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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, January 27, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 04
Switzerland's Gay Ski Week an elevating experience
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Switzerland's Gay Ski Week an elevating experience

by Jerry L. Peerson - SGN Contributing Writer

Arosa, Switzerland, boasts some of the planet's most stunning natural beauty. Postcard-perfect snowy alpine scenery surrounds this winter wonderland holiday village. Only one thing could enhance this wealth of enchantment: Arosa Gay Ski Week!

Internationally attended by copious numbers of gorgeous and captivating Gays and Lesbians, from Canada to Cameroon and everywhere in between, this weeklong smorgasbord of adventure is one of Europe's biggest and most highly anticipated annual Pride-like events. This year's festivities took place from January 8 to 15.

One of the unique advantages Arosa Gay Ski Week has over many Pride-themed events is that many, if not almost all, of its participants travel from afar to enjoy a plethora of day and nighttime outdoor activities every bit as much as the vivacious oonsa-oonsa found in the late night club scene. Who wouldn't love to boast about skiing, snowboarding, curling, sledging, or snowshoeing in the fabulous legendary Alps? Even if you're not the most agile person, feel free to leave any self-conscious concerns about being judged behind (the attitude in the air is welcoming to all), though if you wish, there are always classes available for any skill set, taught by friendly and let's just say fit instructors.

If you find yourself near the opposite end of the outdoorsy, adrenaline-junkie spectrum, Arosa Gay Ski Week has plenty to offer you, too. By day, you can take a leisurely shopping stroll through the walkable and charming town. Or, take a slightly ear-popping, enclosed coaster ride up to the Tschuggenh├╝tte terrace and catch some rays and relax on one of many lounge chairs awaiting you. In the evening, enjoy traditional Swiss fondue at Hotel Pratschli (www.praetschli.ch), then make your way over to one of many events, such as a classical concert performed by world-renowned musicians, or one of the nightly themed parties around town.

Upon arriving in Arosa, nestled 5,800 feet high up in Switzerland's lush, iconic mountain range, make your way by foot to one of the 10 Gay-friendly partner hotels that accommodate any budget. For additional savings, look into an 'Event Pass,' offering discounts on anything from rental equipment and ski passes to guaranteed entry into events and parties. The parties alone (such as an enticing and flirtatious opening night Welcome Party and the wet-Speedo-abundant Splash Pool Party) are nearly worth the price of the pass - ranging from around $94 for a Silver Pass to $210 for a Gold Pass. You can buy the pass by phone, online at www.arosa-gayskiweek.com, or at the Arosa Welcome Desk in town.

Getting to Arosa is a cinch. From Switzerland's bustling Zurich, the Southeast-bound train towards the Alps and the ancient city of Chur (pronounced 'koo'r') is a visual treat in itself. From Chur, disembarking and transferring to the Arosa-bound train, just in front of the 'HB' (or main station), is easy to navigate. Finally, as you make your way up to Arosa, you'll be treated to even more stunning scenery, including the historic Langwies Viaduct.

Whatever you fancy, the annual Gay Ski Week in Arosa is sure to not only exceed your expectations, but also to award you a lifetime of blissful memories and friendships that at week's end will have you marking your calendar for the following year!

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