A few days ago, the Swiss government decreed a lock down in Switzerland. As coronavirus is spreading quickly, shops, restaurants, schools and everything that is not essential is closed until April 19th at least. It includes, of course, ski resorts and mountain trains and cable cars. Suddenly, winter is over. No more winter hikes or snowshoeing. I could say the same about social live. Now, working from home is the new rule and we only go out when we really need it. It means, we only go out for groceries or the pharmacy and maybe a short walk in the nearby forest. That will be all for the next month…

It’s hard to believe that not even two weeks ago we were happily planning many things… Hikes, trips, barbecues with friends… I wanted to go to so many places before the snow melted. Now it’s sunny and warm. Snow is melting in the mountains (I can see it from the many webcams in the Swiss Alps). My terrace is full of flowers and and bees and bumblebees flit all around. And from my window I see the cherry blossoms are blooming… I wasn’t prepared to say goodbye to winter just yet and now I’m going to miss the blossom season… It feels weird! But I’m not a negative person. I’m not planing to spend this whole month just watching the news, on social media reading about the virus or complaining. I prefer to go through old archives, reading and learning new photography and editing tricks, finding inspiration and beauty in the small things that surround me at home and, of course, I’ll plan new adventures for when life returns to normal!

Before all of this happened, we had time to go out for a last winter hike. A friend visited us and we took him to one of the most beautiful lakes I know: the tranquil Arnisee, in Canton Uri. Arnisee is a small reservoir. You need to take a tiny cablecar to reach the lake, where a few easy snowshoe trails start. It is a very quiet area, ideal to enjoy magical winter landscapes without all the fuss of bigger ski resorts. Arnisee is a great place to have a little taste of the magnificent Swiss Alps without having to go far from Zurich. We enjoyed a few hours of snowshoewing around the lake and the forests and a fantastic Rösti at the little mountain hotel Alpenblick.

Here are some photos from this last winter hike. I hope these photos cheer you up a little during these days at home!


  1. Mercedes, thank you for starting my morning off with beauty!

    • mercedescatalan

      As you said in your post, we have to show now beautiful images to cheer us up! We already read and see so many upsetting news these days and being at home such a long time is not an easy thing… so let’s share beauty the way we know how, through beautiful photos!!
      I’m happy it worked with you!
      Stay safe, Anne!! Big hug from Switzerland!

  2. I spent quite some time looking at your photos this morning. They are glorious. What gorgeous weather you captured. Really perfect for photography. I like your attitude of using the down time to learn things. The default is to keep up with the news but really one only needs to check updates once a day. The rest of the day is freed for learning and skilling up.

    • mercedescatalan

      Thanks a mil, Amanda! I’m so happy you liked the photos! That day was perfect: sunny and warm, we ended up walking in T-shirt! It was so pretty…. I didn’t want to keep these photos until next winter. I think we all need now to see something beautiful between all the upsetting images and news that we see everyday, every hour on TV or the Internet. This is my little contribution from my small blog! Hehehe. I’m happy to have WordPress as an alternative window to more kind and beautiful things during these days.
      And yes, there’s no better time than now to try new things and learn all those things that I have been postponing because I didn’t have time or other excuses… Now we have a whole month at home to do whatever we want!!

      • (Smile) a lovely response. T shirts in the snow? Marvellous.

        • mercedescatalan

          It was quite warm, even if the snow was pretty recent too, hehehe. It was probably about 4º or 5º C and we were walking and at some point, the coat was too much 🙂 It’s been a very warm winter in general… Spring has begun with colder temperatures! Sun is shining but is super cold outside… So confinement at home is not being difficult so far 😛

  3. Mercedes, on Sunday we took a short ride up to the snow to a small town. The weather was beautiful and the ground white. You’d never believe we were going through a pandemic. I did take photos. We did keep social distancing. It’s also time to go through archives and re-post. I could see your pictures again, maybe with a different story line, etc. Your writing is beautiful.

    • mercedescatalan

      Now I want to see your snow landscapes, Anne!!
      I know what you mean… When we went to Arnisee, the pandemic looked like something from other world far far away from us… And the next day, my husband’s company decided that everybody had to work from home… and a few days later the lockdown, the empty shelves at the supermarket… And now, the “far away” thing is actually how things were two weeks ago… strange, right? And I can’t imagine what will happen in a month when (I hope) the lockdown ends in Switzerland… We’ll see!!
      Uuummm I like the idea of re-posting everything again once all this madness is over… I’m sure the story will be different! Even if I’m the worst story-teller ever, hehehe

  4. So majestic! Now I understand why you miss this winter landscape so much 🙂 But summer will be awesome as well (thinking of Lucerne and all the lake). Hope the lockdown will be lifted by then. Stay safe and healthy!

    • mercedescatalan

      Thanks a mil, Len! Yes, I’m going to miss it! It’s been a weird winter, super warm, and with the coronavirus crisis it’s been even shorter! Now that we have to stay at home it feels nice to go through all these photos and dream with better days… Hope it won’t take too long before we can return to normal routine (now that word doesn’t look so boring, right?). Take care and stay safe, Lem!

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