>Day 8: Raclette for 1 at a table for 2

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Not sure many will get the Trick Pony lyric reference, but since many have been piling on via Facebook about cheese, you can rest assured that Ellen got her raclette.

The one danger of vising a one-trick pony (ha, I tied in the previous reference!) town is if the pony is sick…or in this case, rained in. Today was a chilly, rainy, low cloud kind of day.

That meant going up to the mountains to see the Matterhorn was a waste of time. And you knew that in advance because the train and cable car carriers provide live webcams of the view from their destinations.

So we checked back from time to time, because at one point in the afternoon a small patch of blue and the sun popped out. But it was short lived.

So what did we do? The only real options were to walk up and down the main thoroughfare and to shop. So we did. Except for chocolate, we are done with our souvenir shopping. So if my kids are reading this, rest assured that you are taken care of.

One other option is the Matterhorn museum. So in the afternoon, we did that too. They tell the story of the first 7 climbers who reached the summit. Unfortunately, 4 slid to their deaths an hour or so later. And they have the broken rope in the museum to prove it. I liked a letter from Teddy Roosevelt that described his climbing the mountain.

After the museum, we took advantage of the facilities the hotel had to offer. They had steam rooms, relaxing rooms, and hot and cold showers. Ellen dared me to take the cold shower, where ice fell from the ceiling near by. The water started at jets by your legs. I screamed when it added jets at the midsection (but only because I wasn’t expecting it). A few seconds with all the jets was plenty for me. It was invigorating though!

Dinner tonight was perhaps the best of the trip. We ate at the Stockhorn Grill. At least this time Ellen got the main course she ordered. Which is not to say tonight’s dinner didn’t also have its own element of uncertainty and danger. Ellen did have raclette, which they serve for one. They brought out a plate of already melted cheese, so she didn’t get the full experience of the cheese melter thingy, but she had bread and potatoes to dip into it. She tried to tell the waiter how excited she was, but he didn’t speak much English.

The danger came in with the main course. Ellen ordered the rack of lamb for the two of us. It was 77 Swiss francs. When the main course was delivered to the table, the owner mentioned something about a second plate of meat. I heard it, Ellen didn’t quite catch it and wasn’t sure I heard right. But after we finished our main dishes which were small but adequate in sight, they cleared them. We were then brought full plates again, including the sides. Ellen started to worry that she had ordered 2 orders, meant to serve 2 people each, and that we’d be staring at a bill for 144 francs. We both agreed that we would laugh hysterically if that were the case. Ellen felt a little better when the couple at the table next to us go their second plates of chateaubriand. It was just unusual for us to have the food cooked separately and include a second set of side dishes. Alas, we were billed only for the 1 order, and Ellen will be allowed to speak to waiters still.

We are going to take a look at the weather in the morning and see if a trip up the cog railroad to Gornegrat would be worthwhile. We are on the road again tomorrow to Lausanne. The attraction at risk is the Olympic Park and Museum, but that pales next to actually seeing the Matterhorn.

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