Sunday, April 8, 2012

The rest of our stay in Zermatt, Switzerland: skiing, eating, and strolling

Zermatt is a village at the foot of the Matterhorn and is located in the southwestern part of Switzerland near the Italian border. It is in the middle of the Alps and is not lacking in character. The air is clear, clean, and dry and the town gets over 300 sunny days per year. Cars are not allowed in Zermatt, only the town bus and hotel taxis, making it quiet and not congested. It's exactly what we pictured when we thought of a ski town in Switzerland; houses and hotels with pointed roofs made out of wood, hills and streams flowing through the town, and shops displaying their homemade specialties for out of towners like us to gobble up.

Church in Zermatt
View of the Matterhorn from Zermatt.

The world's largest Swiss army knife in 2007!
We flew into Milan, rented a car, and drove the 2.5-3 hours to Tasch in order to park the car and take the 7-8 minute train into Zermatt. The ride was beautiful as we went around lakes and through the mountains into Switzerland. Amazing scenery unfolded before us as we saw small houses perched atop mountains, small waterfalls streaming down the sides of rocks from the melting of snow, and gorgeous greenery to welcome spring's arrival. Our eyes were met with picture perfect landscapes. Just beautiful.
Through the mountains.
The countryside.
Driving high in the mountains.
After our igloo stay we set out to Hotel Bella Vista to drop off our luggage, and then hurried to get out on the slopes. Spring-like weather welcomed us at the base of the mountain, and even though the snow conditions weren't the greatest we were thrilled to be skiing there. As we skied, we had panoramic views of the Alps and we looked around in amazement at the beauty. Over the three days we ended up skiing just about every part of the whole area. On our second day we skied into Italy for the day and then back into Switzerland.

Passing the Matterhorn.


Swiss Alps.
Zermatt is in the valley.

The Italian side.
At the wayyy top taking a rest.
At lunch.
The wind blowing some snow over from Italy into Switzerland.

The food was amazing and we looked forward to the breakfast at our family-run hotel everyday. Specialty cheeses from the area, homemade jams and jellies, a variety of meats, breads, and yogurts with healthy toppings... there was no end to what they could make! They also offered a free apertif in the evening by the fireplace. But the eating didn't end at the hotel! We had a multitude of cheese and chocolate fondue, specialty meats prepared in a variety of ways, and many Swiss wines.

Breakfast at the hotel
One of the appetizers.
Cheese fondue!
We were sad to leave this charming town and hope to return soon. The terrain, the environment, the skiing, the panoramic views, the friendly people, the homemade foods, and of course the company, made this trip very special for us.

Looks like a postcard!
On another note, Jon and I have been taking Italian lessons twice a week since September with our fantastic tutor, Giusy. Starting now we'll be writing one or two paragraphs in Italian to show how far we've come and to practice. I wrote the first two paragraphs and Jon wrote the last one. Giusy helped us fix them up a bit to make sure the sentence structure was that of Italian and not English. Enjoy!

Jon e io stiamo lezione di italiano da Settembre due volte a settimana con la fantastica Giusy! Adesso cominceremo' a scrivere un paragrafo in italiano con quello che abbiamo imparato. Questo ci aiutera' a praticare e anche mostrare il nostro italiano! Il nostro italiano e' elementare, pero' penso che stiamo imparando bene.

Zermatt e' una tipica citta' di montagna. Le montagne sono alte con neve e' la citta nella valle. Le case e gli alberghi hanno tetti a punta e fatte di legno forte. Non ci sono macchine permesse in Zermatt, solo autobus e taxi. Quando siamo stati li' abbiamo mangiato molto cibo incluso molto fondue di formaggio. Ci piace molto il formaggio! Abbiamo anche mangiato fondue di cioccolato, carne, e abbiamo bevuto vino della Svizzera. Siamo andati a sciare sulla montagna e abbiamo sciato qualche percorso che era difficile e lungo. Insomma, ci siamo divertiti e vogliamo tornare presto li'.

La settimana scorsa, Cheryl e io abbiamo sciato nella Svizzera. Siamo andati a Zermatt, dove c'e' un resort che attraversa la Svizzera e l'Italia. Ha cinque montagne per sciare. Abbiamo sciato tutto le montagne in tre giorni e sciato dalla Svizzera all'Italia e ritorno. Poiche' i giorni facevano caldi, la neve era morbida. Anche se era morbida, sciare era buonissimo e ci siamo divertiti. Alla fine del giorno, poiche' le montagne sono molte alte, abbiamo sciato una via per 40 minuti verso il basso. Non ci siamo fatti male ma le nostre gambe ci facevano un po' male. Non vediamo l'ora di tornare alle montagne alpi prossimo anno per sciare.


  1. This blog about Zermatt is just as exciting as the one you wrote about your Igloo experience! One of the places that I've always wanted to go to has been the Swiss Alps! It's just as I imagined it would like, absolutely beautiful! The food looks amazing! I love the picture of you at lunch with the Matterhorn in the background! Now that's a fantastic table with an unbelievable view!! I also love that you wrote some of it in Italian!! Very impressive!!