Traveller Story: Snow Falling in Switzerland
Roshell and her husband travelled on our A Swiss Winter Wonderland tour in January 2018. They enjoyed a holiday filled with picture perfect scenery, some magical moments and created some lasting memories.
What tour did you travel on?
When did you travel?
Why did you select this particular tour?
I’ve always had a fascination with snow. I love the way the landscape is silently transformed into a winter wonderland by the soft, delicate, white flakes. For me, there is no better place to experience this magic than Switzerland, surrounded by the impressive Swiss Alps.
The Swiss Winter Wonderland tour ticked all the boxes for us; picturesque villages covered in snow, quaint churches with onion dome spires, lakeside views of snowy mountains, a charming horse-drawn sleigh ride through a snowy forest and of course a panoramic train ride on the famous Glacier Express through the alps.
We also loved the extended stays. It appealed to our desire to explore the towns and villages at a more relaxed pace, immerse ourselves into the wintery lifestyle and personalise our holiday with ‘my time’ activities.
Who did you travel with?
Have you travelled with Albatross Tours previously?
What was your favourite places on your Albatross tour?
Zermatt will always hold a very special place in my heart. From the picture-perfect views of the snow covered wooden chalets, to the towering mighty Matterhorn in the not too far distance; Zermatt was the epitome of a Swiss village during winter.
Filzmoos was extraordinary! From this beautiful mountain village, we set off on a horse-drawn sleigh ride to Oberhofalm Alpine Hut. Sounds of clip clopping hooves, sleigh bells ringing, and horses snorting, accompanied us as we made our way through the snow-covered forest.
Rugged up under heavy blankets and drinking peach schnapps we soaked up the atmosphere and waved to passers-by.
The trees, heavily laden with fresh snow on their branches and the mountain ranges, set against a cloudless, blue sky, provided flawless wintery scenery.
What was the most amazing thing you saw or did on your Albatross tour?
We had such a special time in Klosters. Together with friends we made on tour we took the cable car to Gotschnagrat Plateau to spend a fun-filled day laughing and playing on the mountain. As if children once again, we belly-flopped in the snow, had the obligatory snowball fights and of course made snow angels.
When it was time to return to Klosters we chose to top-off our day with an adrenaline-filled 4 km toboggan ride down the mountain. Yes, sometimes we took a tumble. This gave us an opportunity to stop, catch our breath and admire the scenery. After a quick dust off we were back on our toboggan continuing our exhilarating journey down the slopes and round the bends all the way back to Klosters.
Tell us about your most memorable moment on tour?
Our tour was drawing to an end and we thought we had experienced everything a Winter Wonderland holiday could offer – and then it began to snow. Flake after flake the snow fell, settling on everything it touched. We watched silently from the window until we could no longer contain our inner child.
With coats, hats and scarves donned we ventured outside leaving footprints in our wake.
The street was bustling with people; some had come out to join the fun, others hurrying quickly to get in from the snow. Still the flakes continued to fall leaving a soft, white, feather-like covering on every horizontal surface.
Horse and carriages travelled up and down the street carrying people to their hotels, providing a perfect winter scene. I knew at that moment, this was a precious memory that would remain with me forever.
What was your favourite meal on tour?
It’s so lovely to taste traditional food from around the world; it immerses you deeper into their culture and customs. Whether it’s as simple as a spicy bratwurst in one hand and a mug of hot Glühwein in the other, a freshly baked pretzel from the street vendor or a pork knuckle from a German bier hall, we sampled all kinds of different food.
In Austria we discovered Kaiserschmarrn. These sweet, shredded torn pancakes were served with a light dusting of powdered sugar and strawberries and a serving of applesauce on the side. Our favourite meal was in Italy at our farewell dinner. While sad to know that our tour was coming to an end, we were still elated that the journey had lived up to and exceeded all our expectations. The occasion was marked with a traditional Italian style dinner at a local restaurant in Milan.
As the friendly waiters laughed and joked with us they served numerous, delicious courses. Platters of antipasti, dishes of risotto, pasta and different meats were presented. And just when we thought we couldn’t manage even the smallest morsel more, the final courses of desserts, cheese, fruits and coffee were placed before us.
What advice do you have for anyone interested in travelling on this tour?
While it goes without saying that you will need warm clothes on this tour, surprisingly we were quite comfortable in ‘normal’ winter attire. A good pair of boots is a must along with layered clothing, a decent coat and a hat and scarf.
If you are still unsure, or trying to decide between one of many of the winter tours Albatross Tours has on offer then I would certainly recommend attending one of their information sessions. We found them informative and helpful. It was also great to chat to other attendees, many of which had travelled with Albatross Tours on several occasions.
Would you recommend this tour to family and friends? If so, why?
It’s clear Albatross Tours know the region well and have researched and constructed the picture-perfect Winter Wonderland Tour. The included experiences and activities were balanced perfectly with the right amount of free time to allow us to personalise our holiday.
The hotel stays were well-located and oozed charm and charisma. If we wanted, we could wander out at night to explore more of the town on foot, or simply sit in the centuries old cocktail bar, drink in hand, and soak up the atmosphere.
Our group was happy and fun loving and our tour manager was extremely knowledgeable and helpful, as were the local guides.