Monday, November 1, 2010

Sunshine, Chalets and the Matterhorn!

The Matterhorn!

The Local Transportation.

Backerei, a.k.a. Bakery. Loved the Giant Croissant on the Left.

Chocolate. Need I say More?

Cafe with Sheepskin Covered Chairs.

A Very Old Chalet with a Slate Roof.


Looking Back onto the Town.

The Matterhorn!

The Zermattehhof, Beautiful Hotel.

Lunch at Furi!

We spent a beautiful sunny and completely cloudless day in the wonderful mountain village of Zermatt. The village at the foot of the Matterhorn, is located on the Italian border of the canton of Valais in the west of Switzerland (the German speaking part). For many people the world over, Zermatt epitomises their image of Switzerland: high-alpine, awe-inspiring and original. The hotels and restaurants are world-class, and the ski area is not only the highest in the Alps it is also one of the best developed and most convenient in the world.

There is no shortage of things to do in this charming alpine village. In addition to a plethora of summer hiking trails, spectacular views and skiing all-year-round one can also experience the Matterhorn Museum or a visit to the Mountaineers' Cemetery (Bergsteigerfriedhof). However, one of the aspects that impressed me most was the fact that the entire town is a completely combustion-engine car-free zone - done in an effort to prevent air pollution which could obscure the town's view of the Matterhorn. Almost all vehicles are battery powered, very small and pretty much completely silent. They consist mainly of taxis and shuttles which are used to transport guests to and from their hotels and the main train station. Thus, the only way to actually get into Zermatt is by catching a cog train from the nearby village of Tasch, which only takes about 10 minutes.

After exploring some of this charming town Laura, Michael and my Mom decided they would do a little hike from the village of Zermatt up to the interchange station of Furi where my Dad and I would meet them for lunch. They said the hike would take about an hour which gave my Dad and I just enough time to admire the many watch and chocolate shops, sip cappuccinos, admire the majestic Matterhorn and enjoy the beautiful sunshine. When we got the call saying they had reached the interchange, my Dad and I hopped on the Matterhorn Express gondola and headed up to Furi to meet everyone for a fantastic classic Swiss lunch of rosti and bratwurst. Luckily, we arrived at the restaurant just in time, right before the giant ski school swooped in to chow down on a fondue feast.