Temperatures in the single digits.
Cars dirty with salt residue and road grime.
Three inches of snow last night.
I want to get away.
But, not to a beach. Not to warmer weather. To better winter weather.
I love winter. I need the change of seasons to keep my internal rhythms right with the world. But, Central Illinois is not my idea of a “Winter Wonderland”.
Switzerland, Colorado, Banff, Bavaria, Scottish Highlands… those are the winter wonderlands I want to visit. Now. Right now.
Sadly, it’s January. I’m a teacher. There’s no traveling for me in January; so, I’ll just have to settle for virtual travel. If you’re in the same boat, or sled (much more winterish), check out these photos and websites to cure that winter wanderlust.
St. Moritz, Switzerland
Seriously. Isn’t that absolutely stunning?
Little villages nestled among forests. Trees with boughs sagging under the weight of fresh-fallen snow. Are you kidding me? That’s where I would love to be right now.
I’ve never been to St. Moritz. I’ve been to the Lake Lucerne and Mt. Titlis areas, but never the iconic St. Moritz. When I go (notice the optimism), I would love to go during the snowy months. I’ll take what I can get, but seriously – what could be better?
Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada
When I was in my early teens, my parents took us on a family vacation to Glacier National Park in Montana. From there we drove through the Canadian Rockies, eventually spending a few days at Lake Louise.
As a teen, I didn’t truly appreciate the beauty. I noticed it. I snapped some good photos of it, but I did not truly “take it all in”.
Now, I would love to go back. I would love to see what I didn’t really notice before. I would love to just sit on the bank of Lake Louise, breathe the fresh mountain air…. and, snap some beautiful photos.
You’ve probably heard of Berchtesgaden and Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest. But, there is so much more to see in Berchtesgadener Land – Alpine National Park, Lake Königssee, salt mines, Mount Untersburg…
In 2014, I was traveling with my parents (their 50th anniversary trip) through Bavaria. We stayed at Bad Reichenhall, a spa retreat known for its briny air. From Bad Reichenhall, we were only a short drive from Salzburg and Berchtesgaden.
Talk about a beautiful drive… it was absolutely gorgeous in summer, so I would love to see it in winter.
We didn’t have time to see everything the Berchtesgaden area had to offer. I guess a return trip is required. (Gee, I hate that. I’ll just have to go back.)
Highlights of our visit to the area:
- The ‘Gradierwerk’ open-air inhalatorium in Bad Reichenhall, where you van breathe briny air thanks to the gorgeous barn-like structure where saltwater (natural in the area), trickles down walls of blackthorn twigs. If you get within 50 yards, you will begin breathing better.
- The drive up to the Eagle’s Nest and the trip in the famous brass elevator should be enough to make the trip, but the views from the top are so spectacular that you will never doubt it was worth it. Stop and have a traditional German lunch at the top in the tea room and soak in the atmosphere.
- The Sound of Music sing-along tour in Salzburg. Yes, it might seem like the kind of thing you do, but hope no one ever finds out about; however, the tour is incredibly enjoyable. Great views. The stunning cathedral from the wedding scene. A tour guide in lederhosen. The famous gazebo. People from all over the world soaking it all up. What’s not to love?
Yes, for now I am trapped in Central Illinois.
Someday, though, I hope to see St. Moritz in its snowy beauty.
Someday, I will breathe a little easier on a return trip to Bad Reichenhall.
Someday, I will revisit Lake Louise.
Someday, I will.