One secret to making it as an expat is to find expat friends – a group of people in the same boat, facing the same cultural differences, and loving the new adventure that life abroad brings. Luckily, I’ve found one such group in a collection of American and British women living in Zurich, and it has made all the difference in making Switzerland feel more like home. We usually meet for dinner during the week, but, last month, Mallory hosted us at her beautiful lodge for a getaway ski weekend in Andermatt, Switzerland.
Not all of us are skiers (myself included), but that’s okay. With the heavy snow that descended that weekend and poor visibility on the slopes, we spent most of our time enjoying each other’s company. And when the skiers among us managed to get in a few hours of ski time on Saturday, the remaining few of us took the opportunity to explore Andermatt.
At an elevation of 4,715 feet (1,437 meters), Andermatt is a small, ski village located high in the Alps in Canton Uri not too far from the Italian border. With the cold, January temperatures, the river that runs through the center of the village was completely frozen over, snow covered the streets, and the rooftops wore blankets of white. It made for a magical afternoon walk through town while little flakes of ice fell on our faces.
As evening set in and the skiers made their way down from the mountain, we congregated at one of Andermatt’s newest additions: The Chedi, a luxury hotel with a fireside bar. After a round of cocktails, we made our way back to Mallory’s house for a delicious dinner prepared by Caitlin, our friend who specializes in holistic, healthy eating (you can read more about Caitlin and her meal plans here).
By the time we woke on Sunday morning, even more snow had fallen on Andermatt. So, we lingered over a long breakfast and, of course, coffee before making our way back to Zurich – which, to our surprise, had also been transformed into a winter wonderland in the hours leading up to our return. In a way, the snowfall in Zurich allowed us to extend the fun of our ski weekend in Andermatt — and who wouldn’t want a getaway weekend with good friends to continue just a little longer?