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----- Switzerland ---------------

This was my first visit to Switzerland. Upon riding the train from Milan, Italy up the alps, the scenery was gorgeous. Craggy peaks, snow capped mountains and deep valleys characterize this alpine country. The coolness was a nice relief from the heat in southern Italy. Upon arrival into Brig, I knew that Switzerland would be expensive, but I had no idea how much so.

When I first made a withdrawal from the ATM in Brig the machine spit out a 200 and a 100 bill. Their money is on parity with ours so this was $300. I was surprised to get such large bills. The train up to Zermatt cost us like $70. When I Zermatt I swear everything is price controlled as it didn't matter where you ate or what nationality of food, all plates were between $30 - $40. This was just the main plate, no salad, no appetizer etc. This town was going to drain me. I wasn't so concerned about myself, but everyone travelling with us was on tight budgets. This is the wrong country to visit on a budget! To save money we decided that since we had an apartment, we would go grocery shopping. This did save us a lot of money. Everything here is more expensive.

Switzerland is very beautiful, the air very fresh and it is very relaxing. This was a nice break from our constant running around, late nights and city air. It was very nice to just relax in our backyard table and view the Matterhorn. We were here 2 full days. The first full day we took the cable car to the Klein Matterhorn summit. Here we went to the highest lift peak in Europe, and it was very cold with high winds that would cut through your clothes. From here we visited the Glacier Palace which was small but cool to visit. The 2nd day we went hiking up the mountain. This was a nice but tough uphill climb. Along the way we would eat wild mountain raspberries. They were small, but very delicious and fresh tasting unlike going to Publix where they are huge and gross tasting.

I must say that our apartment was the best apartment that I have ever rented. It was very modern and completely stocked even with chocolates and coffee. This was a much nicer apartment then the Rome and Barcelona apartments.

High elevated alpine village

The rugged & cold Swiss Alps

Town of Brig, Switzerland

Cold mountains and a glacier below

Beautiful green alpine pastures

Swiss cabin

Cabins on stilts (keeps rats out)

Germanic style church in Zermatt

Cows w/ bells are heard far away

Swiss francs are colorful

Slowly melting glacier

Deep river gorge

Our group at the summit

Perched on a rock: Me, Gabe, Isaac

Windswept mountains shelter clouds

Blue ice in glacier palace

Maritza in glacier palace

Carved ice statues

Matterhorn view from our apartment

On the way to Klein Matterhorn

Matterhorn at sunset

River descending into Zermatt

Up in the cloud layer

Me at the highest lift in Europe, COLD!

McDonald's is expensive

Mountain sheep

Directions on artistic post

Hmmmm we couldn't quite understand

Swiss multi-level loft restaurant

The infamous Matterhorn

Hunter green marble in river below

Sheep close up

Gabe and I at the mountain summit

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