I’m changing things up and the Matterhorn is involved! Normally I always write about my travels in the order of which they occurred, which keeps me about 1 month behind on the writing for this website almost all the time.
Recently, I went on a very emotional trip that I haven’t fully wrapped my head around or figured out how I would write about, so I’m going to skip it for now, and a few others, we’ll get to them soon, promise.
Which brings me to Zermatt Switzerland. There’s this crazy way in which the world works,that I haven’t been able to explain. Ever since I’ve started traveling I’ve seen it time and time again and I don’t know if it’s fate or just sheer dumb luck. Where you end up back in place you visited, without fully planning it to happen that way. My first time in Europe for leave travel I spent a day in Paris, then took the train to Zermatt, Switzerland for a week of skiing, and ended in Zurich for some R&R after all the skiing.
I can’t say I’d ever thought I’d be going back. When I moved to Italy 2 years later I knew there were a lot of places to see and many things to do, Zermatt unfortunately was not on the list. Alas, the travel beings that be had other plans and when a huge group of people decided to make this one of the ski trips of 2016, well, I couldn’t resist the pull of that mountain and the ties she has to my heart. I tried though!
When here last time we ended up staying 2 train stops out of the main station of Zermatt at a tiny town called Randa. A really lovely place. But this time we were staying in the town, up a small tiny hill. I mean just look at the picture I took on the balcony (the first one)^ our first morning waking up there. Hence the ties to my heart.
On the first night we arrived pretty late, after dark, and after a dinner of cheese fondue, we were so sleepy we headed back up the hill to our place and fell asleep, willing the next morning to arrive as quickly as possible.
Every morning we would walk into town, stop at the same cafe for a cappuccino, irish coffee, scone, or cinnamon bun, then we would rush over to the rental place, pick up our gear and catch the train to Gronergrat to begin the ski day.
Riding the train up to the start point we stopped for a quick look at Gronergrat, strapped into our ski’s, said, “See ya later” and we were zipping off down the hill. The butterflies in my stomach for that first run were beating at a high degree. Not because I was scared of skiing but because I felt like I was having a small adrenaline being back on this mountain. I absolutely love it!
We were taking a gondola all the way up the mountain and there were a couple of times where the doors would open all the way. Kyle was missing, he took too long to get in our gondola, so at one of the stops we cheered him on until he ran out of his gondola and joined us, to a rowdy applause. A ruckus is an understatement.
After skiing a few runs we decided to head over to the other side of the mountain to possibly take the glacier express. DID YOU KNOW YOU CAN SKI TO ITALY FROM SWITZERLAND? The whole back side of the mountain takes you to the town of Beruil- Cervina or Valfournenche, both in Italy. Unfortunately these routes were closed because of the snow situation and we didn’t get to go. I guess that means I’ll just have to go back for a third time.
High up on the mountain we attempted a ski train. What’s a ski train you ask? Precisely my point. They made me second in line on the first try. If me physically putting my ski’s on the ski’s in front of me is an indication that I don’t know what I’m doing, then I’m not sure what is. So as we started going down the mountain and gained speed a bit too closely for comfort, Scott, who was behind yells, “Breakaway, Breakaway!” The only Breakaway I know is when you’re detaching the fuel lines on a ship during a replenishment at sea.
In skiing terms, the second person pushes the first person who goes out in front and then the third person pushes the second person and so on. What did I do? Clung for dear life onto the first person, who happened to be Taylor. He was yelling at me as if I know WTF I’m supposed to be doing. He then just tries to get out and we tangle ski’s. My legs start going farther and farther apart. It didn’t end well if you are wondering. I went down hard, lost both of my ski’s, and immediately was redesignated as filmography for the second attempt. Fine by me.
A couple of hours later it was time to ski down the mountain to the bar I remembered last time! Apre ski and some fun was an absolute must. Especially since the Matterhorn had eluded us all day, toying with our emotions, and hiding behind a thick cloud of fog. That floozey.
They played my alma mater, and I didn’t even request it! This is the most Amazing Apre Ski. Take me hooooommmeee, Country rooaaadds, to the place, where I belooooong! WV <3
I piss my pants laughing at this video every time.
After everyone had provided a round, we decided it was time to head down the mountain so we could turn in our ski’s and meet up with about 12 other friends who were part of our group but were at a bar down in town.
It was a rough night. haha. I woke up the next morning with a pounding head but a determination to hit the mountain at 0800.
But first, let me make a snow angel.
Just laying in the snow outside makes me feel so much better.
Taking the Glacier Paradise Express, Europe’s highest cable car up for lunch, was a pretty bad idea. The lack of oxygen does not help hangover’s very much. When I got off the cable car and started walking down the corridor the matting beneath my feet was squishy. I was wearing ski boots and I felt this must be what it is like to walk on the moon. I was dizzy and out of breath by the time we made it to the restaurant, but some soup helped.
After lunch we headed back down the mountain and met up with a bunch of people from our group.
Lovely photo, in the small window where the Matterhorn was clear and visible. A couple of runs later, the lifts started closing and we headed down to Hanuu Stall for round 2.
Panoramic view of the Apre ski. Really fun place to hang out. Although, on day 2 they played the same playlist, in the same order. That was kind of odd.
On day 3 visibility conditions were not ideal. The mountain was shrouded in fog for the majority of the day. However that morning a fresh layer of powder came trickling down and covered the trails. We stayed all the way on the left side of the mountain and not many people were out skiing, this was by far my favorite day! Right when I fell into the rhythm of things.
Its so foggy up on the mountain that at the top of this hill you could watch the fog silently whip across the peak as if there was a fog machine going. We were quite literally, in the clouds.
But damn it looks so beautiful.
Such a cute restaurant down the mountain. Had we known it was opened we certainly would have stopped there for lunch but we were taking a mountain pass run that went right by it and couldn’t have known otherwise. Time to head back over to the other side. We had a spa evening on our minds.
As we came down the mountain to finish our run in the early afternoon on the third day we saw someone getting life flighted down the mountain. I hope he’s okay! The help flew right over us as it dipped down to grab him and head to the hospital.
Back in town we made a few phone calls and an appointment for 6 at one of the hotel spas. Our accommodations didn’t have a hot tub but there are plenty of places to go that do. Till 21:00 we had full access to 2 saunas, aroma room (peppermint in flavor) cold pool with jets, steam bath, ice shower, rain shower, and then regular showers. We took full advantage for about 3 hours. It cost 38 swiss francs per person but was a wonderful time and you could tell that the spa was in excellent condition.
A MATTERHORN OF MANY SHADES Which one do you like best?
When we got back to the place later that night, Taylor wanted to get that perfect nighttime shot of Her Majesty. All I can say is he #nailedit! It’s so beautiful and with Orion’s belt in the background too. So amazing, and the perfect ending to a marvelous weekend.
This article appeared first on the Cassey Excursion.