A Weekend in Zermatt

The River Vispa runs through the village of Zermatt and the pointed summit of this mountain
can be seen just about everywhere you go in the village.

The Matterhorn is probably the most well-known and recognizable mountain in Switzerland.
I recently spent a long weekend in this mountain village
and this is the view we had from the hotel balcony.
The rising sun hits the side of the snow-powdered rocky surface.

Different times of the day create different moods and they were a constant source
of never-ending fascination.

There were other things to see of course,
like beautiful chalets and pretty red shutters and seasonal decorations.

Bars and cafés often have outside seating with sheepskin rugs
and thick warm blankets to keep warm in the crisp, cold air.

Many of the chalets are very old and have a great deal of charm.

The older the chalet, the darker the aged wood becomes, like this one above.
I have a special fondness for draped sheer curtains!

The hotel we stayed in is basically a big chalet with a modern wing which
is the reception, breakfast room and restaurant.
The hotel is very nicely placed just slightly out of the centre, 
but with an easy ten-minute walk to the station. 

Only electric vehicles are allowed here
and the air is beautifully pure.

This view just takes my breath away.

The Matterhorn is 4.478 metres high.
The German word 'Matte' means valley or meadow and 'Horn' means peak.

Here is the main church called St. Maurizius

This is the view you get as you come down the steps from the church

The front view from the steps on the old chalets and another mountain range.

One last shot of this iconic mountain at sunset when the sky was just turning
a shade of lavender.
We were so lucky with the weather which was sunny and quite cold.
On the last morning, it was -10 degrees Celsius,
but the average temperature during our stay was around -6C.

I really want to go back here again, but in the summer months so that we can do 
more hiking and enjoy the Alpen flowers.



Scene & Story: November 2017

KEEPING IN TOUCH


Dear Friends,

How have you all been this year?

Have you embraced the unexpected?
Have you got out of your comfort zone at least once?
What have you understood about life?
What have you learnt?

Do you sometimes ask yourself where you're going? I do.
Am I going where I need to go or am I struggling against the natural flow because I wanted things to be different than they were? Life is not always smooth. Situations are not always ideal.

Each new day brings us life experiences from which we can learn. It is our choice to accept the things that come our way, or not. Sometimes, we're allowed to say "No" when things have gone too far in the wrong direction.

We're allowed to take a pause and look within to be able to make the right choices. We can recognize that they are not always the same choices as others. That's quite alright. We are allowed to be different.

So towards the end of November, I look back at my own year and ask myself these very questions. It's also the perfect time to get out my coloured cards and rubber stamps and my address book and prettiest postage stamps and write to family and friends. A lighted candle brings in the right sort of mood and sets the tone.

So wherever you are, whatever your life experience right now, just know that it's where you are meant to be. How do you know that? Well, because that's where you are!

May we find the courage to face the difficult moments and the generosity in our hearts to be there for others when they need a helping hand. 

Keeping in touch with others, but also with ourselves.

My very warmest winter wishes!

Sandra


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I'm linking up with  Scene & Story hosted by Sarah and Lee

Getting Closer to the Mountains

Dent de Jaman and Rochers de Naye

A day out on the most beautiful day of this week
took me closer to the mountains in my area.
I took the funicular up as far as it would go, to a place called Mont Pélerin.

Many years ago, I climbed that thumb-shaped mountain on the left.
Going up was fine, but coming down the steep side was quite a challenge.
Luckily for me, a very kind, experienced mountain climber
gave me some excellent tips and helped me find stable footholds!

The snow on the summits was quite fresh
 and looked so striking against the blue of the sky.

Pulling back to get in a wider scene with the villages below.

The Lake Léman is included in this capture
and the range of mountains in the background is called
Les Dents du Midi which has seven summits.
This range is situated in the Chablais Alps in the Swiss Canton of Valais.
They reach a height of 3257 metres.

Here is a closer view.

Since the sun goes down rather quickly in the afternoons now,
I was able to capture the warm lighting on the same mountains
as I walked down to the next funicular stop to reach the lake.

These two towers are called:
Tour de Mayen and Tour d'Aï.
They are situated in the canton of Vaud where I live.
The atmosphere changes completely as the sun goes down.

I love how the sun catches certain edges of the steep slopes and makes them look so majestic.

I managed to catch the vibrant colours of the sunset
which lit up the lake in tones of gold and orange.
A perfect end to a lovely day!

When I'm in the mountains, at any time of the year, I feel as if I'm in a magical world
away from all the noise, the people, the traffic.
It feels as if I'm communing with Nature
as if I am connected to everything around me
and not just a spectator.



Getting Snug at Home

This is the time of the year when everything feels more transitional than usual.
November days alternate between blue skies and sunshine,
rain, wind and low stratus clouds making everything look dull.

I cut the last two flowers on my Gaillardia plant
and brought some colour inside.

This is the month when colour becomes incredibly important to me
I seek it out in everything I do
especially when I'm in the kitchen.

Preparing vegetables for lunch
Colour is so important in preparing a meal.

Many of the trees are already bare,
but a visit to the park on a sunny day
showed me these lovely beech leaves still glowing in a golden light.

Fallen leaves remind me to be accepting of the season.
They never fight the reality of what is happening to them and all around them.
The path to contentment is being willing to be in the moment,
just as it is,
for now.

The evenings are longer
and I love them to be able to create seasonal things 
like these crocheted snowflakes.

I have hung some up against the windows in my living-room.
No real snowflakes falling from the sky as yet,
but that could all change this weekend it seems.

I brought this cyclamen flower inside from my balcony
I love the simplicity of a single bloom in the tiny vase.

We have been having some beautiful sunsets.
I saw this one in my neighbourhood as soon as I got of the bus around 5 pm.
Look at the tiny crescent moon in the blue of the sky.

Pastel shades are a great favourite of mine too.
I stayed in this spot until the colours faded.

It will soon be December
and there will be fairy lights and music 
and candles too.
But for today, just enjoying this transitional period
shows me that everything is just as it should be. 

I hope you are enjoying the changing season too.



Leaf Philosophy

"Shall we let go?"
said the leaf on the left
"Not yet"
said the leaf on the right.
"Rain is on the way" said their fallen sisters, already lying on the ground.
"You will join us soon enough. It is our destiny."
"So be it", said the two leaves still hanging onto the branch.
"We will accept the wind and rain which will take us onto the next part of our life's journey."

A hedgehog scuttled by in the early morning, muttering to himself,
still looking for the perfect spot to hibernate!

A black car in the street
 wishing it had been sprayed another colour
Wish granted!

The golden Ginkgo leaves released themselves from the tree, their mother,
like excited children leaving the nest with a flourish of anticipation.
A friendly crevice in the stone steps gave them shelter
until they decided what to do next!

The beech trees in the park yesterday
were releasing their leaves like zigzagging butterflies doing their love dances in the spring.

All the elements of nature
so closely connected
creating the cycle of life.
The earth in which a young sapling grows into a sturdy tree
tiny buds form on branches and then leaves fall in autumn
and create compost which nourishes the roots of the tree.

The days are much shorter and the longer evenings give us more time
 to be creative
to reflect
to read
to be at one with the season.