Friday, October 26

Swiss Rail Pass - Day 2 Matterhorn Hike & Zermatt

All piled in our bed with the kids around us getting feisty, 
this was the view that greeted us in the morning! 
The Matterhorn sure is a commanding sight! So majestic!

Ryan and I just kept snapping pictures as the sun rose on the mountain and seeped down into the valley below. It sure is amazing how light chases away the darkness. 

Once we got everyone dressed, we headed downstairs for a hearty, traditional Swiss breakfast of muesli cereal and yogurt, fresh baked breads, a spread of meats and traditional swiss cheese (HEAVEN on a plate!), juice and some hot chocolate. Our first order of the day was to set off for the Matterhorn and have a closer look-see!

We took an electric bus on down to the cable cars to whisk us up the mountain. Zermatt only allows electric cars and buses, the only gas run vehicle we saw was a big street cleaning truck. Looking down from the car . . .

Where'd the Matterhorn go?

Someone's excited!

Cool as a cucumber!

Man, I love this kid! It's getting harder to corner him.

Here's our stop! Now time to hike!

See that little hut on the ledge there in the middle? 
That was our goal.

And they're off! 
They pretty much kept this order the entire hike with Ryan and I sprinkled into the mix!

The glaciers were breathtaking!

McKay wanted to hike to the very top and was not happy when we said that wasn't our goal!
We had to beg him to stay in sight as he wanted to leave us in the dust. Mr. Eager Beaver! Lots of warnings to stay on the marked path, away from the edge. Jake had to be patient in the backpack and settled in for a nice long nap.

I loved this hike and time to hike with each of the kids alone for a bit of it. If I had have packed more water and snacks, we would have kept going - or at least some would have. Easton and Morgan were happy to be done, plum worn out!

I loved seeing this sign for the Swiss Chalet restaurant. When visiting my Grandma Honey and Grandpa Bob in Tillamook when I was little, I remember our favorite place to get ice cream before the Cheese Factory was the Swiss Chalet. Dipped soft-serve ice cream was my favorite.

Speaking of food, Switzerland is expensive and Zermatt lives up to it! Beyond the hiking/skiing, walking the little town, and the good museum there's not much too it unless you're dying to eat and shop with a big chunk of change! True to our regular traveling MO, we tided ourselves over with tall ice creams until feasting on an early dinner. Having hiked around the Matterhorn and then walking up and down the town, we'd worked up quite an appetite. We grabbed a roasting chicken from the Wilde Hilde shop near the museum and the Brown Cow pub let us feed it to the kids there while Ryan and I enjoyed some heartier fare. Our kids DEVOURED that chicken and picked it to the very bone! 

In the heart of Zermatt is a collection of these old traditional storehouses. Around the bend is the Matterhorn museum and I loved it. Good audio guides - you can pick between hearing commentary from the perspective of a local farmer or from a British mountain climber. In the 1860s, British climbers made this sleepy little village into a booming tourist trap. 

Recent readings of Laura Ingalls Wilder books and "These is My Words" had me musing over this little town's hey day back then and what it would have been like. The museum commentary shared why these huts were constructed up on stilts like this. One or more families would store their cheeses, breads, and harvest up there away from mice who couldn't climb up the stilts. Families often had more than one hut situated in different parts of the valley. They would store up for the long winter and stay close by until the store was eaten before heading to their next storage for a time. Such portable living necessary to keep their animals fed. I'd love to learn more of this, it's fascinating how it worked!