Day 11 - 2013 Europe Trip - Zermatt and the majesty that is The Matterhorn

2:06 PM AirplaneFoodCritic 0 Comments

Woke up in terrible pain...sigh. I tried to withstand it for as long as I could because I only have a very small number of pain killers I am allowed to take each day. I may have shared that, for this trip, I am taking more than prescribed so I can really enjoy this trip but it's catching up with me. I waited from about six am to eight, then it was all I could endure. I took two norco and my day got immediately better by about nine. I listened to the cars go by and could not tell the weather by the sound. At six am it was a beautiful, but there was a heavy fog that lay in the valley much like I wished I was laying in my bed. I so wanted to be cradled by the Earth as I slumbered that morning. Once I crawled out of pain, and bed, at nine, the sun was back like there was some secret between only me and the fog.
The bf stirred about an hour after my nerves did so we had to jump to it to get out by eleven o'clock checkout. We packed up and zoomed off to the train that would take us and our car through the steepest of the Alpine roads. 
Typical views along the drive.
After an hour of me driving and the his feverish photo taking we arrived at the Kandersteg train station. I was all nervous, as I get in most unfamiliar situatins, but it went so smooth, you couldn't cut the fresh butter here faster. I paid the 22 Francs and slid onto the train with about two cars behind me before the train was full. We were already moving almost before I could put on my e-brake. I thought it would be like me in a car wash where I try to stomp on the brake to stop the weird movement feeling. But no. I giggled and smooched my bf. When it bounced extra, I squeezed his hand extra. No problem. Fifteen minutes later we were in Goppenstein and only one gorgeous hour from Tasch.

Our view on the auto train that takes you through the steepest parts of the Alps.
But wait, Airplane Critic, I thought you were going to Zermatt today. Yes, for those who have never been to this magical town, you may not be aware that you can not drive there.  You can't even take your car there and park it. You, instead drive to the town of Tasch, leave your car and take all your luggage on a train up the mountain to this popular skiing village. We made it to Tasch with no issues and tons of out-the-window photos. We ditched the car temporarily and trained it up to the town of Zermatt. It's about a ten minute ride up. 
On the train to Zermatt
Once we arrived in the town, we were at one end, the Matterhorn was at the other and somewhere in the middle was our hotel. I chose the unfamiliar to me Hotel Bijou because it was the least expensive hotel available that had a view of the Matterhorn from the room. I did not have a clue as to it's location. There is a board when you arrive where you can call your hotel so I called the hotel and an accented man seemed surprised to find that I was already in town. I asked if a little bus could be sent for us. See, no cars are allowed in Zermatt, so the only transportation are these tiny little electric breadboxes shaped like a tiny bus. The man explained that he, himself was not in Zermatt so I had to walk the twenty minutes or take the 25 Franc taxi ride. We chose to walk. It was lovely and worth the effort.
Along our walk to our hotel. You can see we are past the main part of town and getting into the country.
We pulled our gift laden bags through the main street, past the furthest I have ever gone....past what I thought was the end of town, past what I sorta thought might be the next town, across a river and up a hill so steep that some local women trying to push their babies up couldn't even make it themselves! We arrived out of breath and sweaty. It was over seventy degrees out yet we still passed several skiers and snowboarders who were heading down for their apres ski. We felt that heat then. The hike was worth every heavy step. I feel like I say this a lot, but I feel this a lot....it felt like the mountain was placed there just for us. 
The Matterhorn as seen from our balcony at the Hotel Bijou

Our room is massive and so comfortable. There is a giant, wraparound deck that both looks right up, unobstructed by anything, at the Matterhorn, the reason we are here, but also down into the darling village. We rested for a while just marveling at our fortune to be able to experience this world like this.
We strolled into town, found a bakery. We bought cake, juice, a sandwich and chocolate milk and hit up a park bench. We snacked at the foot of the 'Horn then, with satisfied bellies, we snuggled on the park bench for a bit. 
Sandwich and park in Zermatt.
We then went to town, literally, shopping. We picked up goodies for some girlfriends of mine then just wandered the little alleyways for awhile. The bf was really hungry but I was not. We ended up just getting an early dinner at the Cafe Du Pont, a favorite restaurant of mine. We got the shared fondue which was incredible. It was full of fresh cracked pepper. The funny old man who works there came and showed us how to chop up the potatoes then spoon the fondue over the top. I ate maybe three potatoes like that when I started to realize just how full I was. Oh mercy. I shoved the rest of the potatoes in my purse. I'm eating them now as I write this. Sure wish I could have saved some warm cheese but these are pretty good on their own. The bf killed me by ordering an apple streusel in front of me and my full belly. It looked incredible with the crispy crust and this one was covered in chocolate, something no one has dine to this point. I had to sneak bites to the protest of my stretched stomach.
Best restaurant in Zermatt, Cafe du Ponte
This time, I was glad for the long walk to the hotel. We got our computers and relaxed on the balcony for a while. The bf checked his email and learned that he had lost his job. Oops. We spent the next hour or so finding out about severance packages and unemployment. He is quite excited at the prospect of finding a new job and with the amount of money he is getting from Zynga, he will have several months to spend at home with me. We spent the rest of the evening drinking wine and taking time lapse photos of the mountain from our balcony. When it got too cold for me, I came in and took a hot shower. I ate the potatoes and wrote this.
Shutter speed fun on our balcony.
Things are looking up and the hike I have planned for us tomorrow sounds like it will be just what we need right now. So, until then, goodnight. One more potato and I'm out of here.

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