Spring, Summer or Snow?

Snowy Switzerland

If there is one thing with a mind of its own, it’s the weather.  It’s mid-March and I have seen the snowflakes fall here quite often over the past few weeks.  (And again as I am writing this!) But there were also days even in February when everyone in Zürich was outside, having lunch at sidewalk tables with jackets draped over their chairs, or strolling along the lake.  Not because they all believed it was an early spring… but rather, they knew that it wasn’t, and they’d better take advantage of the beautiful weather while it lasted.  Because back would come the flurries to remind us all… winter’s not quite over yet.

Snowy Switzerland

And I may be alone in saying this, but I don’t mind the snow.  At all. (Ok, so I don’t have a car to defrost either.) When it was unseasonably warm here recently, sure I went for a run along the water and took in some sun, but I was also jealous of the crazy snowfall in New York City and DC.  Yes, Zürich comes to life when the sun is shining and the lake scene is abuzz.  But I find the city – and especially the old town – just magical, with a soft dusting of snow and an unparalleled beauty in the play of light and shadows…

When spring finally is here for good, I know I’ll miss the sound of fresh snow beneath my feet, waking up on a weekend morning and deciding to go skiing – on the spot, just like that, or dashing outside with my camera to take photos of the neighborhood, simply because… it’s snowing!  (You’d think I grew up in the Maldives and have never seen snow before, but I actually have wonderful childhood memories of snow days [school's closed!], building snowmen with carrot noses, snowball fights, sledding down the “hill” in our backyard, Freezy Freakies (gloves that changed colors in the cold!)… and shoveling the driveway in New York.)

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So if you’re reading this in Switzerland, sorry folks, there’s more winter coming our way.  Enjoy the mountains, the winter sports and the obligatory pots of fondue that complete the scene.  And wherever you are, enjoy a few photo highlights below of how we enjoyed the snow this winter… so far!

Skiing in Flumserberg, about an hour and a half from Zürich:

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Sledding from Preda to Bergün on one of the most well-known sledging trails in Switzerland (called Schlittelwelt here), not far from St Moritz:

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And plenty of walks around the old villages of the Lower Engadine (as far east in Switzerland as you can go), one of my favorite regions in the country.  Here you’ll find Switzerland’s only national park, traditional etched Sgraffito decoration on the homes, and hear the rare sounds of Romansh, the country’s fourth official language (along with German, French and Italian):

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What’s the weather like where you are ?  Are these images a chilly reminder that summer is months away (sorry), or a welcome breath of fresh mountain air while the temperatures soar to sweltering by you ?

Snowy Switzerland

30 Responses to “Spring, Summer or Snow?”

  1. bethany says:

    Hate cold & snow honey but I do love your pictures! And I wouldn’t mind coming out to pay you a visit come cold & snow!

  2. Meeta says:

    the weather here? cold and also snow. but unlike you i am a summer gal! while i really appreciate the beauty of snow topped mountains and white glazed houses etc. i still look forward to seeing blue skies and the first almond/cherry blossoms. best of all seeing all the colors of spring/summer at my farmer’s market! so snow snow go away!

  3. Elisa @ Globetrotting in Heels says:

    I’m kind of sick of the snow, and the cold. I arrived here at the end of summer, so I didn’t have much time to enjoy the Zurich (and the Switzerland) I enjoy most: outdoor activities with my daughters, walking along the lake, feeding the ducks, eating ice cream, browsing the curiosity market and the rest of the cute little shops in the Niederdörfli.

    Zurich is pretty in any season really, particularly the area by the lake ? but I much prefer it in late spring and summer!

  4. Julia @ Mélanger says:

    When you grow up in the sub-tropics, you either love or hate the summer. I fall in the latter camp. For me, the best time of the year right now is …… drum roll ….. autumn is just around the corner!!! Woo-hoo.

    Sure, sure, I’ll miss the tropical fruit of summer (for me, really the only good thing about it!), but what a small price to pay. Give me snow any day over 100F / 95% humidity days. NASTY!

    Not a fan of feeling exhausted at just the thought of moving. So thank you Kerrin for sharing these photographs. As the Australian summer here lingers, it’s a refreshing break from the sticky and muggy days that keep making the days long!

    P.S. Admittedly, I was NOT a fan of snow shoveling or car windscreen scraping and defrosting during my five years in Boston. But even when it was freakishly chilly and -20C out, I sure never complained as much as I do here in the heat. You should also see poor Mr Melanger. We haven’t “evolved” to life in Australia – especially tropical Queensland. You can tell our parents are from much colder climes! :)

  5. Kim says:

    I’m impressed- I keep trying to tell myself to have your attitude and appreciate the beauty of the snow. I think I did in January, but now that it’s March I’m ready to say goodbye to winter (even though I know we still have weeks of it left!) Thanks for your positive outlook on this cold and snowy weather in Zurich!! Your pictures are gorgeous!

  6. brian says:

    I LOVE your photos! thank you.

  7. Emma says:

    I remember back in October and November I started whining about the lack of snow on a regular basis. No one around me seemed to share my incredible enthusiasm for snow and all immediately began to describe the downsides of a winter that drags on into the spring months. First of all, I don’t seem to get sick of the snow (let nature do it’s thing), and second, central Maine hasn’t seen much new snow since the beginning of January. It all melted during a rainstorm a long time ago and temps have been spring-like or even summery for weeks now. Watching the rest of the East Coast get pummeled by snowstorms has definitely made me jealous. And your beautiful pictures – ooh-eee, wish I could be there instead.

    Sledding in the mountains looks like a lot of fun!

  8. Sarah, Maison Cupcake says:

    Ethereal pictures, love the ones taken in the dark.

    I’m a bit of a Goldilocks with the weather, I hate the cold and cannot function in the heat either. Around 21-25c is my ideal!!

  9. Deb says:

    We are having very confusing weather. The daffodils have been in bloom for weeks, the trees are blooming but we have had hard frosts and 6 minutes up the mountain SNOW!. Here in the Sierra Nevada foothills winter is giving us one last punch of cold.

    Great images!

  10. Kerrin says:

    bethany, come on over and we can play in the snow together ! :)

    Meeta, I hear you – and trust me, I love all that summery goodness too, especially the farmer’s markets just filled with fresh colorful fruits and berries and flowers and all. Ironically, I’m always cold, so I don’t have anything against the warm weather, trust me !

    Elisa, I love all those aspects of Zürich too, for sure. But hey… what’s wrong with eating ice cream in the winter ?! ;)

    Jula, hope I was able to bring the temperature down a bit over there in h-h-h-hot Brisbane ! Meanwhile, you certainly experienced real cold winters living in Boston. And for someone who loves autumn, that was a beautiful place to be – Indian Summers in New England, nothing better. I can picture running along the Charles River right now….. so beautiful !

    Kim, thanks so much ! Since we have no control as for when this winter will actually end, might as well enjoy it, right ? And then complain when it gets too hot this summer, ha ha !

    brian, thank you !

    Emma, glad to hear we are on the same page ! I have been asking for huge, massive snowstorms for months. It snows a bit, but then just turns wet and nothing sticks, no fun ;)

    Sarah, thanks so much. You are too funny, Goldilox… bet you’re looking forward to spring and autumn then.

    Deb, everywhere the weather seems to be confused. One day I am hearing about the crazy snow storms back in NYC while I’m running along the lake here in a t-shirt. The next week, it’s freeeeeezing here and my parents in NYC are telling me it’s 60?F by them. I can’t keep up ! ;)

  11. Lani says:

    I have to say that your photography is just incredible. I can actually feel the snow under my feet walking through Zurich! Yes, I do want spring to come but I do love walking during a snow storm. It is the quiet of the streets that you can hear the snow falling! I walked through Central Park in New York one major snowstorm and it was an unbelieveable experience. Snow is gorgeous! You have shown me through your eye how beautiful Switzerland actually is….and it is real!!!

  12. jkiel says:

    I think we’re about the same as Switzerland, wait 5 minutes and it will change (this time of year, anyway)…

  13. Andrea says:

    You have no idea how much I agree with you!!! Your description, along with those stunning photographs, bring me back to my days living in Germany and Switzerland. Truth be told, there is no where more beautiful in the winter than in the Alps! (And I even live in the Rocky Mountains…don’t tell them) Ahhhhh…..well done Kerrin. This was good for my soul.

  14. Mowie @ Mowielicious says:

    I must be honest, I’m a summer person through and through – I’ll take sun, sea and blue skies over mountains and snow any day, as much as I love snow . Plus I’d rather strip all my clothes off than pile the layers on =) xxx

  15. KugelDad says:

    You forgot to mention the igloos that we always built on the front lawn. How cool were they! Your pictures are absolutely stunning. And yes, Engadine was a favorite of your mom and I. Totally gorgeous. Oh, weather… about 60 degrees and sunny here in New York. But alas, that will soon change – like tomorrow. Oh well. If winter’s here, can spring be far behind? :)

  16. Kerrin says:

    Lani, thank you so much. I have awesome memories of walking through Central Park covered in snow – so beautiful !

    jkiel, I don’t even bother to look at the weather reports anymore, it will have changed by the time I finish reading ! ;)

    Andrea, I am so happy reading your comment, thank you. And I do love the beauty of the Alps, at every season. But I am sure those Rocky Mountains look pretty fabulous snow-capped and all too !

    Mowie, okay then, I’ll have to post some picture this summer with the sun glaring down – just for you ! But oooh, I just got the chills thinking about removing a few layers of clothes here… ! ;)

    KugelDad, love it ! :) Yes of course I remember those igloos, they were huge and all the kids on the street loved playing on our front lawn for sure, so very cool indeed. Can’t believe the weather in NY now, so crazy. We’ll see what’s in store this weekend though…. !

  17. Sam Sidney says:

    I totally agree w/ all the previous posts, the photos are beautiful. Zurich looks perfect, I can’t believe still that you live there.

    Love the comments about the freaky freezies and all. And I am with you, I miss the snow sometimes. Luckily I was in New York last month when there was a huge storm, but of course, while I was there, I missed the snow in Charleston! It hasnt snowed here in ages and of course I missed it!

    xox

  18. Julia @ Mélanger says:

    Me, running along the Charles? Had to laugh at your comment, because in my five years in Boston, I never went for a run once. Anywhere. But when I was visiting the other year, that was actually something I wanted to do. In that particular spot. I went for daily runs along the Charles, and past my favourite spot each time, the Hatch. It was just post 4th of July, perfect weather. (And nice and convenient when you’re staying at Back Bay!)

  19. uberVU - social comments says:

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by MyKugelhopf: [new blog post] Spring, Summer or Snow? http://bit.ly/980Ji6

  20. Niko says:

    How many different chocolate bars are in the local CooP or maybe a better question is how many meters long is the chocolate bar isle? And is both sides?
    Hope you’re well Kerrin!

  21. Nomadic Chick says:

    I’m a self-confessed spring/summer gal. Which makes sense since my bday is March 21st. Snow is glorious to view from a window, but once I enter the outdoors, crunching through snow and breathing in arctic air loses its charm. :)

    However, I’m an appreciator of lovely things and your photos are as always, stunning.

  22. Karen@Mignardise says:

    What fabulous photographs!
    I spent a semester in Switzerland long ago, and your pictures make me hungry to return.
    It is truly magical.

    We’re having an early spring here in Maine, mostly sunny. Except for today with a cold rain and crazy wind.

    I’m enjoying your blog very much!

  23. Scribetrotter says:

    I’m afraid weather in Geneva has been similar – but without the few outdoor days! For the first time EVER, I was snowed in not twice, but three times this year. That has never happened!

    Normally I dread winter but I have to say – your pictures bring it all to live and make it look… ummmm… deep and dark and romantic!!

  24. Jamie says:

    I agree with Julia: I grew up in Florida where it was in the high 80s and 90s – or more – for most of the year and there was either way too much air conditioning (our junior high) or none at all (our high school) and I absolutely hated it. I dreamed of gorgeous, cool autumns with the leaves all changing colors and I dreamed of cold, snowy days. I am still this way at heart – I love autumn and winter, but sadly it doesn’t snow in Nantes. Your photos, Kerrin, have me dreaming! They are truly a beautiful wonderland!

  25. Kerrin says:

    Sam, snow in Charleston ? Wow ! That must have been gorgeous. Well, I guess you just have to stay another 10 years to see it again, ha ha ! And if anyone remembered the Freezy Freakies, it would be YOU ! :)

    Julia, how funny that you never ran along the Charles while actually living in Boston. But makes sense, sometimes we don’t take advantage of where we live and realize all there is… until we leave. Ah the memories of Back Back, Beacon Hill… thanks !

    Niko, thanks for checking in ! And now THOSE are questions for me ! Ha, I love it ! I’ll have to do more precise chocolate research and let you know :)

    Nomadic Chick, thank you so much. I’m seeing a warm and sunny spring day for your birthday next week ! That would be perfect ! Fingers are crossed…

    Karen, thanks very much, so glad you’ve been enjoying the photos and all. I have wonderful memories of Maine – no season is more beautiful than autumn there, right ?

    Scribetrotter, ah yes the snow that hit Geneva this winter – I heard all about it while I stared at the dry, snowless sidewalks here, just wanting some of your snow. Airport was closed many times even I think, right ? Crazy ! And yes… deep, dark and romantic, I love it !! Thanks :)

    Jamie, oooh I just got the chills from that A/C at your junior high, ugh I would hate that. I love experiencing all four seasons. But hey, I saw some twitpics of snow in Nantes… a little at least. Thrilled you love the photos Jamie, merci beaucoup !!

  26. Barbra says:

    I’m sorry, did you say “sled trail”? That sounds just my speed.

    As far as spring goes, I’m hoping that when I return to Paris in a couple of weeks that it will be in full effect. We’ve had some teasers (I went running in shorts yesterday) but I can’t wait for it to really settle in.

  27. Andrea says:

    May I ask where the last photograph was taken? The church in the window scene…

  28. Kerrin says:

    Barbra, “a sled trail sounds just your speed”…. there’s actually only one speed on those things, and it’s F A S T ! ;) Meanwhile, can’t believe you went running in shorts – mid-March in Paris, wow that sure is a tease, especially for us not yet quite in shorts !

    Andrea, you certainly can ;) It was taken from a little window in the corner of my hotel room in Guarda in the Lower Engadine, one of my favorite villages.

  29. Jencrafted says:

    I’m a first-time visitor and would just like to say “what stunning pictures!!”. Beautiful!
    I don’t mind the cold but at the same time, glad that it’s spring-like here in Northern California. It was 77?F here today. Now one can’t (and shouldn’t) complain about that, right?
    Thanks for sharing!

  30. Kerrin says:

    Jencrafted, thanks so much – and welcome to MyKugelhopf ! ;) No more snow here in Zürich, and the ski season is officially ending now in fact. But it’s still not quite as warm as it is in sunny Cali, for you ! And no, you definitely shouldn’t complain about that, especially to someone living in Switzerland – during the winter, ha ha ! Thanks again, hope you’ll continue to enjoy the pics and the posts !

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