White-out in Interlaken

This took 1 hour.  Amazing.

This took 1 hour. Amazing.

Random Observation/Comment #170: The snow accumulation in Interlaken is quite scary. The snowflakes are the size of quarters (or 1 EUR for the non-American readers) and they stick to make perfect snowballs.  Throwing a small rock down the hill will literally snowball and grow because of Switzerland’s magic.  It was most probably the cold weather and perfect humidity that made everything so beautiful, but in my mind, this is how I pictured a winter wonderland in Switzerland.  I treaded through the freshly-fallen powder and, by the end of the walk back to the hostel; a little snowman was built on the brim of my hat.  It took an hour to transform this gravel side-path into a place I thought only my imagination could invent.  I was waiting to see a mythical half-man-half-bear-pig frolic through the woods – all I saw was a half-bear-half-man-pig.

On this second day, the grey clouds swallowed the mountains and brought forth an interesting precipitation similar to a shower of dip-n-dots.  When I first saw these little ice balls, I thought it was just the way it snowed in Switzerland, but as the day progressed, this windy hail transformed into gi-normous steroid snowflakes that were three times larger than normal.  It was as if each snowflake found multiple partners and they were having an orgy while floating downwards.

The morning hike in the Goldswil Mountain towards the North was very beautiful.  The clouds blocked some of the view and our will to proceed was interrupted by the hail, but I was finally hiking with company.  Jordan, Danny, and Keegan told interesting stories and just walked to the next photographic opportunity.  I was the most obsessed out of the group to stop and photograph an already cloudy scene, but eventually we followed the same wavelength.

Needless to say, the snow was incredible and I’m glad it happened at least once when I was staying in Switzerland, but I’m not sure if it is ideal for the hiker and photographer who are looking for those clear conditions to go to the top of the mountain.  I’m sure the skiers and snowboarders do not have preference over the visibility factor, and in fact, would rather see snow today so the conditions would be better the next, but a normal hiker would feel a little gloomy.  I tried to be reasonable with my spending money, so I didn’t rent skis (and all of my other required gear that I didn’t bring with me), but now that I recalculate the price for a week ticket, I’m positive I spent less money.  Although one day of full rentals (including ski jacket, boots, gloves, goggles, skis, and lift ticket) is around $160, the following days’ prices decrease by an N/2 sequence until $20 per day.  Therefore, a week of skiing would only cost around $400.  Because I record everything I do on this trip, I see that I spent $240 on activities, so I think I made the right decision.  Eating at the top of the mountain with $15 minimum for meals would have probably been the killer of my spending limit.  In fact, even with my reduced spending, it wasn’t until 3 weeks after the trip (where I cooked meals and greatly reduced my spending), did I return to my normal budget.

Anyway, back to the snow.  It was fluffy, it was white, and I was happy.  The weather eventually cleared for a chance to see the top of the mountain, so I’m glad I waited the extra days, but the sight of a town completely blanketed in an hour was incredible.  I wish I had built a snowman, a snow fortress, and some snow caterpillars, but I had to settle with some sick slides and large snowballs.  To avoid soaking the only shoes I brought, I wound up sitting inside and sorting my pictures in front of the fire.  This reminded me of winter – a relaxing vacation and not a care in the world.  I was a kid again, and I’m glad it all worked out the way it did.

~See Lemons Love Snow