after we booked our tickets to switzerland for new years, (my brother and sister-in-law) tal and anita asked us what we wanted to do while we were there. we just said one word: mountains. and we may have also mentioned we were hoping to see some snow.
we definitely got to enjoy mountains (t&a were so great bringing us to several different viewpoints/places to explore)! and we also got to see something even better than snow – incredible frost (it actually did snow while we were there, but only the night before we left in the wee hours to get to the airport and home to london).
after we came down talalpsee – that amazing frozen lake – we drove towards a hilltop with beautiful views of some alps for sunset. on the way we passed through a frosty wonderland and pulled over to explore a little. we were all freaking out a little at how magical everything was encrusted with a delicate and gorgeous layer of ice crystals. (can you believe there’s no snow in these photos?!) we were stunned. so so beautiful. as was the glowy of twilight at our next stop, where we soaked up the views and breathed the mountain air in deeply.
we went back to tal and anita’s, and anita made us some traditional swiss fondue. so yummy, and so fun to sit around the table dipping our bread cubes and talking about our joys in twenty sixteen and our hopes for twenty seventeen. we put the kids to bed and then just continued to sit around that little table chatting and laughing and learning from each other. it was really wonderful.
at 11:45, we heard the bells start peeling outside. anita explained that they would ring for fifteen minutes – to ring out the old, and then fall silent at midnight, and then ring for another fifteen minutes – to ring in the new. the rich and deep tolling rolled right into the kitchen and it was so so beautiful. at the moment of silence, we toasted, exclaimed and kissed, and then enjoyed listening to the new ringing. it was so simple, but i think that was one of the best new years experiences of my life.
^^ trying out a self-timer app on my phone, haha! ^^
we spent the morning of new years day just relaxing and hanging out. talmadge cut ian’s hair with a vacuum (yes, that’s a thing, and yes it was really fun to watch) and moses and his sweet cousin played together.
since tal & anita’s congregation didn’t meet until 5pm that evening, we stopped by a few pretty places en route to church: a spectacular viewpoint and a charming town with a majestic monastery (the interior of which was just stunning).
and right before we got to church we saw such a pretty sunset glowing over the frosty villages.
the next morning, moses woke up with his first fever :( poor baby – luckily with some meds and rest he was absolutely fine, but it was still sad and concerning to experience having a sick child for the first time. we laid low most of the day to allow moses to recover (and tal went to work and ian needed to do a bit of work).
^^ i got to curl this little gal’s hair (her very first experience with a curling iron!) and she was so so excited (even though her hair is pretty stick straight!) // a random photo of moses in the car from the day before, isn’t he just the sweetest? ^^
when the sun peeked through the fog in the late morning, i had to go outside and examine the layer of frost that had blanketed tal and anita’s town overnight. i loved trying to capture this magic with my camera.
^^ i can’t get over how cool these frost-dipped spider webs are! i’d never seen anything quite like that! ^^
and then ian stayed at home with snoozing mo while the rest of us took a quick trip to rapperswil, a delightful little town on the banks of lake zurich. it was fun to explore the streets for just a little bit.
^^ only in switzerland is this a somewhat typical view from the freeway…! ^^
so glad we could ring out the old and ring in the new in gorgeous switzerland. being with family and being in the mountains filled us up with goodness. a fantastic way to start 2017.