Winter. Before we moved to Switzerland, this season always meant staying at home on weekends… Coffee, blanket and good movies. Ok, it sounds like a great plan for these cold and dark days. But after we arrived in Switzerland we changed our routines. Now, weekends mean mountains. And winter doesn’t stop us! After Christmas, I’m finally feeling that we’re settling again in our new routine. I spend the week thinking on new destinations for our hikes, checking the weather forecast and looking for a valley where the sun is shinning. And when the weekend arrives, nothing feels better than leaving the cozy and warm home for a few hours of hiking in the snow…

These last weekends have been busy. I went back to Flims, in canton Graubunden. I hiked again in the snow covered area of Cauma and Cresta lakes… it was such a beautiful day!!! But when I took my camera to start taking photos, I realized that I had forgotten my SD card in my laptop, at home… Ok, lesson learnt! It was the first time this happened to me in 4 years, but I promise myself it will never happen again!!!!

Fortunately, last weekend we went to the mountains again. And I chose a new place, one that we didn’t explore yet. We visited Arnisee, a little alpine lake in canton Uri. We just bought snowshoes and there are a few snowshoe trails around the lake, so it was the perfect place to use them for the first time. We left a rainy Zurich and an hour later we arrived to a sunny deep valley in the Alps. We took the cable car in the valley and, after a very steep ascension, we arrived to Arnisee. We found a beautiful little lake almost frozen, surrounded by a forest and majestic mountains and scattered little cabins covered in snow. The views were incredible! And we could enjoy it all almost by ourselves. As there are no ski slopes in Arnisee, the area was very quiet and only a few people were snowshoeing like us. We spent a fantastic sunny day walking with our new snowshoes, until the fog started to ascend from the valley and we decided it was time to go home.

Here are some photos I took that day in Arnisee. I don’t know if you noticed it last week, but I have started to include a few close-ups of the mountains recently, here in this post too… I have a new telephoto lens for my camera!! After trying a few options during the last months, I finally chose the Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6. It’s heavy and it’s huge, but the sharpness and focal range of this lens is impressive! I’m super happy with it and I hope I can take beautiful close-ups of mountains, vegetation and, hopefully, wildlife with it!! Let me know what you think about these photos!

PD: I have more news! I recently wrote another article that has been published in the digital travel magazine Stade Magazine!!!! It’s a short article and some of my photos from Lauterbrunnen. Here’s the link to the article: Stade Magazine – A Day at a Time


  1. Good for you! The article, hiking and pics!

    • mercedescatalan

      Thanks a mil, S! Ah, the hiking… I always loved walking, and now it seems I’ve found the perfect activity for me! Walking in the mountains and taking photos… Healthy and creative at the same time! Hehehe. But I still can’t believe how I went from wearing beautiful high heels and smart dresses to my law firm in Spain to having seasonal hiking boots, lots of hiking clothes, special backpacks just to carry the camera to these hikes… It’s like a few years ago I was a complete different person!!

  2. I love the images in this post, especially the close ups of the mountains with wispy clouds. Congratulations on being published in the travel magazine. Your article was the best! Your writing has become excellent. I’m glad you’re enjoying your new lens and are young enough to carry it!! A couple of years ago, I bought a used F4/300 mm to use for the zoo and birding. It produces great pictures, but it’s so heavy. I can only carry it for a couple of hours max.

    • mercedescatalan

      Thanks a lot, Anne!! It’s such an honor to have something published anywhere… I mean, someone liked my photos enough to consider them worth the publication! I can’t believe it yet!!
      Ah, the telephoto lens… I tried a few and I almost went for a 70-200mm f/4 just because of the weight!!! But then, another photographer recommended me to wear a cross body strap instead of the one that comes with the camera… I got one for Christmas and the difference is huge!!!! I used to end a lot of hiking days with a huge headache just because I was carrying the camera hanging on my neck and now that’s gone… I can’t still take a lot of photos with the new lens handheld for a long time, but thankfully carrying it is not a problem anymore 🙂 I guess I will have to go to the gym to be able to use the telephoto more often, hehehe But for now, it feels so nice to take again close ups and wildlife photos with the new camera!! I missed it!

  3. As soon as I started shooting I bought a 2-camera sling. Then I was using my D3100 and D7100 most of the time because I hated to switch lenses. Now with a couple of arthritic shoulders, I carry one camera. My sling came with a strap that goes under your arm when not using the second camera. I like that it locks in the sling so it doesn’t slide. I keep saying that I should have started photography 20 years sooner!

    • mercedescatalan

      Well, before Christmas I was sometimes carrying both cameras hanging on the neck… that was horrible!! And it was because I only had a telephoto for the small camera, so it was both cameras or no telephoto at all… I think people looked at me and though “oh, poor crazy masochist girl”, hehehe
      For me the new strap has been a blessing. But yes, I guess if you’re carrying two cameras with heavy lenses at the same time… even if you’re young, it’s too much!! Sometimes I say to my husband that photography is a man hobby. Cameras, lenses and tripods are very heavy, backpacks are design for men shoulders… no matter if you are a street photographer or landscape, you always end up carrying a lot of stuff, heavy stuff!
      Well, not sure if it’s only for men, but photography is not a hobby for weak people, that’s for sure!!

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