Engelberg: The Most Magical of Places
“It’s the simplicity, and the daily repetition of that simplicity, that truly fills the soul of any ski bum.”
A REFLECTION FROM THE MIND OF MARCUS CASTON, ABOUT HIS FAVORITE PLACE.
I want you to picture a small, oval snow globe with big white mountains, a train station, and a cute, rectangular building called “The Ski Lodge.”
You shake it up, it starts to snow, then settles.
There might even be little people running around in this snow globe, talking funny, eating cheese, and playing in the beautiful settling snow.
Maybe even picture a little tram, that runs from the quaint village all the way to the tippy-top of the pointy mountain.
Lastly, picture people sitting on their decks, listening to deafening techno, smoking cigarettes, and drinking liters of beer…
This isn’t an Austrian snow globe!
We are in a real life place!
The techno music, while still there, is turned a little lower, and is certainly not deafening.
Engelberg is all about the nature, the food, the people, and the skiing.
It’s the simplicity, and the daily repetition of that simplicity, that truly fills the soul of any ski bum.
Especially this one.
Since the first time I visited in 2017, I have returned to Engelberg every winter, extending my stay every year, and seemingly getting more and more sucked in.
You couldn’t ask for an easier prefabricated vacation.
Fly into Zurich.
Hop on a train.
And arrive in Engelberg a couple hours later.
The Ski Lodge Engelberg is less than 100 meters from the train station.
Walk through the front door of the lodge and you might be greeted by bubbly Swedish girls that came down to the alps to escape their dark winters, up north.
Make your way to the bar to grab a beer and a shot of fernet. There you will meet all the people you need, for the rest of the week.
Rub shoulders with famous skiers like Mattias Hargin (pictured above), Marc Gisin, and Johan Jonsson.
You might meet the locals, who will tell you all about how “You should have been here last week!” and you might share in the excitement with other travelers who will be skiing Laub for the first time tomorrow.
But the real magic comes with the repeat button.
From the second you walk into the ski lodge, all time goes away.
Eat, Ski, Eat.
Ski, Eat, Drink.
Ski, Drink, Sleep.
Life is boiled down to the most simple of formulas.
Leave time and your worries at the door, and step into a ski bum’s “groundhogs day.” The longer you stay in Engelberg, the more isolated you become from the bustling chaos of your “outside” life.
The emails pile up, but you care less and less.
What was that thing you needed to call home about? What was that thing that was giving you anxiety?
That’s why I love Engelberg.
It’s like a mindfulness conference but with better cheese and way better skiing.
See for yourself.
Written by Marcus Caston.
Images c/o Marcus Caston and Cam McLeod.
Video by Tim Jones and Marcus Caston, c/o Return of the Turn.
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For more reflections on the skier life, be sure to check out our blog!