May 29, 2007

Klein Matterhorn

Klein Matterhorn

This morning we were greeted by a perfectly blue sky, without a single cloud. We had two main choices for our main activity today: Take a gondola up to the highest point where we could see the mountains of Switzerland, France, and Italy, or take a train ride up the valley. We decided on the first option.

The trip was actually composed of three gondola rides to get to the top. And we were really truly at the top. We walked through a tunnel in the paradise glacier and then took an elevator up a little bit to a platform that was at 13,300 feet. From there we had a panoramic view of three countries! There are not enough adjectives to describe the view from this place. Not only could we see that Matterhorn but we had a crystal clear view of Mont Blanc in France.

The Paradise glacier also features a set of tunnels that have been constructed to display various kinds of ice sculpture. From the lift area we had to hike down through the snow a bit to get to the entrance. After the entrance we continued down on a path until we reached an area where the tunnels leveled out. There were a few interesting sculptures and some history on the glacier itself. Josh was a bit nervous about going inside a glacier so he did not enjoy it as much as others.

This day’s sights are really more about pictures than words. We all agreed that it was cool to visit the Matterhorn and see the great sights.

Back down in the village we dropped off our gear and extra layers back at the hotel and then went to walk around the city of Zermatt. Josh had been in search of sunglasses since the beginning of the trip so we hoped to find something cheap for him. In the end we couldn’t find any sunglasses for less than 39 swiss francs so Josh got Jane’s and Jane got a new pair

We had a mid-afternoon snack of bratwurst (6sf) and ice cream (3 sf for a single scoop). Along the way we ran across a couple of interesting looking restaurants including an asian fusion restaurant and one that Jane had read about called GramPi’s. So we made a reservation for 8:00pm. After a bit more walking and looking we decided to head back to the hotel to enjoy a rest in the pool.

We thought the pool had a jacuzzi but when we got there we found a permanently attached sign that indicated that the jacuzzi was out of order. So we just had to swim around and play frisbee for a while. The water was not hot tub temperature but it was warm enough for swimming and playing in comfortably.

We had a delicious dinner at GramPi’s. Josh had a Hawaiian pizza, I had Lasagne, Kaia had tortellini stuffed with cheese and basil in a basil cream sauce. Jane had a pepperoni pizza. Cost was about 75 swiss francs. We think Kaia had the best meal. Jane described the tortellini as heavenly.

After dinner we went back to the hotel. The cheese fondue smell in the lobby was really good. We decided to give Josh and Jane another chance to beat Kaia and I at 500 but it was not to be. The score for vacation so far is B,K 3 J,J 0!

We all went to bed about 10:00 hoping that we would get a good night sleep, with a plan to have breakfast at 8 and leave for the banhoff at 9:00.