The Alps. This is what they call the Alps. The Alps who has been our loyal friend for several hours now, guiding, amusing, mystifying us since we left Austria.

Up until here in Switzerland, just outside our hotel window in Lucerne, we had a full view of the icy mountain ranges. We could just stay there, just there in the hotel, maybe take a pause from this week-long road trip, and satisfy our insatiable desire for sceneries.


Our hotel room was a humble few-square-metres. But when we opened the windows, we were king. What a view.


This scene is normal everywhere we go.

Just when we thought we had enough, we drove up, literally going up, to where the ice were. We found ourselves in Grindelwald, a famous winter resort — my first encounter of such a phrase and a place — where people do all these winter sports like skiing and sledding. We didn’t try any of these; we didn’t have time.

We dined in a restaurant backdropped by the Alps itself. And when you look out the window, you see nothing else but icy mountains and for a moment, you fear of an avalanche, but you really just have to get used to the fact that there is such a place on Earth as this!

A few Swiss chocolates and Swiss watches later, we played in the snow. I couldn’t describe the feeling because there was nothing in my nearly 28 years of existence to compare this to. It’s not even close to touching blocks of ice used for halo-halo during summer, as to do so is to sound pathetic. It was… hmm… how do I explain it…. er… icy. It’s not as friendly or gentle as it looks. You better not mistake it for a soft white cotton either. The ice was hard you can even sit on it like a furniture. But you don’t assume it’s steady either. You got to wear a special pair of boots so as to minimise the chances of slipping.

So that was snow.


Larger Than Life. Every moment felt like an avalanche was coming. But the icy mountain stood its ground. What a gentleman.


*This is part of a 68-Day Travel Diary called Reflections of a Nearly Thirty. Read the full Reflections Series here.

Join the conversation! 3 Comments

  1. […] I opened the window and there stood the Alps. […]


  2. […] I opened the window and there stood the Alps. […]


  3. […] marvelled at all these European cities — Cologne, Nuremberg, Munich, Salzburg, Lucerne, Grindelwald, Geneva, Paris, and Brugge — in that order through a ten-day European road trip where I saw […]



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About hellopenville

Writing is my one true north. (The other is eating spaghetti. I make the best pastas in the whole world I swear!) I have been writing since age 10. I remember being in another school a lot because of Campus Journalism contests. I was a grade-school copyreader, headline-writer, and feature writer, who emerged to be a college editorial writer and eventually a TV news writer. However, I have always been an insecure artist. These constant condescending thoughts always stopped me from creating: “No one would read this.” “This has been written before and therefore no one would read this.” “This is not interesting enough and therefore no one would read this.” “This is not relevant, or factual, or trendy enough and therefore no one would read this.” But I learned to risk to write even if no one reads it, than not to have written anything at all. To resist writing is to resist truth itself, to betray that which comes freely to you when you do not allow it to be manifested through you. I didn’t think writing was serious work. But every time I thought about writing, it would make me nervous. It would rattle me and frighten me. I would shake the ground under me. Aren’t dreams like that too? Read more at


Europe, Switzerland, Travel, Travel Reflections Series (3 months in Europe)


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