Today’s image is emblematic of the weather we recently experienced during a fortnight’s holiday in Switzerland. It’s not what one expects of a Swiss Summer holiday. There wasn’t a single blue-sky day from dawn to dusk during our two-week stay. I don’t recall a holiday like that before and I’ve spent well over two dozen holidays in the Alps. So, this summer was exceptional for all the wrong reasons. Everyone was complaining about it. The Mountain Guides were getting few clients. The mountains were not in good condition (rain down low means snow up high) – and anyway, who wants to climb a mountain and probably see nothing? The Hoteliers were not happy – who wants to visit Zermatt and not get a clear view of its famous mountain, The Matterhorn? The operators of the Gornergrat Bahn were not happy – who wants to spend 84 swiss francs on a round trip to Gornergrat and not get the classic view?
I count myself lucky. I’ve had the privilege of seeing all the good views on previous visits; but I felt really sorry for all those who had saved up to visit Zermatt – there one and only visit in a lifetime perhaps – to be disappointed by the paucity of the views.
We still had a relaxing holiday. We were well housed, well fed and well watered. We got up late on wet days and got up earlier on days that promised better. For me it was a matter of changing my priorities: I gave up on the long high walks that had been planned, enjoyed the less demanding ones and made the best of the better days. Photographically, the weather presented opportunities to capture the area in less favourable weather than usual. I came home with a different set of images. I am not down-hearted.
I got used to the mornings when the mists swirled around the valley, shrouding the landscape one minute, and teasing the next as the mist lifted briefly, revealing glimpses of one ridge or another. One held one’s breath, anticipating more. And sometimes there was more, but more often the promise was withdrawn. Views like I am describing have undeniable atmosphere and a character all of their own. But after a while it is natural to long for something different. There will be other opportunities, I am sure.
You will understand that I didn’t have time to view and comment on the blogs I follow while I was away, but I will get back into those activities this week. Thank you all for your comments – I think I managed to respond to the vast majority of them.
Finally, a warm welcome to all the new followers of my blog within the last few weeks. I hope you enjoy what you see and read and do add a comment or click the ‘like’ button if there’s something you particularly like.