Let’s start from the start, winter and I do not get along – I feel extremely cold, colder than normal people do and if I am tired my body starts to reject itself (I don’t exaggerate….). So if I could, I would totally hibernate in winters. But Switzerland is, well, for the lack of a better word – it is beautiful and so are Swiss Winters.
The Swiss are so much into skiing, that nothing comes between them and their ski equipment – not even Christmas and the New Year’s Eve. During the holiday period (somewhere during the end of Advent), the Swiss leave, they leave for their beautiful mountain chalets/houses/apartments (if you have one, you have been Swiss-ified beyond recognition ;)). Here, life is simple, beautiful, luxurious and cozy at the same time. Skiing and hitting the spa is normalcy.
Well just like swimming, skiing is second nature – so now I have 2 essential life skills that I don’t possess. Thanks for making me feel wonderful (most wonderful time of the year my a$$). But I like to write and I am an observer – so at least I can report stuff back to you guys! 😉
So we did a very Swiss thing this weekend, well also to be noted – at the moment we are entertaining. So, we took our family (his) to the beautiful Mannlichen mountain alongside a unique experience – Hot Pot Brienz.
Skiing in the Alps
- Getting to Mannlichen – is fairly straight forward but not quick – it depends on which part you are coming from. Our route was – Basel to Interlaken to Wengen to Mannlichen. There is a cable car from Wengen to Mannlichen and trains otherwise. Well, it is as scenic as it can get!
- Things to do – Ski, Snowshoe’ing, Sledding and more! We weren’t really planning to hit the mountains on day 1 but since we hadn’t seen any snow up until Wengen – we remained adamant enough to show off. (Pretty mature?) So even if you aren’t fully prepared – there’s a lot you can rent in order to enjoy! What you need are some skills…
- Eat – There isn’t a gourmet selection or a choice of restaurants, there is usually just 1 self-service restaurant with limited meals and a bar with limitless drinks. (This is a template across the Alps!)
- Weather – With snow all around, it isn’t easy, sub 0 temperatures to be expected but a good gear gets you by.
The views are to die for!
Hot Pot Brienz
Overlooking the beautiful Lake Brienz are these beautiful Hot Pots where you relax in hot water while sipping Gluh-Wein and eating Fondue. This description was enough to make reservations, and the 4th year was a charm! So as you can imagine, we had been waiting for this experience, for a while now.
- The Hot Pots are open between 5pm and 10 pm. It gets dark usually after 4.30 PM during winters, so there go your beautiful views – you are pretty much staring into oblivion.
- Anywho, you would imagine some sort of a magical route between the changing room and the hot pot – however, you run “in-and-out” in sub 0 temperatures in your bathing suit. At the beginning of this article, I told you about my love for winters.
- Now you would at least hope for towels, toiletries, slippers, etc. for the price you are paying – but no, they are not included. So we ended up paying 12 CHF per bathrobe, cuz a towel wasn’t going to cut it!
- Now you would hope that the changing rooms and the showers are in the same enclosure – but no, you had to go in and out – again this is OPEN space! And another lovely thing about winters, one would like (oh no, one would just HAVE) to PEE repeatedly – so just for fun let’s have the WC’s near the parking LOT! A walk in a bikini in sub 0 temperatures is all that I had hoped for.
- Experience – Well the experience isn’t bad but it isn’t exquisite, my expectations were soaring high! I think my heart skipped many beats every time my shoulders popped out of the water or when I thought about going back to the changing room! We ordered some water, wine, and fondue – both of which I hardly had, cuz, yea you did have to move (to eat)! The staff was also quite nice but I think the 2 minutes of torture of running to the changing room after coming out of the pot is something I will remember for a long time. (NightMares)
- Final words, or my recommendation – Tread carefully. Book in advance, land early so that you can catch up with some amount of twilight, go to the toilet before changing, tie your hair and wear your normal winter hat when you are inside the pot. December or March might be far better months than Jan/Feb.
What’s your favorite winter destination is Switzerland? Have you also booked some unique experiences like the Hot Pot? Tell me in the comments sections.
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