Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Chalet Rofel (Zermatt, Switzerland)

This morning I made my version of a breakfast sandwich – Zermatt style. Not having a toaster I toasted two lightly buttered pieces of bread in a frying pan, then warmed up the thinly slicked ham in the same pan. I then fried two eggs (really only needed one) and broke the yokes. Put it all together and enjoyed a tasty and filling breakfast.

My plan today is to take the Gornergrat Railway (cog wheel train) up to the Gornergrat (3,100 meters). I’ve been there twice before and the views are amazing – once in the summer (2016) and once in the winter (2017). The ride takes a little over 30 minutes to make the climb up the hill.

The trains run fairly often and when I arrived at the station I bought my ticket just a few minutes before the next train was scheduled to leave the station. The train was a little over half full and many of those on the train were planning to ski or snowboard.

The view during the ride up is spectacular. Something new to see around every corner. Took a couple of nice pictures of Zermatt along the way that I’ll post later. As we started our climb the snow kept getting deeper. Difficult to tell how deep but would imagine at least three feet, if not more once we reached the last station.

We arrived at the Gornergrat station and we all got out. It took a few moments to catch my breath. After all we were at an elevation of over 10,000 feet so the air is much thinner up here. I looked around and took a few pictures and a video before I walked up to the building that has the hotel and restaurant.

Not too cold outside, very sunny and no wind. Perfect weather for eating on the patio like I did before. Though this time I’m not feeding the crows. You feed one and their friends want to get in on the feast. I ate my meal and people watched. A very diverse group sitting around me, though they had one thing in common: they didn’t look like they were living from one paycheck to the next.

After lunch I walked around and took more pictures. Walking on the snow (and ice) was a bit tricky even with my new boots but I didn’t fall. It would have been better if there had been a recent snowfall to provide better traction, but I enjoyed being in the snow regardless.

I honestly have to say that the view from this location is the very best that I’ve ever experienced. And I’m not much of a seeker of great views. I’m usually not too impressed when I come across a view that most people like. Perhaps because I grew up in a scenic area, our home facing Mt. Adams and we often stayed overnight at Cloud Cap Inn on Mt. Hood – so perhaps I’ve been spoiled. But the view from up here – breathtaking, and not because of the altitude.

Because of the elevation, the sun starts to approach the horizon, because of the mountains, starting around 3:30 and I knew it was time to take the next train back into Zermatt. I know this will not be my last trip up here – just don’t know when I’ll return.

I walked from the station up to the chalet. The last third of the walk is a bit of a climb, but not too bad. I rested several times. Zermatt is over 5,000 feet so there is that as well.

Took a nap when I returned then wrote my blog, made dinner and watched a few more episodes of Merlin. I also posted my pictures that I took today to Instagram and Facebook. Think I might know of some friends, from their reactions, who would now like to visit Zermatt.

Tomorrow I plan to walk around Zermatt. Was also thinking that I should book a place to stay in Montreux. Friday will be here soon, but I know the right place will be waiting for me.

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