The Magic of the Swiss Mountains

 

switzerland1Majestic mountain tops, leafy pine trees amongst the immense white and sprinkles of glistening lakes, these are the first things you might notice as your coach approaches your resort. Then as the sun sets, the golden twinkle of villages below, reflect the stars above.

As you arrive to your chalet, a crackling fire and freshly cooked rösti welcome you in to an oasis of warmth. Laughter and stories fill the rest of the night, as you will away the hours until it will be Ski Time in the Swiss Mountains.

And then suddenly it’s dawn and you are raring to go, the best would be to be the first on the snow. Daybreak is spent in a flurry of thermal leggings and tops, a lost glove here and a wooly hat there, a quick breakfast at most. One last equipment check and a lather of sunscreen meticulously applied to face and neck, before catching the first golden rays from above. The queue at the ski lift booth seems eternal as it suddenly dawns that there are other early birds in this neck of the woods.

Finally you are crammed in the gondola, trying to take a peek at the fading village down below and a glimpse of the mountain triangles above. After an abrupt halt, the doors open and you all spill out from the lift, at last being able to breathe in the beautiful scenery that surrounds.

switzerland2There’s something dream-like about looking over the vast whiteness all around, outlined by the dark spots of grey where the mountain-tops meet the clear blue sky. It is now time to buckle up and float along towards the pistes; Except, you don’t head for the piste, but stop on the edge of one of the connecting trails and look down below – the off piste to the side is where you’re aiming to go.

It is scary as the skis turn towards the ungroomed terrain, with the weight of the boots still fully touching the ground but the tips of the skis already dangling mid-air aiming at what lies beneath. Now is the time to take a big breath and push, push all your weight forward, and land on both skis in the white powder below. The softness of the terrain might surprise you, as both skis sink slowly into the white mush as if into water. Don’t expect to touch solid ground, instead start floating along from left to right as if dancing, picking up the rhythm of the terrain as it tells you to turn or glide through. This is the moment you’ve been waiting for, feeling at one with God’s creation, forgetting all your fears and inhibitions, flying through the snow as if it were cloud number nine.

You may pass trees on one side, followed by a rock pointing out, avoiding these obstacles as you make your own path. At times you may weave your way into previous skiers’ tracks, but you are always free to make your own new ones as you want. You are even free to take a gamble and land in soft mush, then get up again and continue to carve your own tracks.

switzerland3As you reach the bottom and re-join a piste, following once again a more herded course, you look back up at the plunge that you chose to take and the sense of freedom it gave.

About the Author:
I am a Hungarian traveller, currently living and working in Luxembourg – the only grand duchy in the world! Learning new languages and getting to know different cultures have always been my passions. Recently I have also become an aspiring travel writer.

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