Page written by James Garner
After Leaving Venice, Italy, Dana and I still had traveling to do. It was just the two of us because the other couple we brought to Rome and Venice flew home after ten wonderful days in Italy.
Our first Stop…ZERMATT, Switzerland, WOW! The Matterhorn! I’ve seen pictures of this mountain, but until I saw it in person I really didn’t appreciate its magnificent beauty.
We stayed at the Matterhorn Focus Hotel, which I must say, was by far the best hotel we stayed in the 32 days we were in Europe. It has everything that a couple could ask for, especially after a long day of hiking in the Swiss Alps.
This is a spa hotel where everything is included in the room price. The staff and owners are wonderful and pamper you like you’re royalty.
The view of the Matterhorn is perfect as the photos show. These pictures of the Matterhorn were taken from the back deck of our room. No enhancement. This is really how it looks.
We were here during the 150th anniversary year of the first successful ascent of the Matterhorn summit. On July 14th 1865 a Swiss climbing team racing an Italian team reached the summit with the Italian team only 1250 feet below. Edward Whymper along with six other climbers won the decade long race between the Italians and Swiss to be the first to reach the 14,692 foot summit. The victory was marred on the decent when four of the seven climbers fell to their deaths. All of the climbers including Whymper probably would have died had the rope linking them not broken (or, cut). There are some who question the story told by the survivors.
The Matterhorn Museum is the perfect place to hear and learn more about this and many other interesting facts.
This is not a climb for amateurs. Matterhorn has claimed over 500 lives since the first assent.
This is a graveyard in Zermatt where some of the many climbers who have lost their lives on the Matterhorn are buried.
Ulrich Inderbinen a Swiss mountaineer known as “The King of the Alps” climbed the Matterhorn for his last time at the age of 90. He has stood on the Matterhorn summit over 370 times in his lifetime before passing away at the age of 103.
Zermatt has an old world charm and feel to it. Words cannot begin to describe this place, and the Matterhorn is always providing the backdrop. Dana and I felt so at peace here. There is something about being in the mountains stimulates your senses and reminds you of our blessed we are to live on this planet. People were very friendly and helpful. We found several great places to eat and the perfect spot to pick up a bottle of wine to take back to the room to enjoy as we watch the sun set on the Matterhorn.
We always eat and drink local when we visit an area. We also get to know the native residents. We have friends all over the world that have provided us with a different perspective on life, but has also made us see how alike we all are. This comes in handy when we return with friends and family . We can avoid losing time by knowing where to go, how to get around and which are the best restaurants to eat.
We found such a restaurant at the “SWISS CHALET” with such a traditional, charming, rustic atmosphere with chunky wooden tables and little Swiss figurines and the cutest little doll house displayed.
The local specialty is fondue made with aged, thick, creamy cheese. Fondue is a tradition centuries old. In the winter months fresh food became scarce and the bread became stale. The Swiss discovered that the hard bread could be softened and became quite tasty when dipped in a mixture of melted cheese and wine. We had the truffle cheese sauce with bread and potatoes instead of beef. It was Dana’s choice. Imagine that! The beef did look great and smelled divine, and the table next to me seemed to be enjoying it a lot.
Oh well, the fondue paired well with a nice bottle of Zermatt wine.
I’m just going to let a few pictures do the rest of the talking. We want to schedule a tour here because I can’t wait to go back. Let us know if you’re interested. We went in June and the weather was perfect for us. They had the ski slopes open for summer skiing. If you love to ski then this is the place to go.
This is lake Stellisee on the five Seenweg which means five lakes walk, and we found all five of them although we took the long way around.