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Tuesday, January 22, 2013 12:00 PM

Zermatt, Switzerland is an amazing place, an absolute winter wonderland. Just picture a little town in the Swiss Alps, full of charming chalets and no cars, covered in the 20 feet of snow that had fallen in the first two months of winter, and that's Zermatt.

I had never heard of the place before this trip, but it's at the base of the Matterhorn, and it's one of Europe's top ski resorts. J and I didn't go skiing, in part because we had only two days there, and in part because the handful of times I've been skiing were all five-plus years ago, and I didn't think I could handle the Alps. But the slopes were covered in perfect powder — not icy snow like we often have in New England — and the trails were wide, treeless and not too steep. J and I now really want to go back and try them out, but Switzerland is hella expensive, so it's going to be awhile before we can save up for it.

It was snowing the night we arrived. I decided to throw some into the air.
Leaving Zermatt to hike two hours up the mountain to lunch in Findeln
We met a Spanish dog along the way.

Fresh snow, yum!
J's dad, me and his mom on the trail. It was just the four of us on the hike.
At the Matterhorn Museum, the rope that snapped on the first successful climb of the mountain. Four people fell to their deaths on the way back down.

After 36 hours in Zermatt, the weather cleared enough for our first view of the Matterhorn.
On a gondola up to Klein Matterhorn near the top
I totally conquered this Matterhorn.
Into the glacier ...
... to the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, full of sculptures carved into the living glacier.

Taken from the gondola on the way back down

About to go sledding for the first time!
After sledding, pants and pockets full of snow
Part 1: Pisa
Part 2: Montreux

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