Glacier Express

We did not know what think when the GPS in the car asked whether we wanted to take a ferry in route from Malban, Liechtenstein to Zermatt, Switzerland.  The option without the ferry was an hour longer. Marcia looked on the iPhone map and could not find anything other than many river crossings.  Throwing caution to the wind, we choose the route with a ferry. Eventually we arrived at a train station. It was a wild ride through 17 km of darkness.

Malbun, Liechtenstein

Malbun is a ski resort located in the principality of Liechtenstein.  This double landlocked country has to have the highest natural beauty per square kilometer in the world.  Despite being one of only two countries in the world to be double landlocked, the per capita GDP is third highest in the world.  Situated in the Alps means there are snow capped mountains in every direction.  The entire family enjoyed our time in Malbun.DSCN2814

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We stayed at the Hotel Turna for three nights. The breakfast was included and was fabulous. The breads were world class, the fresh fruits were what we had been accustomed to during our time in Europe (excellent), and the owner/chef was dedicated to providing a 5-star experience.
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This picture was taken at the same time as the above photo.  If we were staying at the Hotel Turna in the winter, the lift would have been between less than 100 ft from the entrance of the hotel.
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On our first day we walked up the ski slope and encountered many wildflowers.

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There were many gopher holes on the way up the slope.  Sarah took a different route up the slope and was rewarded by seeing four gophers. Two of the gophers were staring at each other.  It is spring.  Skiing down a run you would never think there are gophers hibernating below the snowpack.
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Ella (pink sleeve) and Rachel (black sleeve) climbed to the midpoint of the slope.  While there they collected bouquets of wildflowers.  In the background you can see Malbun.
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While Marcia watched Ella and Rachel collect wildflowers, Sarah and I climbed to the top of the lift.
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The last third of the climb was a killer.  We were both winded and did not look forward to getting down the mountain. I was thinking, bad dad to push to the top. We had almost no energy reserves to make it down.  Some sections near the top were very steep. We made it down without a dangerous loss of footing.