If there is one photo out of our collection that sums up Switzerland for us, it’s this one of our little boy flying through the air, goggles trailing behind, after having launched off a freestyle aerial jump. The sort of jump you see at the winter olympics. He landed on a huge airbag … and didn’t smash up his nose with his skis like his father did.
Brave, fearless, adventurous, adrenalin-pumping, energetic…. that’s how I would describe our holiday in Switzerland!
It started off very tame, arriving by train into Montreux, on Lake Geneva, late on New Year’s Eve.
We stocked up on basic fare at the local Co-Op and snacked on the rather freezing balcony of our beautiful hotel, anticipating the majestic view we would experience for the first time on New Year’s Day. How come kids don’t feel the cold? I don’t think my youngest even had shoes on in this photo!
Happy New Year!
… and good morning Montreux!
It was decided that we would spend our New Year’s Day searching for snow …. buckets of it …. so we boarded a train, changed at Aigle and ascended, via a little cog-wheel train, to the little mountain village of Leysin, in the Vaud Alps.
The first sighting of snow by the wayside.
Buckets of it!
The prettiest village.
Snap decision to hire skis and ski for the 2 days we were in Montreux, not being able to wait a second longer for our planned skiing in Zermatt!
After all, it was only a half hour trip from Montreux to Leysin through spectacular scenery on a pristine Swiss train.
Straight on to the gondolas.
No queues! On New Year’s Day!
And straight on to those skis!
Some gentle snow on the first day! Which delighted my boys no end!
The place was damn glorious.
… and pushed our limits!
Day Two. More glorious-ness, after some more snow overnight.
Had the place to ourselves.
Then it got busy when 10 people turned up.
How blue was the sky?!!
Off piste … as you do, when you are adventurous, fearless boys, dragging a reluctant mother behind you!
There’s the other two, coming up the rear!
There were approximately 100 stacks on the way down from the top! …. no exaggeration Winnie! No creative licence.
One hundred and no less!
Steeper than it looks! Hubby coming up the rear!
Took a while for all of us to get down!
There’s my boy. That red dot in between the trees. He took the jump off the side!
We were the only idiots who braved the terrace for lunch.
Our meals took approximately 5 seconds to freeze. Cold spaghetti bolognaise and chips!
We had never been so cold in our lives….. and we had never laughed so much in our lives …. over the pain …. over our inability to hold our eating utensils, or to steady our bodies as we were shivering so much …. over how our room temperature drinks were icy cold by the end of our meal!
That mountain is where the gondola from the village landed and then you skied off to chase chairlifts to go higher.
Travelling with boys involved spontaneous games like ‘pelt the cardboard box on the bin down below with snowballs until it falls off the bin’ ….. while waiting for the train.
We put in two huge days … we couldn’t believe how beautiful the weather was, the amount of snow everywhere and how picturesque everything was! Our first taste of Switzerland in winter. Pure magic.
Next stop, Zermatt!