On Monday morning Jacob and I woke up with a mission. We were going to see the Matterhorn, come hell or high water.
As it happens, the Matterhorn was about as far away as it could possibly be while still being in Switzerland. We started early and had taken 3 different trains before we got into the mountains.
My friends, if you have never been to the Alps before, I highly recommend you add it to your bucket list. It's impossible to describe the wonder of this landscape; it is sublime, fantastic, and endlessly nuanced.
Thankfully the good people of Switzerland realize this, so they build whole train cars with huge panoramic windows like this one:
Our train worked it's way up the mountains slowly, a fact for which we were very grateful. This is not the sort of journey you want to take quickly - you want to inch along with your nose pressed against the window glass, preferably while listening to some really grandiose music.
This is what you will see.
I bet you that Zermatt looks exactly how you imagine it. It is a perfect Alpine ski town, dotted with wooden A-frame chalets, snow-capped pine trees, and a mountain stream.
We wandered the streets of Zermatt watching as groups of skiers prepared to head up the slopes, or disappeared into restaurants for an Apres-Ski cheese fondue. We planned our dream Swiss ski holiday, all the while asking ourselves, "do these people realize how good they have it?". Then we stopped and asked ourselves, "do WE realize how good we have it?".
We couldn't believe we were actually there, in the midst of the mesmerizing beauty of the Alps. It's the sort of place where you can spend hours staring dumbfounded with your mouth hanging open. I don't know how the skiers manage to avoid running into each other when they are surrounded by such distracting scenery.
Jacob and I took a tram up to a ski lodge that provided glorious views of the Matterhorn. From there we were planning to take a "winter hiking" trail that would take us back down to Zermatt.
The trail took us past views so beautiful that we were almost giddy with laughter. At one point Jacob found a piece of wrapped Babybel cheese on the ground. He ate it.
More mountain posts to come!