Day 12 - 2013 Europe Trip - A Whole Day In Sunshiney Zermatt, Switzerland

1:25 AM AirplaneFoodCritic 2 Comments

Im not a professional photographer, it is the Matterhorn herself that is so photogenic! Again, a photo taken from our balcony while a gondola goes by!

I got up at the usual morning time, 8:30, and the bf said he wasn't going down for breakfast. I was concerned about him. He was either sick or upset about the whole losing his job while on a very expensive vacation thing. I went down by myself to let him sleep. A young man greeted me and explained we are the only guests staying here so the breakfast room was all mine. A sweet black lab came up to me. I was so happy to play with a dog that I spent all breakfast with him. I pet him, scratched him under his collar and even gave him belly rubs. Sure, my hand stunk like dog, but I was thrilled to have him keep me company. Him and the Matterhorn. 
Silly black dog was my new friend.

I have visited this town maybe four or five times and I think this is the most clear and majestic I've ever seen the mountain. It is literally breathtaking. I sat in a sunroom with totally unobstructed views of the Matterhorn, the valley and hillsides. I ate all the salami and bologne. I drank some oj  and peppermint tea. The young man was kind enough to let me take a tray with tea, a whole carafe of orange juice and a brie and jam sandwich I made for the bf.
Breakfast at the Hotel Bijou

When I arrived back at the room, I set the tray down and went to slip outside until the bf awoke. He stirred and called out my name so I came to his side. He was giggly. What? Well, during the night, he got the info from HR at Zynga. His severance package is so sweet that we are thinking about buying a house! Also, he already has a job offer to consider so he is better off....WAY better off than when we left to come on this trip. That is why he needed more sleep! He was so happy. What a morning.
We finished up breakfast on our big ol'  balcony and suited up for a hike up the mountainside. We immediately removed our jackets. It had to be close to 80F by the time we left at 11am. 
We hiked along the little path you can see along the right of the photo.
We hiked up The Matterhorn Trail for about an hour until we reached a gate. I thought it was the end of the trail but the bf noticed the gate had a sign asking to keep it shut. We crossed past the gate when I heard the unmistakable sound of livestock bells. They were more tinkly than cow bells. 
We rounded a corner and sure enough, sheep! My favorite animal! I climbed on top of a big rock where I could lay back and simultaneously enjoy the cute sheep play and the Matterhorn shining bright in the clear blue sky. 
Hiking in my Crazy King Ludwig t-shirt!

Ready for a lovely hike up the Matterhorn Trail.
After basking on the rock we headed back down the mountain and up another trail towards the village of Blatten. There is a ski-in restaurant in this town but it isn't open this time of year. I do hear wonderful things about it. I hope to enjoy it someday when I come in the Fall. What interested me much more today was the Ricola Garden. Way up on the side of the mountain there is a garden displaying all the herbs that go into making the Ricola throat lozenges. The herbs were in full bloom and there was something new up there. You can take an herb quiz. There is a display garden telling the names of each of the fifteen or so herbs. Then they had numbered patches of the same herbs. I took a pamphlet and tried to identify the numbered plant patches by looking and tasting them. It was super fun for me. I was running around like a maniac. I put my answers into the receptacle. I now wait to see if I am one of the winners of some Ricola prizes. Thanks, Ricola!!
Riiicoooolllaaaaaaaa! This was just the center of a spiraling garden.
We also visited a tiny, white church way up there. I lit a candle. Actually,  I lit two because I accidentally put too much money in the little money box. Not to worry though, there are plenty of things to light candles for. I said a little prayer or two and we headed down the mountain back to the hotel. 
Candles of thankfulness and asking.
As we wandered through the trees we heard actual cuckoo birds cuckooing. It was surreal, like I was part of a giant cuckoo clock. The bf has really big feet and his shoes were small so by the time we got back to the room, his feet were hurting pretty bad. We rested for a bit then headed into town because I was starving.
We meet again, Kaseschnitte!
We stopped to eat at the Weisshaus which is next door to the place we had dinner last night, aka pretty close to the hotel. It had a menu outside that said "kaseschnitten". It was all we both wanted. We both ordered a Rivella, which is a Swiss soda made of milk serum, sugar and carbonated water. I know, it sounds....really weird. It is sorta a cross between a cream soda and a lemon soda. Leave it to the Swiss to make a soda pop from a cow. The bf ordered his with the usual cheese and bread, then he had tomatoes, pineapple and a super fresh egg on top. He loved it. He's a freak for pineapple on anything so he was excited. I had ham and tomato on mine and it was per-fect. Tell me, Kaseschnitten, where have you been all my life? WHY is it that I have been coming to Europe for thirty six years and only NOW do I discover this divine creation of bread soaked in white wine and smothered in raclette cheese?? I'm hungry telling you about it and I only ate that last one a couple hours ago.
We were pretty beat after the hike this morning. It is probably the most physical my body has been in over a year and I felt every step in my nerves. I had to up my meds a little this afternoon to get up from the lunch table. I needed a rest but first, I was going to either need more pain killers or more booze to help cool the fire in my blood. We walked down the main street to the Co-op to get me a cheap, twist off bottle of wine for relaxing on the balcony. Along the way we found some nice gifts for the bf's brother. The bf has been trying to find the perfect gift for his bro and he finally found it. Good thing too since we have two more days left of our trip! We grabbed the six dollar wine and started the long, steep journey back to what we keep calling home. I spied a shop called 'Stephanie's Creperie' that had a giant fake ice cream cone and had the urge to eat ice cream. So, Stephanie, that advertising works! I got a scoop of delectable caramel ice cream ( I'm going to start a petition, by the way, to bring this specific ice cream to the US 'cause I don't think I can live without it). It came in a flaky, sweet, toasty, homemade crepe cone. I ate it as a distraction to the grueling trek up to the hotel Bijou.
Stefanie's Creperie. Please ignore the crazy look on my face. I have ice cream on the brain!
I poured wine, checked up on some loved ones (the ones who were up at seven in the morning). And drank my wine on the bed, propped against a swirl of blankets and snuggled up with the bf. There we relaxed for a couple hours. My pain calmed down considerably, thank goodness. I got pretty hungry but we were so pooped still and we looked out the giant bay window and saw it was sprinkling out. We looked at each other and shared that unspoken look that says: let's get take out pizza and eat it here in bed.
Sometimes you just gotta eat in your hotel room!
We put on warm clothes and headed out once again. When we got to the stairs landing we were greeted by the black lab. He was so warm and soft so we pet him for a while. Then we ran into the innkeeper who recommended a place not too far away with good pizza. We slid down the hill and found Grampy's which looks like an Irish Pub on the inside. We got a pineapple pizza with ham on one half and a four cheese one. Fifty dollars later we were dragging the pizzas in their not so insulated boxes up the hillside.

They. Were. Delicious. And we had the best ambiance and view and company possible. Win-win-win-win. I'm now polishing off my cheap wine as I type this in my bed. I only dropped one slice of pizza upside-down on my white sheets. I guess better that than crumbs in the bed. The sun has gone down and I checked the weather which looks great tomorrow so sweet dreams, everyone.

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  1. I can feel the burning in my legs already as the two of you are hiking up to the matterdorn. Great news about the job offer as well. We are planning on going camping out to Pathfinder again this weekend. Love You both

  2. Your cheese adventures are addictive!