By Nathan Morley
The heaviest snowstorms of the winter have hit southern Germany and Austria resulting in power outages, railway closures, road blocks and dangerous driving conditions.
Snow ploughs, mechanical shovels, tractors and 200 men went out clearing the way for marooned villages near Berchtesgaden, a district close to Salzburg.
In much of Bavaria, traffic has come to a standstill, and public transport is running infrequently.
A huge avalanche struck a hotel restaurant in Switzerland, injuring four people.
In Sweden, an almost gale force wind, along with heavy snow swept over northern areas, whilst in the Czech Republic, around 10,000 homes were cut-off from the power supply.
More bad weather
Forecasters say weather will improve in the Alps on Saturday, but more snow is then expected next week.
Snow is also forecast over Greece and Turkey this weekend, whilst the island of Cyprus remains unsettled under low pressure.
A mixture of rain and snow in mountain areas had closed many roads leading up to the Troodos range.
The bad weather has also been causing problems in Norway and Romania.