Friday, 17 January 2020

Chalet Rofel (Zermatt, Switzerland)

Time again to say goodbye to Zermatt and the Matterhorn. Hope to return for another visit later this year or in the years ahead. Though I didn’t find the winter weather I was hoping to experience with snow, the days of sunshine were very much appreciated as well as the direct view of the Matterhorn.

Was packed and almost ready to leave when the taxi driver arrived 15 minutes early. I still needed to take the garbage and recyclables out to the bins down the road. The taxi driver said we could drop them off on our way out, so I went back inside and zipped up my suitcase and checked to make sure I didn’t leave anything.

I was early to the hauptbahnhof (main train station), which was fine. It gave me time to buy a bottle of water and watch the activity in the square before boarding. This being Switzerland, our train departed on time.

A little sad as we slowly began our descent to Visp where I’ll catch the train to Montreux. Little by little the snow packed hills gave way to bare rocks, green fields and small hamlets. I hadn’t noticed before how many of the old, windowless, dark brown homes and barns there were still standing. Though many were not in very good shape.

This time I wasn’t in a rush to catch the connecting train at Visp which wasn’t due for almost 10 minutes. As I stepped onto the train I asked if this was the train to Montreux and was assured that it was. It never hurts to double check.

As we got closer to Montreux the skies became overcast and there was a light rain as we entered the station. Snow was originally forecasted for the area but it wasn’t quite cold enough today.

I had time for a quick bite to eat before contacting Edgar, from the property management company, who would meet me at the entrance to the building where the flat was located. He said I could walk there but it was raining and was a good 10 minute walk – with a suitcase, taking a taxi would be easier. He suggested an Uber which was a little more cost effective.

Edgar, who I found out later was from Estonia and spoke fairly good English, showed me how to enter the building and the features of the flat. I could see that he had a good sense of humor so I said that I was glad to get in early because I had invited 40 people for party later in the evening. The look on his face! This was just after he showed me written instructions requesting that I keep noise to a minimum.

The flat has two bedrooms, which is nice because it adds more elbow room for me. The nicest feature is the view. The flat is on the 17th floor with a direct view over Lake Geneva. Think this will be a good transition from having a view of the Matterhorn.

It wasn’t too long after he left that I took my afternoon nap. When I woke I left for the store to pick up food for this evening and tomorrow morning. The store is close to the flat and I found most everything I needed, though I didn’t take good inventory of what there was available in the flat (only salt and pepper was found) and forgot to buy olive oil or butter. I had read in the Airbnb listing that oil was to be provided but when I was putting away the groceries I saw that none was available.

Since I didn’t have any oil, I lightly browned chicken in the non-stick pan then placed the meat in a sauce pan filled with Bolognese, which I was going to use for ravioli, to finish cooking. I also fixed brussel sprouts and seasoned with mayonnaise. For a treat I bought a load of challah and had a couple of slices with the meal.

While fixing dinner I was researching how I was going to travel from Innsbruck to Munich then catch a flight to Larnaca in one day. I wasn’t having much luck. After dinner I determined that it would be best to first travel to Munich, stay overnight at a Hilton, then take a flight the next day to Larnaca. This means that I’ll have to ask my Airbnb host in Larnaca to move my reservation a day forward.

Thankfully I had a good working relationship with Nicos my Airbnb host and he quickly made the adjustment to my reservation dates. All is well. Now I need to work on my visit to Greece and nearby countries (non EU Schengen Visa program) next. Soon after that will be my planing for France and Russia.

Finally, the Merlin story is now up to the point where Arthur pulls the sword from the stone and marries Guinevere. One more season of this series and I’ll be done.

Tomorrow I will finish getting settled in and go for a walk along the lake. Also investigate a couple of day trips while I’m here.

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