The Belle Époque or La Belle Époque meaning “Beautiful Era” was a period that is conventionally dated as starting in 1890 and ending in 1914 when World War I began. The period was characterized by optimism, peace at home and in Europe, new technology and scientific discoveries. The peace and prosperity in Paris allowed the arts to flourish, and many masterpieces of literature, music, theater, and visual art gained recognition.
Victorians loved winter sports like skiing, and in lovely Kandersteg, Switzerland they celebrate an entire Belle Époque week every year! The next Belle Époque week will be celebrated January 20 through 27, 2013. Both locals and tourists will don Victorian Costumes and attend Balls, Tea Dances, Concerts, Sledding Parties and Races, Tailing Parties, Ice-Skating and Ice-Hockey Matches. Guests can also try skiing on vintage skis, and enjoy banquets made from menus of the era. Local artisans present crafts and hobbies from the period as well.
If you would like to plan a very special winter destination vacation that includes plenty to do and multiple opportunities to dress in period attire, this might be an ideal opportunity, as this year will mark the 100th anniversary of the railway opened from Bern to Kandersteg in 1913. Kandersteg itself is a town near Bern, Switzerland. Located along the valley of the river Kander, this scenic town is noted for spectacular mountain scenery and alpine landscapes. The town is a year-round destination for hiking and mountain climbing as well as downhill and cross-country skiing. For a great narrated video of some of the activities, visit http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/multimedia/video/Winter_nostalgia.html?cid=29352784
You can view more information about places to stay, transportation and the program of events for the entire week at http://www.kandersteg.ch/en/belle_epoque/epoque Be sure to pack that enormous fur muff!