Wait what? Is it December yet?
I just checked Hans Daniel’s lovely (and very Christmassy) blog post today and it just struck me that YES IT’S DECEMBER. I know I say this every year… time flies, everything went by SO fast, feels like we counted down to Happy 2017 just moments ago (I was in Bali for New Year this year), and now another year is coming to (another) end.
But December is here to celebrate! T’is the most jolly and merry season of the year. *Insert Santa and Xmas Tree emojis.
Well, or so… commercially.
For me December always brings lots of mellow, quiet self evaluating moment. The merriest month of the season is my most lethargic time of the year. Everything that supposed to be beautiful: Holiday songs, children choir, sparkling Christmas trees and warm apple pies… somehow are the exact things that also bring me all the wistful feelings.
But who’s EVER happy on December? Who’s above ten years old and do not feel lonely on December?
Ok. I might be the only Grinch here, but truthfully December always has its way to envelop my days with melancholy. It’s not a BAD, hopeless, morbid kind of sadness… I don’t know, I can’t hardly describe it. English language doesn’t cover a lot of emotions when describing sadness. It’s a bittersweet, nostalgic, sense-memory, a state of soul-longing… a complex, intentional, enclosed, comfortable sorrow.
The Great Google has the answer for this: S.A.D.: Seasonal Affective Disorder. Also called winter depression/winter blues, it is a mood disorder in which people who have normal mental health throughout most of the year exhibit depressive symptoms at the same time each year (wikipedia.org)
(Ok, so this is normal; and glad to know there are other Grinches out there.)
I don’t know what causes mine specifically; is it the short daytime, moody skies, or the fact that another year has passed and I feel like I haven’t accomplished lots of things, or that I’m getting a year older (December is coincidentally my birthday month as well), or probably the slight fear of the unknown of the soon coming year.
Whatever it is, this happens pretty much every year so I’m getting used to it. And just as mysterious as it suddenly comes, it also disappears on the new dawn of the new year.
Note: As I drafted this journal, out of insecurities I asked you, my darlings, if you ever felt like a Grinch too… and yay, there are even more Grinches out there! We should all come together and
destroy holidays try to make each other merrier.
But enough about that, let’s go back to… winter photos! Yay!
It’s been two years that I haven’t spent Christmas in wintertime. My last Christmas snow was in Shirakawa-Go, Japan, and well, though villages in Japan are not big in Christmas decorating (a little cardboard Santa on the hotel entrance was considered a big effort already), it’s just nice to have snow in this time of the year. I dream and I visualize by the book… I know.
I was a bit sad that I couldn’t update you with any snowy Christmas this year, but then I remember about this folder of photos I meant to share you months ago!
This post today is a long overdue post from the Euro winter trip earlier this year (February). You remember I’ve posted the images of Paris, snowy Prague and Hallstatt (that you also requested for photo wallpaper, yay!), the lovely fairytale town Bern and the super chilly Amsterdam. There was one destination that I haven’t blogged about yet: the one and only, super chilly and uber beautiful winter wonderland: Jungfrau.
Yep yep I know I’ve posted lots of Jungfrau images eons of years ago (and I raved about it being the ultimate Alpine village of my dream), but I came back again this year and well, I still love it as much; and even a bit more.
Jungfrau, or most notably known as the Top of Europe, is the main mountain summits of the Bernese Alps. It is the third-highest mountain of the Bernese Alps after the nearby Finsteraarhorn and Aletschhorn. The Jungfrau Region begins in Interlaken and stretches out to the Jungfrau mountain range in the south, which is Unesco World Heritage. There’s a lot of beautiful alpine nature and several little villages in the region such as Wengen, Grindelwald, Mürren, Lauterbrunnen and Haslital.
We took a daytrip from Bern to Wengen/Jungfrau, with a transfer in Interlaken and Lauterbrunnen. As our train drew closer to Lauterbrunnen, I noticed that nothing really changed since 2014. The quiet, idyllic village surrounded by three grand mountains of Switzerland: Eiger, Jungfrau and Munch looks just as dreamy as ever, with even more piles of snow than what I saw three years ago.
From Lauterbrunnen station, you’ll continue your way by a cogwheel train which will take you to a magical ride ascending to the last village at the foot of the Jungfrau mountain: Wengen.
Wengen is a charming car-free resort village offering a postcard perfect landscape, alpine chalets, timber cottages, ski clubs and cozy restaurants. For decades, Wengen is popular as family ski destination with a predominantly easy to medium-difficulty pistes (don’t ask me about my ski experiences. I’m just here to take photos. In fact, don’t ask me about any sport activities that involves sliding… or balancing.) For non-skiers, Wengen also offers beautiful winter hiking trails (Don’t ask me about hiking either. And please please don’t even ask me about having to move my lazy, frozen ass in this weather.)
From Wengen, you can continue your trip all the way up to the highest peak of Europe, the Jungfraujoch, via Kleine Scheidegg. We didn’t opt for this because the train ticket price was pretty steep. Riding the train from Bern up to Wengen costs around €45 roundtrip, however continuing the journey all the way up might cost you €200. It is the top of Europe, anyway. Nothing on top comes easy -or cheap. Touché. We were pretty satisfied to reach Wengen, it’s close enough (and cold enough).
Note: If you stay longer than a week to one month in Swiss, it’s more economics to get yourself the Swiss half-fare cards.
On the way back, we made a brief stop in Interlaken. This was my first time actually getting off at this station. I’ve heard people praising the town as a beautiful lake town, and I couldn’t agree more. Unfortunately the winter daytime is short and the sky started to get dark so we only spend an hour before heading back to our warm, comfy hotel room in Bern.