Monday, December 19, 2011

Snow time - Zermatt, Switzerland

I had been hoping that it would snow at home before we left for Switzerland but with no luck - thankfully, there was plenty of snow in Switzerland to make up for it!!!! Last Tuesday we went back to Zermatt, a ski village in the shadow of the Matterhorn that we visited back in 2007. It's a car free village so we drove as far as we could before taking a short train ride up the mountain into the town. It was Mr Oliver's first train ride and he LOVED it!!!


One of the reasons we came back is that we wanted to do the Gornergrat bahn - last time we were here we headed up the mountain to the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise but also wanted to do the Gornergrat railway. When we went to buy tickets, the sales lady asked how old our son was and we discovered that you can't take babies under 1 year old past a certain altitude - and the Gornergrat observatory was too high (we were pretty thankful we went to a knowledgeable sales assistant and saved Ollie's ears, phew!!!). We could however visit a lower lookout at Riffelalp so we bought tickets and off we went on the cog railway. Once we reached our stop, we discovered that there was nothing there bar a 5* hotel & restaurant and snow... Lots of snow!!!

It was perfect for making snow angels in...


And just playing around...


And of course, some snowman building!!!


By this point, Oliver had fallen asleep from me rocking him on the swing and had a nice little nap with his Alpine babysitter...



And despite our sweet baby boy having a lovely nap, we figured we should take our first family photo in the snow!!!


Ahhhhh... I love snow holidays!!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Déjà vu - Strasbourg, France

It was a strange feeling of deja vu earlier this week - almost one year to the date, we were back in Strasbourg again! Mitch had to be in Switzerland this week for work (and of course our Christmas holidays!) and seeing as it was Mr Oliver's first big road trip, we decided to break it up a little and spend the night in Strasbourg.

The trip down was exactly the same as last year, right down to where we took our rest breaks - just minus all the snow :-( It made for a smoother drive but I have to say, it just doesn't feel all that Christmas-y when it's freezing out but it's not snowing!!! Ollie slept most of the car trip (giggling and shrieking at the world flying by when he was awake) and was soooooo excited to be out of his car seat on rest breaks!!!


Once we arrived in Strasbourg, we took some time exploring the busy Christmas markets and enjoying some French treats - vin chaud and nutella crepes make my day :-)




Strasbourg was just as lovely as last year - but I have to say, it was nice to have our little boy here instead of just morning sickness... 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Snow???

This time last year, I was excitedly watching it snow outside... It was such a novelty - being a Qld girl, the idea that I can sit in my very own living room, listening to Christmas carols and watching it snow outside is pretty exciting!!!


The excitement was heightened when on the weekend before Sinterklaas, we were driving to go buy a Christmas tree (because we pleaded ignorance and put ours up 'early' ie before 5 December) and spotted a bunch of people ice skating on a local lake. Having taken figure skating lessons years ago and loving any excuse to get on the ice, this was the ultimate winter experience for me - ice skating on a natural lake in our own town!!!


The view from our place this year however - NOTHING!!!! The only thing even resembling snow was the bizarre 1 minute ice storm (I guess I should call it a hail storm) while a friend and I were on a walk yesterday.


I anxiously check the weather forecast every day but it's just been rain, rain and more rain. The temperatures just aren't low enough for it to turn into snow, let alone freeze the lakes for ice skating - for once I am actually wishing for colder temperatures! I love our life in the Netherlands but the biggest downside here for me is the weather. It's awful - the temperatures are still cold but we don't have any pretty snow outside to make the cold worthwhile!!!

We are leaving shortly for Christmas holidays in Switzerland, with a short stopover in France. I have given up all hope of it snowing at home before we leave :-( I haven't started packing yet except to dig out our ski jackets & pants, ski gloves & Ollie's little snowsuit - so all I can say is there better be snow in Switzerland or I'm gonna be buying us a can of fake snow to make snow angels in :P

Bring on the holidays!!!

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