This winter we succumbed to the lure of the Matterhorn. We lived so close to Switzerland while we were in Austria but somehow never made it over to visit, so this year we broke out of our COVID isolation to go back to the beautiful Alps. We’ve also watched Third Man On The Mountain so many times that we had to see it in person! The snow-covered peaks of Zermatt lived up to their legend, and we had a lovely few days of sunshine hiking with our teenagers and immersing ourselves in melted cheese.

We also immersed ourselves in chocolate. The Cailler chocolate factory was on our drive to France, and it turns out you can plan ahead to buy tickets and take a tour (which includes tasting!). I had never heard of Cailler, but it’s owned by Nestle and is the oldest chocolate brand in Switzerland. It was clear that Cailler’s standard is a little higher than KitKat and Crunch bars…

We also went to the Jungfrau to take the boys sledding on the longest sled run in Europe. The train dropped us off in the town of Thun, where the main street hummed with street cars and the cold sparkle of Christmas. Our attic apartment was in a quiet Swiss neighborhood that overlooked mountains and the backyards of normal Swiss people. It was freezing! But we stayed warm, cuddled under the eaves and eating noodles around the stove in the living room. In the center of town there was a Christmas market with gluhwein, and a castle twinkling with lights.

The sled run, on the other hand, was dangerously nuts. I’m glad we did it, but I don’t think any of us ever want to do that again! I lost my sled and Mike wiped out in a snowbank, and by the end we were just thankful that nobody ended up with a broken neck, or lost in a deep gorge never to be heard from again. We had a funny bus ride on our way to ice-skating in Interlaken, which probably isn’t a funny story to anybody but us, but it involved a paranoid guy and an overly friendly bus driver, and overall it was just kind of a weird day.

I’m never quite sure if Jake and Eli are having “fun” anymore on family vacations, since being with their parents is always a little bit of a sacrifice for them these days? But I guess if they say they want to go to Switzerland again, this one must have been okay. So here are just a few more pictures and memories, to make sure we don’t forget.