While London gets ready for 2012, Europe's top cheese-makers are preparing for their own big event in Austria next month
While London gets ready for 2012, Europe's top cheese-makers are preparing for their own big event in Austria next month - the International Alpine Cheese Olympics, to be held in the Tirolean mountain resort of Galtür.
The 90 best cheese producers from all over the Alps will meet for the showdown in Galtür at the 17th Cheese Olympics. The village is a few minutes up the road from the major resort of Ischgl in the Paznaun Valley.
While the judges are busy making up their minds, visitors can take their time and taste all the different varieties - as well as buy some to take home.
After much deliberation, cogitation and digestion, the top cheeses are selected and awarded the Galtür Sennerharfe - a harp in gold, silver, or bronze.
The event, quirky and full of fun but taken deadly seriously by the cheese-makers, will be held on September 24 from 11am to 9pm. Entry before 6pm is nine euros, after that it's seven euros.
Before then, on August 29, the 38th Silvretta-Ferwall Marathon will be held at Galtür - with a half-marathon being run at the same time, the track running beside the full course for some of the way for those who want to take it a little easier. There are also shorter tracks for youngsters, again near the main course so the atmosphere can be enjoyed by everyone, whatever their standard.
The website of Where to Ski & Snowboard is quick to pick up the story about the Cheese Olympics.
The nearest airports to the Paznaun valley resorts are Innsbruck (BA; easyJet), Munich (BA; Lufthansa) and Zurich (BA; Swiss).