Friday, October 9, 2015

Lunch in Zermatt or…

Day tripping.
Now there’s an expression that I haven’t used nor heard in a long time: it harks back to my childhood when literally about all the vacation we could afford were day trips (these tended to be more fun and more expensive than the couple of weeks camping that were the norm).

In my present life I have grown quite fond of “day cards” on the Swiss train system. Our community sells these for a price that isn’t to be believed and although the weekends can disappear quickly if one is flexible one can usually get one or two throughout the week without having to plan too far in advance. I did this recently when I dropped into the Mayor’s office for something else and the day before yesterday was the day.

As the weather wasn’t 100% wonderful anywhere in Switzerland I decided to stick with my original plan of finally getting back to Zermatt. As I am currently leaving house and cats to the housemate I already had an hour’s head start.

First step: catching the local train, which is cute enough in itself, being as it is a tourist train connecting Martigny in the Valais of Switzerland to Chamonix in France, at 8:12. 

Les Marécottes train station

Totally new
rather gray everywhere - Vernayaz
This meant though that I hadn’t yet had breakfast so when the train was only a couple of minutes in arriving headed further up the valley I hopped on it then stopped in Sion for breakfast (a city I know quite well as it is usually where I head with company or simply to see something else when I am in the mountains: it has a lot to offer both in scenery, history and culturally). Having enjoyed coffee and a roll it was back to the station where I whiled away about 20 minutes amusing myself trying to take photos of the fighter jets that were practicing landing.   
jet fighter coming in for a landing
fall colors

Then on to Zermatt – changing train in Visp – boy what changes there have been to that train station. It has been obviously a long time since I last enjoyed the privilege of going to Zermatt as not much recognizable either there nor along the way.  The weather was improving in that there was the odd patch of sun and no rain. The fall colors this year are stupendous and I can only encourage anyone who is in Switzerland to get out and see the valleys and mountains the next 10 days or so before they are all gone. We even have a decent share of reds, which is very unusual.

through the train window along the way

Train to Zermatt

Along the way several water falls

Fog and rock make for a pretty combination
Fall colors are gorgeous this year

Having visited my favorite spots (including the church and the two cemeteries) it was time for a bite. Being as how I was in Zermatt I had to go to the oldest known restaurant and was also “obligated” to take the rösti and cheese (hash browns with raclette cheese on the top – the whole thing then grilled in the oven like lasagna: not good for the cholesterol nor the waist, but oh the taste buds will live in ecstasy!).

typical decoration

Ibex and marmots are indigenous

very fitting for a mountain grave

even cuter than the cows!
Oldest business in Zermatt according to them.

Sinfully good: hash browns smothered in cheese then put under the grill

The sun had come out, but THE Mountain remained in the clouds – never mind I could see it from my village today and I’ll surely go back to Zermatt another time.
Even some reds
Then the reverse train ride: since I was on one heading for Brig and points beyond I decided to at least go to Brig where I took a stroll around town, discovering the Old Town and an Abbey that I never knew existed – will have to return for a visit of the church.

First snows on the mountains leading to the Simplon Pass

Brig - well worth another trip
 Then as there was a train due to leave in just 20 minutes grabbed coffee and a cookie to go.  


Back “home” pleasantly tired: day tripping is fun!