's "New Wave" in French. The band does covers of older songs but adds this cool jazzy, bossa nova brazilian type flavor to them. Apparently there are several female vocalists but we saw 2, one of whom was more serious with a really good voice and the other who was a total performer and looked like she was doing a cross between a pole dance and having a seizure the entire time she was on stage. The music was really cool though, and it was definitely a good concert. After this we saw GrandMaster Flash which was fun. It was just like being in a big frat party. Surprisingly for being considered a total badass DJ, he was really cheesy and funny. He kept telling us to jump up over the mountains and how awesome we were. Anyway we were totally dying of thirst and it was about 2, so we climbed back up through 80 flights of stairs and emerged from the underground.
Remember what I said about my heels and the hotel? Somehow when I was leaping up to "Jump" by Kris Kross in my heels I felt fine, but as soon as we were outside my feet were about to fall off. I have never worn heels to a concert in my life and I will NEVER do it again. Yes, I looked good. But not worth it. We emerged totally lost and despite the fact that our hotel was so nearby, we could not find it. I walked around in my stockings while Bhav asked every person passing by if they knew where the hotel was. Finally we were directed the right way and got there. And guess who got in the elevator with us. Eagle Eye!! Well I don't know for sure. But seriously he was a rocker dude with a cool attitude and he really LOOKED like Eagle Eye. Within about 30 seconds I was asleep despite the fact that we could hear the festival going on well into the night.
The next morning we woke up and to our surprise, realized we were staying in an AMAZING hotel. Check out the view!!! We went down for breakfast and who did we see again...yes EAGLE EYE!!! There were quite a few randoms talking to him. So we think it really was. Anyway, after this we went for a little swim in the pool and then headed out to the ski rental place which was across town. Town was super super cute and reminded me a lot of Vail.
Here's a tip for when you go to Crans Montana. Everything closes between 12 and 2:30. INCLUDING SKI RENTAL PLACES!!! We got there, and I had already booked (and paid 40 EUR for) snowboard hire and the place was shut. Fortunately Bhav again made some friends who told us that there was a hire shop just below the cable car up the mountain. We went there and picked up some boards and headed up.
The slopes at Crans-Montana were amazing. Wide open and sunshine and we had no queues for the lifts. The snow was excellent. But my favorite? Well the apres ski bars of course. There were 2 really cool ones - one of which was in the middle of a slope!! Despite last week's resolution to not drink and board, I had to make an exception for the holiday. The place was COOL and we had to take advantage!
Notice the nets under the tables to hold all your ski gear. Clever!
Around 5:30 we boarded down to the bottom and continued our walking around town. For dinner we tried to get seated in this Thai resto but the guy was a total jerk and resistant to Bhav's charms. Then we tried for takeout (the resto was advertised as takeaway) and he told us that the other "customers" would be first and we would have to wait at least an hour. Funny enough when we asked if we could just get 2 pad thai tofu, it only took 10 minutes. Ah well.
Anyway the rest of the night we ate our thai and drank wine at the free apres-ski party in town called "Swatch Get Hot" and then made our way back to the hotel and funicular and train...alllll the while still in our snowboard clothes mind you and boots (I was SO happy I decided to leave my board at home). Of course on the train ride back to Geneva the loudest people in Switzerland sat right behind us. I moved half a car down and was able to sleep despite them.
Long story short...Crans Montana is cool. Another top trip in Switzerland!