A Luminous Halo

"Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end." --Virginia Woolf

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Location: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States

Smith ’69, Purdue ’75. Anarchist; agnostic. Writer. Steward of the Pascal Emory house, an 1871 Second-Empire Victorian; of Sylvie, a 1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SL; and of Taz, a purebred Cockador who sets the standard for her breed. Happy enough for the present in Massachusetts, but always looking East.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Iglu-Dorf: A Cool Place To Eat Fondue

The weather is awful here, unseasonably cold. But spring has apparently come to the Alps, because the Iglu-Dorf Gstaad shut down last week, and the Iglu-Dorf Engelberg, Scuol, Zermatt, and Zugspitze are scheduled to close this coming weekend. I can make my own fondue anytime I want, but I won't be able to eat it in style until next Christmas Eve at least.

The Iglu-Dorf is an Igloo Village, popular for the last ten years in Switzerland. It's a hotel, with restaurant, hot tub and bar, carved of snow blocks every winter. It remains open until it starts to melt in the spring. Inuit artists create traditional Eskimo artworks in the walls throughout each Village.

Beds in the Iglu-Dorf are raised platforms made from snow, topped with foam pads over which sheepskins are spread. Expedition sleeping bags up to -40
º C are provided. Prices start at 99 euros ($134) for a standard igloo and 159 euros for a "romantic" igloo, which is a private room or suite for two. A "romantic-plus" suite gets you your own toilet.

On arrival, prosecco and hot wine are served with appropriate accompaniments. Dinner is Cheese-Fondue Moitié-moitié (Le Gruyère AOC - Vacherin Fribourgeois AOC). In the morning, breakfast tea in your sleeping bag is provided, followed by a full breakfast in a nearby heated non-igloo.

At the moment, I've been so cold for so many months that the thought of shelling out hundreds of dollars for the privilege of sleeping in a frigid igloo doesn't really appeal. Maybe by July or August, Christmas Eve by candlelight in the Igul-Dorf will seem romantic and fun. I will admit that it's a hell of a cool way (pun intended) to enjoy fondue. At least until the igloo is fondu (pun likewise intended).

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