Snowy Vignettes from an Alpine Paradise

Having “escaped” winter by spending five wonderful, but scorching months in Asia last year, I must admit — it’s been a bit of a shock wintering in the Alps these past months. Fortunately, there are the visual elements that make sidewalk slips, shoveling, and shivering so worthwhile: chalets peeking out from under snow blankets, Mother Nature wearing her finest maquillage, and graceful icicles about to rappel from rooftops.

Here are more scenes from Oberammergau, Germany, and inspirational quotes attesting to the magic of winter.

Oberammergau's main church, covered in snow.
Cross-country skies have carved out paths in the snowy landscape of Oberammergau, Germany.

Having ‘escaped’ winter by spending five wonderful, but scorching months in Asia last year, I must admit – it’s been a bit of a shock wintering in the Alps these past months. Fortunately, there are the visual elements that make sidewalk slips, shoveling and shivering so worthwhile: chalets peeking out from under snow blankets, Mother Nature wearing her finest maquillage, and graceful icicles about to rappel from rooftops. Here are more scenes from Oberammergau, Germany, as well as inspirational quotes attesting to the magic of winter.

A cross-country skier skis underneath the Kofel Mountain in Oberammergau, Germany.
An evergreen tree's branches are covered in snow in the German town of Oberammergau, Germany.
Oberammergau in snow
birch in snow quote
Icicles hang from a roofline in Oberammergau, Germany.
mountain with snow quote
snowmen fall quote
snow evergreen quote

What do you think of winter? Do you embrace it, or do you long for balmier days? Can you share any tried and true activities, rituals or pilgrimages that help you bridge the cold impasse to spring?

Where in the World?

Planning Pointers:

  • Oberammergau is located 90 km (55 miles) southwest of Munich. To get there by mass transit, research the Bayern Ticket (website is in German, but you can use Google Translate). As of 2021, these tickets start at €25 for one passenger, and cost €8 for each additional passenger. You can use the Bayern Ticket for most trains, trams, and city buses, making it a good deal if you’ll be doing a lot of exploring in one day. You can purchase tickets online, via a ticket machine, or in person.
  • Are you looking for a guesthouse or hotel in Oberammergau? Here is my round-up of hotels, organized by theme.
  • Visit my Germany page for more trip tips. If you’re seeking more ideas about what to do in this part of Bavaria, here are all my posts about Oberammergau.

Photography & text © Tricia A. Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.

Published by Tricia A. Mitchell

Tricia A. Mitchell is a freelance writer and photographer. Born in Europe but raised in the United States, she has lived in Valletta, Malta; Heidelberg, Germany; and Split, Croatia. An avid globetrotter who has visited more than 65 countries, she has a penchant for off-season travel. Tricia has learned that travel’s greatest gift is not sightseeing, rather it is the interactions with people. Some of her most memorable experiences have been sharing a bottle of champagne with distant French cousins in Lorraine, learning how to milk goats in a sleepy Bulgarian village, and ringing in the Vietnamese New Year with a Hanoi family. She welcomes any opportunity to practice French and German, and she loves delving into a place’s history and artisanal food scene. A former education administrator and training specialist, Tricia has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in international relations. She and her husband, Shawn, married in the ruins of a snowy German castle. They’ve been known to escape winter by basing themselves in coastal Croatia or Southeast Asia. Her writing has appeared in Fodor’s Travel, Frommer’s, and International Living.

50 thoughts on “Snowy Vignettes from an Alpine Paradise

  1. Are your pics from Germany or Austria? The Margret Atwood quote was appropro! I have long embraced a change of season…do not mind winter. For some reason i like winter, summer and even the sad fall, but i find spring annoying…too much excitement? Too cutsey? Maybe i enjoy the hibernation and thoughtfulness winter engenders. I thought of your Arizona travels with my latest post on Winslow. Best, Renee

    1. Renee, how nice to hear from you again. These pictures are from Germany, but we’re rather close to Austria. We just haven’t yet gotten over there on this trip! Hopefully in the summer months.

      I liked reading your thoughts on winter. Oberammergau – or another mountain village – is the perfect place to engage in that reflective thought that you mentioned. I must confess that despite its cutesy elements, I love spring. I cannot wait to go hiking here among the green mountains in a few months.

      I’ll have to pop on over to your site and read up on Winslow.

      Happy 2013 to you and your family!

  2. Wonderful quotes, magical photographs. Winter in the southern US can run from balmy to frigid, so we often spend a lot of time outdoors – at the slightest hint of cold weather I stay inside as though its an arctic blast!

    1. I’m with you on hibernating when it’s cold outside! (You’d think as someone raised in the Midwestern US that I’d be a snow bunny, but slightly warmer climes have spoiled me.( I used to ski as a child, but skiing of the downhill sort is no longer quite as enticing. :) I’d love to give cross-country skiing a whirl, though, as it’s quite popular here.

      Thanks for your kind comment about my photographs, Elisa. This is a magical European spot indeed.

  3. I have added several of these quotes to my collection! Winter can be such a wonderful season, but the cold without the snow can be quite wearing. If you do live in a climate where a snowy winter is a part of the landscape, I think you have to find ways to embrace it and enjoy classic winter activities (snowshoe, ski, etc.) or else get cabin fever! ~ Kat

    1. Kat, how nice that some of the quotes made it into your collection. What a great idea you had to start that – a perfect place for one to head when seeking inspiration.

      I do feel as though we’ve come down with just a bit of cabin fever this season. I have visions of hiking here in warmer weather. I should embrace the cold weather and give cross country skiing a whirl in the meantime.

  4. Beautiful pictures and post. I needed this right now. I’m trying to plan a few days of excursions/activities in Brussels for February and am stymied by the cold weather. It definitely changes my itinerary. Usually, I’m happy to walk and wander for hours, but don’t think I will want to do that in the chilling cold and possible snow. So I need to rethink this. The quotes you included are helpful. I need to embrace it and enjoy Brussels in winter instead of wiching it were going to be warm.

    1. Juliann, how wonderful that the quotes helped you get past potential hibernation in Brussels.

      Have you been there before? It’s such a fun city; I’ve been there once in the winter and twice in summer. What excursions and activities are you considering?

      Warm up with a cup of hot chocolate! :) A Belgian waffle and bowl of strawberries with cream sounds divine now too. (We concluded that Belgium has the best coffee, because the dollop of cream that typically accompanied ours was so rich. Yum.)

  5. Beautiful all around.

    I seem to finally have reached an age at which I’m appreciating each of the seasons, and the beauty that comes with them (and by that I do kind of mean photo ops!). I still don’t like driving in the worst of winter or shoveling the worst of it, either…

    1. Hi Sid, thanks for your generous words.

      I think we share the same barometer for an activity’s/destination’s potential, photo opp speaking. :)

      Having simplified for this sabbatical, we sold my car, so we’re now relying on our own feet to trudge through the snow and get us where we need to go. (European mass transit is also generally superb!) Even though there are times that I wish I had wheels, I’m pleased to not have to contend with winter driving (at least for this chapter of our lives). Drive safely out there.

      1. A few days a snow drifted down and so delicately covered the fields. I tried to catch a few snowflakes. Something we would do as children. But the little darlings were to fine. There are tiny drifts of snow caught in grass on the North side of the house. The sun has come out and chased the rest away. We generally get at least one generous snow fall a winter. There may be more to come Tricia.

  6. Nope: i just run as far away from winter as i can afford to. But i’m glad that someone trudges it out. Especially when they are as talented as you with a camera.

    A most enjoyable post, Tricia.

    1. What a kind thing to say, thank you so much, Alessandro! You brought a smile to my face this afternoon.

      How often do you change venues? …I’m really enjoying your posts from Mexico. Such a great glimpse into everyday life!

  7. Winter here seems to be my favorite season because it brings such beautiful clouds and sunsets and is so changeable. I like all the seasons, but summer gets a bit monotonous. I feel fortunate that our winter rarely produces snow or really frigid temps. I’m feeling far too old to cope with winters like I experienced in times past in Boston or Utah.

    1. Interesting that winter is your favorite season in Oregon. We lucked out during our visit there this past fall, as we had sunshine virtually the entire time. Would love to see some more of your shots of those ever-changing weather patterns, Gunta. :)

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Judy! With a fresh delivery of snow today, I’m contemplating heading out with my camera again… we’ll see… :) I’m not sure what part of the States you are in – are you in a snowy wonderland?

      1. I use to live in a snowy area, Letchworth Park and Pulaski N.Y., regions. I live and work in Florida now. I have to travel for snow. Miss it!! I cannot wait to see more pictures of snow. Glorious!!

  8. Great set Tricia, I think i’m a winter person myself, although I do like a nice summer holiday, as long as there is a cold beer and pool close by.

    1. Mark, I’m surprised to hear that winter is so popular among the readers. :) In Germany, you’d certainly be happy with the plentiful amount of beer, though they do tend to serve it room-temperature here — something that American beer drinkers find to be a novel experience.

  9. Tricia, thank you for stopping and following my blog. These are beautiful images and quotes that fit our day here in Alberta quite well. We got a few centimetres of snow overnight so it is a bit of a winter wonderland. I look forward to following your blog and travels.

    Take care,


  10. Wonderful, Tricia! You certainly capture the beauty of any scene. I’ve always enjoyed the changing seasons of the Midwest, but we are going south for a month!?!?

    1. It is a charming saying, isn’t it? I didn’t have a picture of a snowman to share, but my thought with pairing the quote with that picture is that one might fall from heaven onto that scene – unassembled. :)

    1. Stunning, but potentially dangerous! My husband had to slash one from my parents’ rooftop before it slashed someone passing by.

      Thank you for your kind comment, as always, Madhu. Enjoy the weekend.

    1. That winter wonderland seems so long ago now since we’re now on the Croatian coast. Though I’m happy to be back in the sunshine, it’s nice to imagine the mornings when we’d wake up with beautiful frost art on our windowpanes. :)

      Thank you as always for your warm comments. :)

      1. Have you been to this part of the world, Anyes? If we weren’t combining work with pleasure, I’d love to see even more of this beautiful region. For now, we’re loving having Trogir’s choir of bells and stone homes bearing crests as our work backdrop.

  11. Beautiful images and interesting words, Tricia. In Mexico City there’s no extreme climate changes during the year. In winter is colder but it doesn’t snow. Although my mother told me that when she was a child, it snowed in Mexico City, only for one time ever, so it was a strange phenomena. I have never been in snowy places, and probably I will never be in one because I don’t like cold weather. By the way, thanks for following my blog “Exploring the world: Photography, travel, art” since February, I really appreciate it.
    Kind greetings,

    1. Marianne, thank you for dropping by. Even though I grew up in places with four seasons, I must confess that I’m not a big fan of winter. I love seeing the landscape dressed in snow during the first few snowfalls, and how snow adds a special feeling for Christmastime, but then yearn for some warmth. I’ve not been to Mexico City, but my husband went there as a child. Perhaps one of these days. :)

      1. Well if you come to Mexico City some day you can contact me. I can give you advice about interesting places to visit, and how to move around in the City.
        Kind greetings

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