Today was an incredible drive from Lazerne to Zermatt. We knew we were driving south and it was mostly not autobahn driving, but not sure I was prepared for mountain driving the way we experienced it. And I’m also not sure that the way we drove would be the how we would have gone utilizing a map, but we relied on the GPS which gave us a tremendous experience.
I know for certain I have never taken as many hairpin turns as we did today. To climb the mountains took a lot of downshifting and the downhills were sometimes harrowing. Only one near-death experience where we rounded a turn and a truck was half in our lane. There was a solid wall of rock mountain to our right, so no escape. Hoping I closed my eyes, I do know that we avoided disaster.
We stopped a few times to take in the views. Once we walked along the top of a dam, nearly at the top of a mountain. The water again was green, showing minerals from glaciers. Just beautiful.
The drive took about 4 hours. Zermatt is a car-free town, so to get to our hotel required us to park in Tasch. We took a cab from there into Zermatt, and then were met by a horse-drawn carriage to get to our hotel, the Mont Cervin Palace. It is the only 5 star hotel on our itinerary, and the splurge is the result of a very nice bonus that Washington Post Digital provided.
Zermatt is a touristy town, with hotels, shops and restaurants…and that’s pretty much it. We here to see the Matterhorn, but that is now looking a bit iffy as the weather was not clear today, and is not supposed to be clear tomorrow. In fact, I’m writing this to the sound of steady rain outside. We walked a bit up and down, scouting out restaurants for while we are here. Most interesting site was the local cemetary, which was unusal in its colors and adornments.
Dinner tonight was at Julien, a restaurant in a nearby hotel. Ellen had a veal dish, and I had lamb. What became hysterical is that only when the diners at the table next to us got their food, Ellen remembered that she had ordered a lamb dish, not veal. She told our waiter, who laughed with us and apologized. Ellen had especially wanted the palenta that came with it, so the waiter brought her some palenta. To further apologize, he brought us a local after dinner drink, something clear and strong with a pear in it. The waiter also gave the title of the blog. As he refilled our wine bottle, he told us the locals would comment to a slow to act bartender that there was a whole in the glass, obviously the cause of a drink that needed refilling.
Thanks to all of those who let me know they have been reading the blog. It is helpful to know who is reading and heck, that ANYONE is reading. I recently emailed my son how he was enjoying the blog entries, and he responded “there’s a blog?” And we are Facebook friends, so I’m guessing he’s deleted me out of his news feed.