Winter Thrills in the Alps
Winter Thrills in the Alps
The Aiguille du Midi gondola in Chamonix takes you halfway to heaven -- and magnificent views at 12,600 feet
One of my favorite winter memories happened one night on the snowy slopes of the Berner Oberland in
My friend Walter and I, warmed by hot chocolate laced with schnapps, decided to go sledding between mountain-high villages. We strapped flashlights to our heads, miner-style, and zoomed through the crisp, moonlit night.
When people think of winter in
These images are why
They also offer an astounding variety of terrain, relatively mild temperatures, a lively apres-ski scene -- and activities for non-extreme types, including snowshoeing, sledding, ice-skating, shopping, and sightseeing.
My favorite destination in
The town of Murren in Switzerland is traffic-free and filled with bakeries, cafes, and prefab-rustic chalets
The cliff-hanging town of Murren is relatively uncrowded and a good home base for expert skiers, with the 10,000-foot Schilthorn peak as its backbone.
Across the valley, Wengen has skiing for all skill levels and a rental shop run by the family of Olympic skier
At 11,300 feet, the Jungfraujoch in the Berner Oberland is
The town of Zermatt in southern
Zermatt's high elevation and variety of runs -- and the chance to actually ski or snowboard from
The perfect end to the day is a fondue dinner, featuring a communal pot of melted cheese. For the Swiss, fondue is a purely winter specialty (only tourists eat it in summer). It's served with a wonderful Swiss white wine called Fendant. When Swiss plan a cozy party, they add "FIGUGEGL" (fee-GOO-geck-ul) to the invitation -- "Fondu isch guet und git e gueti Lune" ("Fondue is good and gives a good mood"). According to tradition, if you drop your bread into the pot, you must kiss the person to your left.
The Savoie region of
While most travelers visit
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