There is something about Swiss forests that fascinates me. But I can’t really pin it down. Perhaps it is all the stories they tell here about elves and fairies that live in the forest that makes it seem magical. Perhaps it is the tall tall trees and snow covered paths and wee forest huts.
There are forests everywhere throughout Switzerland with one within walking distance of every citizen – it seems. They are so different to NZ forests – which are covered with green bushes and ferns and lots of undergrowth. The Swiss forests just have massive tall trees – half pine and half not pine (sorry, I am not much of a plant expert!) so many lose their leaves in winter making it look quite bare.
Vineyard church has an annual Waldweihnacht (Christmas celebration in the forest) mostly for the kids. They light a fire, sing songs, tell stories, roast sausages, eat lebkuchen and drink hot punsch. Each kid got a small gift too. It was great and an awesome experience we were blessed to be able to share in.
I love that we are allowed to light fires in the forests here, even in summer, they trust people not to set the world on fire (although that would be hard when there is snow around!). It was heaps of fun. We, of course, had to bring along some marshmallows which I don’t think is very common in Switzerland since it took me forever to find a bag of decent marshmallows in the shops.
Toby loved it and rode his bike through the snow and loved exploring and cooking sausages over the fire with a big stick! He is a professional at it now, doing this sort of stuff every Wednesday with his Waldspielgruppe (playgroup that is held in forest no matter what the weather).
Noah was a bit cautious, not too sure what to make of the fire and snow and cold all in one place! Here are some photos: