Day 6: A Whole Day In Zermatt, Switzerland

9:24 AM AirplaneFoodCritic 0 Comments

I swear, I have taken a gazillion photos here, just not with my Xoom so i can't post them. I promise I will fortify these blogs with proper photos when I get home and load my camera on here. Videos too! Ok that out of the way....
I woke up in Zermatt this morning for the first time in 11 years. This morning it was crystal clear. I awoke at 8:15 and began to get ready for breakfast. At 8:30 the town church bells began a beautiful song. It went on for almost 15 minutes. The hotel is far enough away that this was an enjoyable thing rather then a nuisence. I took multiple videos of it to post later. What a perfect start to a morning.
For breakfast we had pretty much the usual sans the croissants; meats, cheeses, several breads, eggs scrambled or boiled, homemade jams, fresh butter, cereals, juices, tea, coffee, fruit, veggies and flax seed...mostly aimed at fueling the hikers I imagine.
And hikers were just what we were. At 10:00am we set out through town and started up the Matterhorn Trail. It left the town and rose prjetty steeply into the pine forest. It flattened out after a bit and we found ourselves strolling through green fields littered with explosions of colorful wildflowers. We didn't see any edelweise but we did see the other two main alpine flowers, the blue one and the pink one. There were all kinds of others too, yellow, white, purple....everywhere. We wanted to skip and sing The hills are alive with the sound of music!
It was a little warm going up the steep part but once it evened out a bit it was perfect. The warm sun coming from a crisp, blue sky dotted with white clouds and a cool, light breeze. We passed little huts and small brown grain storage buildings that must have been built 100 years ago. The roofs are made of slabs of slate overlapped like giant shingles and moss grows on it. The base of the huts are posts that are topped with flat stones like giant dinner plates and above that is the hut. The stones keep mice and other pests from being able to climb up to eat the grain. So clever, those Swiss. After an hour of hiking we came across a tiny village. It is amazing that people live so far from anything. I guess when the whole area is covered in snow it is easy enough to ski into town for supplies. The town is called Blatten and tbhere is a little restaurant that was closed for the of season. Last autumn my parents had a meal there of carpaccio. They said the chef shaved so much white truffle over it, you couldn't see the meat!
We visited the tiny church and lit candles for the family. Mom and dad lit one for me and my brother and I lit one for my cousins. We saw a sign post that said Ricola Krautengarten. We thought that sounded neat so we followed it to this funny little garden. There was a stone path that spiraled around patches of herbs. All the herbs that go into making Ricola...there was sage, hyssop, thyme and much more ( I don't want to give away the recipe, if you want to know you'll have to go on the Matterhorn Trail yourself). We crossed the glacial river and began our descent back to Zermatt. We followed a trail that was right under the tram that takes people up to the Kleinematterhorn. It was really cool to see the big red tram buzzing above my head.
We were hungry once we arrived back in town so my mom offered to treat us all to lunch. We are next door to the place we had dinner the previous night. We had hay soup which was creamy, buttery goodness then we all ordered a half order of deer carpaccio. The serving was enormous. The meat was so so tender and it was drizzled with a super dark green extra extra virgin olive oil. There was a pesto under the meat that was really light in flavor and there was the usual parmasean shaved on the top. I feel like I over use the word perfect but it was...perfect.
We walked up the the hotel to clean up. Dad took a nap while mom and I went to do more shopping. We liked lunch so much that we made reservations there for dinner. We picked up dad at around 5pm. We had an appertif on the hotel terrace again. We joke that we just sit and stare at the Matterhorn like one would stare at a campfire. It is entertaining all on it's own.
We strolled back down the hill for dinner. The restaurant is called Restaurant Weisshorn. It was half traditional Swiss food and half Mexican food. There was an entertaining mixture of Swiss and Mexican decor. We ordered a couple half liters of local wine, a Johannisburg and a dore, which is a rose. We all ordered meat dishes and all three we FANTASTIC. Mom got the deer in a mushroom cream sauce. Dad had Zurich veal and I got a veal roulade in a Calvados cream sauce. We wolfed down our meals with gusto. Fully satisfied, we walked back up to our hotel.
We were feeling frisky so we all had a nightcap in the hotel bar. I had an apricot eau de vie, mom had an apple drink lokr Calvados and dad had something like a brandy. The staff person there, Miguel, is from Portugal. He sat with us for a little while. It was ten at night and he said that he had been there since seven that morning. It is amazing how upbeat and kind he was seeing that no matter how long he worked that day, he was only being paid for eight hours. I would be like...get the #&*$ out so i can close up!
I went to sleep watching the little blue lights on top of the Matterhorn turn red and purple and flash all sorts of designs in a silent signal that it was eleven o'clock. Tomorrow we go to Lauterbrunnen.

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