New Year’s in Verbier

This is another of my favorite parts during our holidays in Switzerland.

It begins with another fabulous dinner by John’s father, Per Erik, whose former lives were as famous imperial chefs. This year he made us pan-seared fois gras, served with toasted brioche and baked apples. Followed by braised duck legs in a delicious red wine sauce, potatoes au gratin, and a green salad, ending with slices of brie and reblochon. We finished everything off with one of my own creations: a real New York cheesecake. Two and a half pounds of cream cheese, eight eggs, cherries on the top … the works. We would have had coffee with it, but no decaf was to be found.

Then the fun starts. Actually, it starts much early on. There are no laws in Switzerland against individuals setting off fireworks. That means that anybody and everybody does it. And since Verbier is situated on the top of the mountain in the Alps, overlooking the valley and facing the mountains on the other side, and since our cabin is likewise situated above all the other buildings, and downtown included, we had a view of the entire show. All during dinner, all across the valley, fireworks went off in different directions and provided us with a nice backdrop.

Midnight, however, is when the show-offs emerge. As Verbier is a ski resort town, there are many very wealthy people. These many wealthy people then spend hundreds of thousands of francs on pyrotechnics to give the best firework displays. There are usually several such shows set off from different places, such that it is sometimes difficult to choose where to look.

There seems to be someone only a few doors down from us who gives us a show every year sometime after midnight, and this year was exceptionally good. The sparks just rained down on us and were magical. They were perfectly coordinated, amazing and big. With glasses of champagne, we toasted the new year and kissed, then went to bed with the curtains wide open to the mountains where the boom of fireworks lulled us to sleep.

Author: Lucello

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