Monday, November 28, 2011


The train ride from Geneva to Zermatt was absolutley stunning, the Swiss country side is just gorgeous!  There were hundreds of vineyards that created a patchwork of patterns all over the fall covered hills. (all these pictures were taken from the trian window, so yes some are blurry and some have reflections but just go with it ... haha)

After we switched trains and began the climb to the hill top town of Zermatt the scenery totally changed,  now instead of rolling fields of vineyards we were surrounded by tall mountains covered with brilliant golden pine trees.  It was was like being in a fairytale land. All the people on the train were giving us crazy looks becuase our cameras were set on rapid fire and we were taking millions of pictures out the windows while everyone else just quietly sat in their seats, but we couldn't help ourselves, every second we were presented with a new gorgeous view.

After about three hours of train riding we arrived in the whimsical town of Zermatt. 
To prevent air pollution which could obscure the town's view of the Matterhorn, the entire town is a combustion-engine car free zone. Almost all vehicles in Zermatt are battery driven and almost completely silent. I love that about this town, it adds to the"toy town" feeling that Zermatt has.  After we left the train station we checked into our quaint little hotel, got fitted for all of our snowboarding gear, then walked to the top of town to get some pictures of the famed Matterhorn.

Oh how I wished this was a basket full of real St. bernared puppies!  But I have already seen a crate full of puppies on this trip so I can't complain
The Matterhorn really is such a majestic and beautiful mountain, it is such an icon it is glorious to see it in person!  Luckily the day we got there we had such a great view of it, we snapped a couple of pictures but figrued we would have the whole next day to photograph it so we turned back to town to get some dinner, we were freezing!  As it turns out it is good that we did snap those couple of pictures ....

Bethy took me to the resaturant that she and Reece had been to when they visited Zermatt a couple of months ago.  It was an adorable, cozy little place.  When we got there they were only serving drinks, dinner wouldn't be served for about another hour or so.  Since we were so cold we decided to stay and order some hot chocolate and wait for the dinner hours to start.  The lady waiting on us was this adorable old grandma type that gave us a book about the Matterhorn to look at while we sipped our hot chocolate and waited for the cook to arrive.

I had to have a fondue dinner while in Switzerland, it would be a complete sin to come to the land of chocolate and cheese that is famous for their wonderful fondue and not even try it. So that is exactly what we had, cheese fondue and bratworst with hashbrowns, the PERFECT meal for a cold fall evening in a Swiss mountain top ski town.  Oh it was delightful, that fondue was delicious and warmed my frozen little body from the inside out.

Bethy is the biggest mustard fan in the entire world, so she was excited when we were given a tube of mustard as a dipping sauce for our bratworst and hashbrowns.  She thought it was kinda funny that it came in a tube, so we documented it.
We had the privledge of having this adorable little fellow sit at the table next to us.  He totally looked like a stuffed animal.  Apparently the resaurant we were dining in is a local favorite and everyone in town goes there.  When we arrived there was a group of old men playing cards in the back, looked like a regular weekly event, later on a group of kids came in and our sweet little waitress gave them all oranges and the kids knew some of the old men playing cards and greeted them enthusiastically.  Then a cute little lady comes in and sits next to us with her cute little puppy, she orders her usual and her little dog begs for a treat from the waitress.  Apparently this place is a favorite of dogs as well becuase our waitress carries dog treats in her apron and gives all the dogs that come to dine little treats under the table.  So the dog sitting next to us never took his eyes off of our waitress the entire time he was there.  What a fun little place!

After a glorious fondue dinner we walked back to our hotel room, bundled up in our pajamas, cuddled up under our comforters and watched Stardust.  It felt like a good old fashioned slumber party with my sister, it was such a fun night!
The next morning we were up at the crack of dawn to get ready for a day on the slopes.  Below is the view from our little balcony we could just barely see the Matterhorn!  After we had each put on about 5 layers we walked to the ski shop to pick up all our equipment then headed to the shuttle station to pick up the tram that would take us to the resort.
The bench at the tram stop
By the time we got to the ticket office this is what the Matterhorn was looking like ..... not a good sign.  When we tried to purchase lift passes we were told we would need to wait 30 minutes while they checked the conditions of the mountain... not a good sign number two ....

Trying to remain positive while we waited ....
After our 30 minute wait we were all notified that the mountain was closing and would remain closed for the remainder of the day due to unsafe conditions. TEARS!!!  Ok I didn't really cry but it was kind of a set back seeing as that was the entire reason we came to Zermatt ... BUT lets be honest I probably would have come home with a broken leg or something I am infamous for doing things like that haha.  So we snapped a few photos of us with our gear to prove we had gotten 98% of the way to snowboarding on the Matterhorn paradise galcier.  Reece had let me borrow all his snow gear which is nice I would have been sad if I had to pack all that stuff then never use it.

So after accepting the fact that the mountain was closed we went back to the hotel and changed out of our snow gear and created new outfits using all our warmest articles of clothing.  Then we dropped our luggage off at the train station then set about playing in the cutest little Swiss town ever.  We wandered about the streets, taking pictures and just enjoying the relaxed layed back feeling of having absolutely nothing planned, sometimes that is the best way to enjoy being on vacation.
Of course we found a kitty and of course we picked it up and played with it.  I don't know why I love little fuzzy animals so much, it's almost unhealthy how much I love them.  This little kitty was adorable though, he had the most unique color patterns.  We wondered if he had ever been picked up before, he seemed a little hestitant about it at first, so we put him down but then he kept following us and asking to be petted so we tried it again and he just loved it.  We are taming the world's animals one kitten at a time.
One street had some construction going on and instead of the normal tarps they have, with the company's logo plastered all over it, covering the construction site, they had tarps with children's drawings of Zermatt.  They were adorable!  What a smart construction company, high five to you guys.  I took a picture of my two favorite ones. I just love the goats on the Matterhorn

We came across a little cemetary that was littered with golden fall leaves.  I thought it was such a beautiful graveyard, each grave had a plot to plant flowers in, each one was different but all of were very elegant. 

During our wanderings we passed a bakery that looked so warm and inviting so we stopped in to get some yummy pasteries.  We both got different kinds of studels, I got apple and Bethy got vanilla creme.  I also got a clown shortbread cookie sandwich.  These cookies are everywhere in Switerland, every single city we had visited and every bakery we had gone to had these.  So, since I am all about experiencing the entire culture of a country when I visit, I figured I should probably have one while I was there.

This was a fabulous moment that I tried to document but it was extrememly hard to capture.  Right when we had finished our little goodies and were getting ready to start our hike to the corner canyon, a brisk wind blew and picked all the leaves off of the tree branches and stired them up from the ground and completely filled the air with glittering fall leaves.  It honestly was like a scene from a movie, leaves were everywhere and it was glorious!  You can kind of see some against the dark wood of the chalets.  But it was such a fun memory to spontaneously experience with my sister in Switerland!
Our alternative plan was to hike to corner canyon.  I had seen some pictures of when Bethy and Reece visted and it looked like a really cool place!  There is a very short hike to get to the toll booth so we began the walk up.  We had great views of the blue mountains, fall colored trees and wooden chalets all the way up.  Our plans were foiled yet again!  When we reached the toll booth we were informed that corner canyon was closed for the season.  We were somwhat prepared for this since some of the trail that we were on was covered in snow so we thought it might be closed, it was still worth the walk up though I thought that was fun! 

Our alternative to our alternative plan was to find a herd of either sheep or cows and take pictures with them.  A herd of sheep grazing on the hillside right across from the trail to corner canyon came to our rescue, you can always depend on a bunch of fluffy sheep! I thought they were adorable, they had the cutest black faces and black spots on their knees.  My favorite part about these sweet little sheep was they had bells around their necks, so while they grazed there was always a chorus of bells with a whole range of pitches ringing.  When we walked up a few of them seemed a little bit curious about our presence, but most of them didn't even seem to notice we were there.  So we took lots and lots of pictures and just took in the whole scene and the wonderful experience.

And of course we had to try and pet them.  They had a similar reaction as the cat did that we encountered earlier, they seemed hesitant, but also seemed to kind of like it.  It kinda seemed like they just didn't kow what to make of it.  I doubt they have random people trying to pet them very often.

The views from their little hillside were breath taking. These sheep would have a perfect view of the Matterhorn when that silly mountain isn't being shy and completely covering itself with clouds like it was today.  Good thing we got some good pictures of it yesterday and this morning becuase it was no where to be seen for the majority of the day.

After hanging out with the sheep fora good little while we decided it was time to head home to Geneva.  I was flying home to the States the next day and still had a great deal of packing to do at the apartment.  So we walked back through the town to the train station.  I could have gone for another night of fondue, hot chocolate and movies in this cute little town, but alas I had to bid adieu.

For lunch we stopped off at another bakery.  We looked for a place to get one last bratworst and maybe another pot of fondue but those silly Europeans close their cafes right in the middle of the day.  So we had no choice but to eat some more pasteries.
So we had seen this little treat numerous places, we saw it in Zurich and in Geneva and then here in Zermatt, we had no idea what it was, we thought it looked like ground beef but since we only saw it in bakeries and creperies we figured it was probably some sort of chocolate mousse, so we figured we should just try it so we wouldn't have to wonder about it our entire lives.  The verdict, it was disgusting, and we still can't tell you what it was haha it tasted like bean paste hahaha I thought it was pretty funny that we had built up all this anticipation for it and it turns out to be something completely weird.  BUT at least we know now! and it was yet another funny memory added to my every growing back of fun memories.

We got a few quick glimpses of the beautiful scenery before night fall.  Since we couldn't watch the moutains and countryside fly past us out the window we decided to watch a movie on the train ride home.  The movie we chose was called Love Birds, it stars Murray from Flight of the Conchords (I don't know the actors real name)  I thought it was a hilarious movie, if your interest has been peaked look it up just thinking about it makes me giggle.

Well this is officially the last post about my wonderful trip to Switerland.  I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to go, I had such a fabulous time and created some lasting memories.  It was so great to see Bethy and Reece, bethy and I usually get together to do something fun and crazy a couple of times a week so I have been DYING not having her just a 20 minute drive from me.  It was so great to see her and experience all of her favorite things in her temporary European home.  I hope one day I am living somewhere exotic so she can come visit me and I can hopefully give her an equally fantastic experience as she gave me both in Switerland and when I visted her in New York while she was completing her internship in fashion photography, I know they are a rockin couple!  Love you guys!