Thursday, 1 August 2013

Zermatt & the mighty Matterhorn

After leaving our friends in Biel we hit the road and headed for Zermatt. Not originally on our itinerary Mr & Mrs M recommended a stop off for 2 nights on our way to Lake Como. We took the rain with us, which had arrived the evening before and continued throughout the night. The mountains were covered in thick clouds giving them a slightly eerie Jane Campion cinematic quality.It was a 31/2 hr drive from Biel to Zermatt that kept us mesmerized (well the 2 of us anyway, Z man has taken to long trips with the headphones & iPad) the whole way and even included a drive on overland train. Luckily Mr M had tipped us off about the train otherwise we may have freaked out as one minute you're driving along a highway and the next you're seamlessly ushered onto a train and whizzing through the mountain base without much warning (or so it seemed to us non natives).Our next little adventure came when somehow we missed the 'Matterhorn Kiss & Ride' turn off in Tasch and drove our hire car all the way to Zermatt! Oops. We were a little unsure as to why there was so much finger shaking at us until 3 kindly gents stopped us in Zermatt and said 'No cars. You not allowed. Go back to Tasche'. The very narrow dual roads with traffic signals, finger shaking and cars only sporting 'vs' number plates should have been a giveaway but .... No. We scuttled back down the treacherous road to Tasche where we parked in the all too obvious train terminal and caught the Matterhorn express back to town.We loved Zermatt even though we arrived in the rain and the mountains were pretty much covered by cloud. We instantly knew this place was pretty special. Our hotel was great, booked two days prior, we were promptly juggled into a larger room even though they were fully booked by the gorgeous lady on reception. She also gave us a list of great eateries not on the main drag, & tracked down an electric kettle for us.Once we woke the next day the clouds had pretty much cleared and the rain which had left us untouched for the previous 2 months retreated.Somewhat expensive but we'll worth the cost. We took a 8 seater cable car up to Trockener Steg and from there another larger cable carriage to the Matterhorn Glacial Paradise 3883m above sea level. The trip up takes around 1 hour.  It is a truly awe-inspiring journey. It was  the first time Z man's first  snow experience. It is a summer snow wonderland up here.  We went from around 34 to -3degrees and back again in a day. It was definitely not the average kind of day.

**Apologies for the different font sizes.  We have a crazy internet connection which keeps dropping out.  We are now in Lake Como, George is calling and I am desperate to get out to explore the for now....crazy fonts will have to do. x
If you want to know more about this fascinating town they produce an excellent full colour magazine, Zermatt Times, with some great interviews and a peep into some of the more exclusive  accommodation.  Tre plush!
If camping is more your style there is a great set up, Camping Alphupel, in Tasch with easy access to the mountain by bus, train or on foot.

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