I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas, Da da da da da da da da…

Lauterbrunnen Travel Blog

 › entry 18 of 45 › view all entries

Hi… Sorry about rushing through the end of Italy… Internet access was expensive and time was about to run out.

So… When I left you, I was in Rome, heading to Switzerland for Christmas with the hope of finding some snow… I’ll start from the start… As I said, 105 euros to get to Switzerland (UGH!!!) but we got an overnight train so that we could at least save a nights accommodation. There was a crazy little Italian man in our carriage on the train that kept telling us off for everything, but eventually at about midnight we all jumped into our sleepers and tried to get a little sleep for the night. Our train was going to Bern, and we were going to spend a day there before heading to Lauterbrunnen on a mission to find some snow.

Bern was beautiful. It has another of those incredibly stunning Old Towns that seem to be everywhere in Europe, where everything is so quaint and matching. It was small enough to see everything in a day, so spent a few hours just wandering around, searching for the Ogre Fountain - the one with the ogre eating children (yeah, a little strange, but cute…) found the spectacularly gothic Cathedrale De Notre Dame, the Aare River, and giggled at the Zeitglockenturm when it chimed at 12. We were in a rush to get to Lauterbrunnen (I really just wanted to see if it was snowing) so as soon as we had seen everything we jumped on another train outta Bern.

For the whole journey our eyes were glued to the sides of the roads monitoring the level of snow going up and down, for most of the trip it was just really thin snow and icy frost. So, by the time we finally go there and found that the town was really, truly covered in snow, I could hardly contain myself for long enough to grab my bags before I ran across the road to jump in it. Found our hostel, which was full of skiers from around the world, the dorm rooms were massive and the showers were hot.

We spent 4 nights there, so had plenty of time to check out the tiny town with only one real main road. I did sooo many cool things there, Andrew and I took turns getting completely buried in snow (don’t do it, it’s absolutely freezing…) had snowball fights, and wandered around fascinated by all of the frozen waterfalls. Every now and then we heard massive cracking sounds coming from the top of the cliffs, and if you look up you can see the water breaking through the ice and the waterfall starts flowing again. It was just such a beautiful place, I mean, where better to find snow than at the foot of the Swiss Alps!!!

Christmas Day was really nice… We had made a tree out of a little branch, and decorated it with bottle caps (yes, beer bottle caps…) and rosary beads cos it’s all that we had. We’d all bought little gifts for each other, and when we put them under the tree it was hilarious. Mine were perfectly wrapped in bright red paper, Andrew had used supplies from his first aid kit, so they were wrapped in bandages and slings (he’s a massive klutz so he actually carries all this stuff with him just in case!!!), and Justin outdid us all by using toilet paper and bandaids!!! (He even used pretty paper with pink patterns!!!) It was really nice, and made me feel a little less homesick. We all got up and called home, then opened our presents before heading out to enjoy the snow. There’s an ice skating rink out in the open, so headed there for a few hours and being Christmas Day, we were the only ones there. I was convinced that I was going to wipe out massively, but somehow managed to keep my footing and even learned how to turn 360 degrees… Yay me!

Then, at night we cooked a fabulous Christmas dinner. We were planning on making a big roast (meat for the boys, eggplant for me!), and some nice wine. Until we discovered that the kitchen only has a stovetop, no oven. Anyway, no worries man, it all worked out in the end. Christmas dinner became chicken for the boys, still eggplant for me (YAY!) and mashed potatoes with salad. It was really nice to make a special meal, made me feel a little less sad for being away from my family at Christmas time. There were families everywhere celebrating together, and it just kept reminding me that my family at home were all spending the day together and with me not there it was the first time that anyone had missed family Christmas. But, I guess there’s plenty more Christmas’ to come, and in the end I wouldn’t have changed it for anything in the world. I guess that I was lucky to have good friends around to make it a happy day. We stayed up half the night drinking wine and then beer, and watching the family guy DVD’s that I got for Christmas (It’s called “I Griffin” in Italian, fortunately it’s in English as well!!!)

Boxing Day was very chill, slept in and then went and hired a toboggan. Dangerous. We thought that it would be a good idea to start from the very top of the hill when I’ve never actually been on a toboggan before, and I did a few spectacular wipeouts and had some impressive bruises afterwards to prove it. Then we built a snowman, and I know that Twinkle was my first snowman in Kosovo, but Aspro was much bigger. We were planning on making him life sized, but didn’t really realise how hard that would be when the snow was so icy. So, he was a little short (no thanks to the boys getting bored fairly quickly) but he was our little man. Went to go ice skating again but the rink was closed, I was devastated, hopefully will find somewhere else to go again soon… Ice skating is soooooo much fun. And I think that it’s safer than tobogganing. For me anyway!

Hung out for a couple of days in Lauterbrunnen before heading to Interlaken to try to find our way to Nice, France. Got to Interlaken Ost only to find out that the trains were all completely full for the next few days, although after checking 3 trains for us the chick at the desk promptly decided that she didn’t want to waste her precious time helping us any more. So, she sent us to Interlaken West to get them to look for options for us instead. So, another train ride, we found a great man who found us a connection to Nice the next day, cost us 122 Euros each (that sucks, but it was our only option) and then we were still going to try to hit Barcelona for New Years. Our train was leaving from Spietz in the morning, so we headed there to see if we could find a place to stay. No. There’s no hostel’s there, only really expensive hotels so then we got yet another train back to Interlaken West to check into a hostel there.

We found an awesome hotel Balmers Herberge which was PACKED with travellers, has a bar, restaurant and club, and pool tables, and just about everything else you could want in a hostel. We were so incredibly tired from a very long day of train rides back and forth. But it seemed like such a cool place that we couldn’t resist a bit of partying so headed down and ended up having quite a big night, and met loads of people. Had to leave pretty early in the morning, so at about 7am it was back to the train station to get to Spietz, then got the train to Milan.

What can I say about Milan, well, not much really. There’s absolutely nothing to do other than wander around window shopping (even if I wasn’t backpacking I couldn’t actually afford anything in that city!) found some cheap Chinese food and wandered around for a few hours until our connecting train to Nice, France.

So, I guess that’s where I’ll leave you, will try to catch you up on the rest ASAP.

Until then, love you all, talk to you soon.



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photo by: wilber85