The last weekend of February a Siberian storm called Emma, a.k.a. “the Beast from the East”, visited Europe and, of course, Switzerland. While the storm brought very low temperatures and beautiful and rare snowy postcards to some European capitals like Dublin or Rome, here in Switzerland it brought freezing temperatures and blue skies. For a few days, we had maximum temperatures of -10º C in Zurich!!! Fountains were frozen as well as part of the Sihl river.
And what do you do when it is that cold outside?? Well, if you were asking me when I was living in Ireland, I would have said, probably, stay at home under a thick blanket with a hot cup of coffee in my hands… But something has happened to me since I moved to Switzerland… I have to go out! I’m loving so much having the mountains, forests and lakes so close that I love to go and explore someplace new every weekend. So this gelid weekend we decided to visit a new place: the Aletsch glacier. And there was one reason for that decision: it was going to be warmer at 2000m of altitude than in the city!! I’m not kidding! We didn’t go to the actual glacier. Instead, we went to the Aletsch Arena, a mountain resort with kilometers of well maintained hiking trails in winter and with good views of the glacier valley.
So we woke up very early, took the train(s) and arrived in Mörel. From there we took the cable car to Riederalp and we started walking. At first, the weather wasn’t the best for getting any sight. We were in the cloud and it was snowing… We hiked from Riederalp to Moosfluh and when we arrived there, the sky opened and the clouds started to descend, uncovering an impressive valley between the Alps. It was even warm under that sun! Unfortunately, the fog beneath us didn’t completely disappear, so we couldn’t see the Aletsch glacier. But the views from the other side of the mountain were beautiful enough to make us forget about that detail. After enjoying the views, we descended again to the valley, passing the frozen Bettmersee in our way to Bettmeralp, where we took the train back home.
I’m loving my first Swiss winter. I couldn’t be happier having all these white landscapes every few days! But I think I’m now ready for another colorful Swiss spring and I’m eager to see all the city and the countryside in bloom like last year…
For now, I leave you with some photos from this new part of Switzerland. I hope you like them!!