Hello from the Swiss Alps. I decided to come to Switzerland to see what Christmas is like here in the Swiss Alpines.
As many of you know, or may not know, I lost my father on Christmas morning many years ago. Ok, it was a long time ago, no need to shed tears or feel bad. But every Christmas I always think of my dad and he is foremost on my mind because this was his most favorite holiday, so I knew if he had to pick a day to go, it would be Christmas.
For many years I could not celebrate Christmas. I would go to Christmas mass and cry at the Christmas carols especially “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” because it was my dad’s favorite. Then one year, I found a beautiful little Santa Claus and just like that, Christmas became Christmas again and I was able to begin to enjoy the season a bit more. I began to collect Santa Clauses too. At one point I had about 75 of them all over the house and even put up a tree!
That was many years ago when I was married. Now, I spend my Christmases running around the world seeing how other cultures celebrate. Last year, I sent you all photos and did a blog about St. Petersburg. I showed photos of decorations and trees. Actually there is a tree on every corner decorated and lit up. And for a country that does not celebrate Christmas so much (their big celebration is New Year), I was so pleased to see the trees that I tried to take pictures of them in -22C. (I do not even know if Fahrenheit goes down that low!) I say TRIED because I was shaking so badly with cold that the pics were a bit blurry!
I was truly excited about so many decorated trees! Then I found out that they were not really Christmas trees, they were New Years trees brought into the country by Peter the Great. Ok, that’s just semantics, that did not dampen my love for the trees that sprung up on every corner of St. Pete’s. Nope, not even when they told me they were not real trees but made of metal, did I bend…
Now I am in Leukerbad for Christmas and then I will spend New Years Eve in Davos. Leukerbad is basically a ski and spa town high up in the mountains of Switzerland about two hours (and a bit more) outside of Geneva. There are mud baths, massages, and saunas if you want HOT and there is snowboarding, skiing, gondolas if you want COLD.
I once came here during the summer and climbed a mountain. I have a pic of that mountain here. It was not covered in snow then!
Yep, can you imagine? Yours truly climbed that mountain! I raced the hockey team and, well, lost. They all thought I had quit and taken the gondola back down. When I arrived at the top some half hour/40 minutes after the first guys had made it up (yes, of course they were already drinking their beers!), I arrived to cheers that I had not quit and had actually come all the way up! Well, truthfully, looking at this photo, I cannot believe that I made it to the top either.
But getting back to Christmas. There’s nothing like spending Christmas getting spa treatments and mud baths.
The weather is very changeable! It is Sunny one minute and then storming the next. We actually had about two feet of snow overnight the first night I had arrived here. I was going to go to see Elton John in Geneva but there was no getting down the mountain once I was up here. The snow saw to that!
Anyway, here are some more shots of Leukerbad. It looks just like a calendar my grandma had when I was a kid! Swiss Chalets all covered in snow.
I will write again in the New Year about Davos!
So from Leukerbad, Switzerland, and from my family to yours, Happy Holidays and a great New Year!