Zermatt is a ski resort area that we had wanted to visit and ski in. A bonus was that they also have one of these igloo villages, called iglu dorf, 2,700 meters up the mountain. After reading all of the material and knowing what we'd be getting ourselves into, we scheduled our stay in the igloo to be on the first night of our arrival in Zermatt. We arrived at the meeting point at a hotel (also halfway up the mountain) a little early so we could enjoy a nice lunch and the bright sun ahead of us.
|Sitting outside eating lunch.|
|A closeup of the Matterhorn.|
|Jon's potato, cheese, and sausage soup.|
|I think it's this way.|
|Hiking towards Igloo Village - in the background.|
|The entrance into the village.|
|Enjoying a mug of spiced mulled wine.|
|Sunbathing in the snow.|
|One of the entrances into the main igloo.|
|A sitting area.|
|The view just before dinner.|
After we returned to the main area the bar was officially open, and we drank the hot spiced wine and tea to keep us warm. Dinner was all you can eat cheese fondue and the Swiss showed us how to properly eat the fondue, including getting the "grandma" at the bottom of the bowl (the melted, hard piece of cheese you need to scrape out), and taking the bread from the bowl with your hands to put on your plate rather than just poking a piece from the main bowl with your fondue fork.
Snowshoeing was next on the agenda. The snow in front of us was illuminated by the bright moonlight and stars. The tranquility and brightness very much reminded me of my time in the desert in Israel, though about 30 degree Celsius colder! The guide occasionally stopped and pointed out the star constellations. Towards the end she pulled out two bottles of liquor, one being grappa, with plastic shot glasses. High on the mountain, in snowshoes we were taking shots of this liquor that tasted very much like slivovitz (Feinberg Passover anyone?) with a little less burn. As Jon and I took our second shots we looked over and saw the Swiss couple swigging it from the bottle. Yikes!
|Ready for bed!|
Breakfast was to be at the hotel down the mountain a little bit, and to our surprise we were getting there via individual sleds! Sledding down the same mountain that people were going to be skiing on soon after was fantastic and woke us up a bit!
|Ready to sled!|
|Sledding down the mountain.|
We arrived at the hotel and stepped into the warm heat that we hadn't felt in quite some time. A large array of breakfast items lay before us and we dove right in. We chatted with our new friends while enjoying some of Switzerland's specialties. It all went by so fast and before we knew it, it was time to go. We headed towards the train to take us down the mountain to the village of Zermatt where we were to start the next part of our vacation.
Overall, we had an amazing, once in a lifetime experience with the igloo village and we're so glad that we were able to partake in such an adventure. Would we do it again? Probably not. Not because we didn't enjoy it, but we feel it's something that's only meant to be done once. The sheer novelty of Iglu-Dorf, friendly couples from around the world, the food, and different activities made this an unforgettable experience for us.