Another weekend, another trip! This one was last minute and unexpected. Somehow a 5 day business trip for Jignesh turned into a Corsican getaway when Jignesh's boss invited us (along with a few others) to his beautiful holiday home. Situated west of Italy and southeast of the French mainland, Corsica is full of unpaved (and very bumpy) roads, hidden houses, and remote beaches. As one of my friends said, "it is a whole bunch of nothing and simply fabulous." With Jignesh's boss as our host, we found some quiet beaches and did nothing except for build sand castles, swim in the sea, find shade under beach umbrellas, and picnic on local specialities (Corsican ham and cheese served with an amazing fig spread). During the evenings we either grilled on the terrace or dined on fresh fish (head and all) from beachside restaurants. Except for groceries, we did not step inside a store the entire weekend nor did we bump into a single tourist. While I am usually someone who gets bored easily and would rather explore villages rather than sit on the beach, I have to admit that it was completly relaxing and peaceful (ok, it did not hurt that Jigneh's blackberry was broken and out of service) and now understand why so many people escape to seaside resorts for their annual holidays. The scenery, company, food and accomodations were all fantastic. It does not get any better than that.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Monday, July 5, 2010
Since our last few trips were outside of Switzerland, we decided to explore some more of our host country. This weekend's destination of choice was Zermatt. Nestled at the foot of the Matterhorn (one of Europe's most recognizable peakes with its steep point) and surrounded by moutains over 13,000 ft, Zermatt is a ski paradise in the winter and a center for hiking and mountaineering in the summer. Since Zermatt is completely closed to motorized traffic, we did not see a single car for 2 days!
Located about 2.5 hours from Geneva, the drive to Zermatt is almost an event all on its own. The first half covers the entire length of Lac Leman while the second half winds through the back roads of the Swiss countryside and foothills. What amazing scenery! The town itself did not disappoint either. A main street provides all the restaurants, bars and shopping that you need while the side streets are full of typical wooden chalets complete with A-frame roofs and perfectly manicured flower boxes on every balcony. There is also a beautiful town church and cemetary honoring those killed while climbing the Matterhorn.
With only two days and one night in Zermatt, we did our best to do and see a bit of everything. On Saturday, we walked the streets and ducked our heads into some family run shops. We enjoyed the views of the Matterhorn and people watched as the very mixed crowed did their own thing. We ended the day with dinner at Le Mazot and drinks at a local pub while watching the World Cup.
On Sunday, we (Schlopy included!) took the Gronergrat railway to Switzerland highest open air railway station. At the top, we spent some time taking in the views and enjoying a declicious lunch. Instead of opting for the return trip back to Zermatt via train, we decided to take in some nature and hike down! With Schlopy in tow and happy as a clam to be off leash with an entire moutain to explore, we took our time making our way back to town. About 4.5 hours and two sore butts later, we arrived in Zermatt after a perfect day of hiking complete with sightings of sheep, deer, and badgers! Before heading home we were able to catch the last few games of the Wimbledon final while enjoying a cold drink on main street.