Monday, July 5, 2010

Weekend in Zermatt

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.

Au Revoir.

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