Chronicles of a writer abroad

A mountain retreat


At times, it’s easy for Stelian and I to get caught up in everyday life in Zürich, and forget that we’re living in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. But recently we took a few days out to remind ourselves of just that. We traveled to Grindelwald in the Bernese Oberland, using this as our base for the two-night stay. During the day we hiked, and we were rewarded with jaw-dropping mountain views, fields full of alpine flowers, and a chance to make friends with the bovine (and ovine!) animals of the region. Not to mention the great food and impeccably clean washrooms. I’m pretty sure Switzerland has officially spoiled our true enjoyment of any country that will come after it. Here are some pictures from our getaway…hope you enjoy them!

A valley crowned by mountains and dotted with cows

Some of whom were interested in watching us pass by…

And of course Stelian discovered that they like to be petted.

They also pose pretty strikingly at times. Exhibit A…

And Exhibit B

Here, Stelian pets the black sheep of Switzerland, to whom we can sometimes relate…

There were white ones too, of course…this was a lively, attention-seeking bunch.

Moving on to pure mountain porn…

We just hang around all the time, looking like this. No big deal.

On the last day we were hiking a trail along the North Face of the Eiger, and I was wearing my North Face windbreaker. There was a lot of cold wind, which the jacket was protecting me from. In that moment it was all making sense.

14 thoughts on “A mountain retreat

  1. Beautiful photos!! I love those snowy peaks and green valleys. Have you seen “North Face” the movie, the (somewhat fictionalized) account of the 1936 summit attempt on the North Face of the Eiger? I recommend it. It’s definitely a good idea to see the movie AFTER your hike, and not the other way around 🙂

    • Ooh, that movie sounds interesting. Our hike was right along the bottom of the North Face and was not too dangerous, but we did see the metal ladders attached to the mountain which are the starting point for people trying to climb up. It looked very scary to me.

  2. Great pictures!!!

    The cow in the fourth one is doing an absolutely stellar blue steel. 🙂

  3. Amazing scenery, with friendly animals to boot! What a magnificent country to explore. Thanks for sharing your adventures with the sea level folk. 🙂

  4. Wow, beautiful photos! It makes me want to go on a hike right away, too bad the weather is so awful at the moment…

  5. Soooooo amazing! I love the photos! I want to meet those animals! Sorry for all the exclamations but seriously, I love this post! I am definitely telling my husband we have to come visit soon. Thanks for sharing. By the way, love the North Face. 🙂

  6. You should be ashamed of yourselves for unabashedly showing such audacious mountain porn.

    We just discovered your blog, but we wanted to say that we love your stories and gorgeous photos. It inspires us to work harder on our own blog (

    Jason & Emily

    • Hi Jason & Emily,

      Thanks so much for this nice comment! I think that as a blogger you always feel a little insecure about how interesting your posts are, so positive feedback is greatly appreciated. I’m now following you guys too — I love to read about the experiences of other expats in Switzerland. Congrats on landing that very cool apartment, by the way!

  7. Tough to find appropriate comments for such beautiful photos! Thanks again for sharing your experiences there – you’re right, the animal poses were quite wonderful!

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