Switzerland's 'boring' Ermatingen seeks Scots' help with stone skimming
A village described as "the most boring resort in Switzerland" is calling on Scottish stone-skimming experts to help set up a competition to liven things up.
Hotelier Andy Hostettler came up with the idea of hosting a stone-skimming contest after residents in Ermatingen in northern Switzerland took offence at businesses and tourist officials labelling the picturesque village as "boring".
The businesses say the title reflected the fact that the quiet village "has nothing, does nothing, and offers nothing" and so offers a tranquil and relaxing resort. But after some residents took offence at the "offers nothing" claim, Hostettler sought out the Scots.
"We positioned our village as the most boring resort in Switzerland," he said. "The idea is that it is so boring, you can relax. But some people did not understand it. Then we thought, well, what should we do for an event? And what does someone do when they are bored? They skim stones."
Hostettler had planned on hosting what he thought would be the first stone-skimming world championships, but upon discovering that such an event already took place on the Scottish island of Easdale, he contacted the organisers to ask if he could set up a qualifying round instead.
"They thought it was a great idea," he said. "I asked if they could send someone to help with rules and techniques and they said they would be happy to."
The competition is planned for Ermatingen on August 16, with the person who can skim a stone the highest number of times going on to compete on Easdale in September.
Hostettler has questioned geologists to find where to get the best stones for contestants and is planning to find "the best materials along the Rhine".