Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Zermatt and the Matterhorn

Woo hoo! We love it when the sun shines - and we love the Matterhorn!! We had a great day but first I want to tell you about last night. After I posted we headed out for a walk to find somewhere to eat. Most of the restaurants have their menus posted outside so even though we don't know what some of the food is at least we know how expensive it is :) We found one little place that said sandwiches 6.50CHF so we thought that sounded pretty good. (I can't remember the name now but will update that when we look at our pics at home).

Once inside we remembered that people can smoke anywhere around here so it was a very smoky place but cute. We asked about the sandwiches and the lady was like - you want ham and cheese? Grant said sure and I was like well what else is there and she gave me a puzzled look. So I asked if there was a menu and she said - you want ham and cheese sandwich? So I said yeah sure ham and cheese would be great :) heh heh Then Grant ordered a dark beer and I ordered a Diet Coke. She came back with a Coca-Cola Light and a beer that was pretty light colored - we had a slight language barrier but it was all good!

A little bit later she brought out our sandwiches and they were really good. They have tons of fancy bread around here and the stuff our sandwiches were made on was excellent.
The cheese must have been homemade somewhere here too - it was good.

We meant to get cash before eating but forgot so when Grant was done eating he went to find an ATM since they didn't take cards at the restaurant. While he was gone the lady went outside and came back in with a big wheel of cheese so they must make it around here - or maybe they buy it like that? Grant came back and paid for the sandwiches and then we walked through the old part of town to check out the cool buildings.







Some buildings were still being used - see the little sheep in the door?



Afterwards we went and hung out at the hostel and chatted with some of the people that were staying here.

Today we woke up and were excited to see the sun shining outside! I immediately got dressed, grabbed my camera and ran outside and, sure enough, I could see the Matterhorn from our street - it was awesome!

I snapped some pics and then went in to get ready for our hike. We left the hostel around 8:45am and made our way up the valley towards the Matterhorn and had some really great views.









There was quite a bit of snow off the path but the path was fine for the most part. We went through a few old towns that had the cool houses built up on stilts with the flat stone roofs like they used to live in back in the day around here when they farmed.


Actually, some of the houses were still occupied because we saw sheep in the yards of some and also a guy spreading manure farther up the valley. The sheep here have bells on too :) And they are white fuzzy sheep with black faces - very cute.

We saw several little animals that we're pretty sure are marmots - they were cute furry guys running around (I got a couple pics but they were kinda far away so not sure how good they are).

Some of the old buildings were restaurants that looked like they must get used a lot in the winter when all the ski runs are open. We had planned to make our way to a spot called Schwarzsee Paradise where we thought we'd get a good view but as we made our way up, the plowed trail ended and it was all snow. We tried to walk on it but I fell through up to my knees and we decided to turn around :) We took a slightly different path back so we could see some new views and made it back to Zermatt around 1pm after stopping for a picnic lunch on the trail.

Shortly before we got to the end of the no-snow path ;) That's me and the Matterhorn.


Grant and the Matterhorn.


Cool view of Zermatt.


On our way back down to Zermatt.



Once we were back to town we decided we'd head over to the train station to see how much it would cost to go up some of the mountain trains. We wanted to get a view of the Matterhorn from farther away since we'd been right under it all morning. The one train we wanted to go on wasn't open yet because of snow so we took a different one to a spot called the Gornergrat.
It was a great ride with amazing views!

We could see all up and down the valley and had a different view of the Matterhorn that we hadn't seen from down below. The train ride itself was really cool too - it seemed like we were going straight up the mountain - crazy how they build all the rails around here.

Grant enjoying the ride.


It seemed so steep - the pictures don't do it justice. I was amazed a train went up here!

We hung out at the top for awhile and took pictures from all the different angles.

St. Bernard dogs posing for pictures.


Check out the glaciers and the cool aqua colored glacier water!


We even saw a mountain goat thing with big horns - so cool!


Grant looking over at the tallest peak in this area (nope it's not the Matterhorn!).


Huge snowbanks.


Us and the Matterhorn!

Then we got on the train to head back down to Zermatt around 3:30pm. Once we were down we checked out some shops in town but everything is really expensive. We were hungry by then so found a little build-your-own sandwich shop to get some food at.
Of course Grant had to have a piece of chocolate cake which was actually called Black Forest Cake :) We took our sandwiches as take-away (that's what they call it here instead of to go) and went and sat on a bench to eat.

After that we wandered towards the river where we had a good view of the Matterhorn and sat on a bench there for awhile and relaxed. Now we're back at the hostel just getting our stuff together since we head out tomorrow morning on the Glacier Express. It was a good day in Zermatt and we were excited to be able to see the Matterhorn!! Tomorrow we'll be staying in a town called Chur, Switzerland near the end of the Glacier Express train route.

5 comments:

  1. glad you had a sunny day to see the mountain! how long is your train ride tomorrow? the glacier express website says you get lunch on there even! wooo--train food! i wonder if it's like airplane food...

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  2. Wow sounds great!!!!!!!
    Is the Glacier express going to be like the movie!
    Heh heh!!!!!
    I looked at where that train goes should be a awesome ride.
    Plane food is peanuts !!!!!!

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  3. Yahoo - SUNSHINE! Sounds like it was a great day with the Matterhorn! You two will be all hiked out when you get back! I think the Glacier Express will be awesome...I am going to do a train ride some day! In 4 days you will be back and full of stories...can't wait to hear more! Love - Mom Marla

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  4. Hey ya it's me! LOL like you didn't know ha ha Everything sounds amazing so far.....i am way jelious! What is the temp feel like there? You say it was raining so it must not be to bad? Hope your day goes good tomorrow!

    Kory and Sandy

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  5. i am still jealous! i can't wait to see pictures of all of this! you better put them all in the album that i got you, but the way it sounds, they might not all fit... we might need to go find another one for the end of the trip! glad to hear the weather is sopperating with ya! can't believe i will see you again in a week ash... your time is going so fast! see you soon! keep the posts coming! loving them!
    ~Bri :)

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