It was my birthday yesterday. I turned 21 for the 21st time (I was 42) As a birthday treat, Mr Mac booked us a hotel room for the night of the 19th in Zermatt, the town at the foot of the Matterhorn, arguably Switzerland’s most famous mountain.
Mr Mac flew in from Chicago after a business trip on Saturday (bad planning) so I went to pick him up and we drove straight to Zermatt from the airport. Well, you don’t drive straight to Zermatt, because petrol/diesel-fuelled vehicles are not allowed in Zermatt. So, we drove to a town called Täsch where we parked the car and caught the shuttle train to Zermatt itself. The shuttle train took about 10 minutes and before we knew it, we had arrived in Zermatt where a little electric bus was waiting for us to take us to our hotel.
Mr Mac had booked us into Hotel Antares. When we arrived, the receptionist was super-friendly. She gave the porter the number for our room and then called him back, “No, I think we’ll put you in this room. You have a view of the Matterhorn from the bed in that room!” And it was true. When we got to the room and looked out of the window from the bed, we could see the Matterhorn!
Except we couldn’t because the whole time we were in Zermatt, the mountain was hidden by heavy, white cloud. No matter how long we stood to look at it, willing the clouds to shift with the high winds we were also experiencing, that mountain refused to show itself. But no mind because we had a lovely time in Zermatt anyway.
After determining on Saturday afternoon that it was too late to take a cable up to Klein Matterhorn, we went for a wander around the old streets of Zermatt. The town is packed with hotels and restaurants, most of which were shut after the ski season, but the town was buzzing anyway. I took about a billion photos…..
Mr Mac and I had a beer or two in a pub on the main street before deciding what to do for dinner; we ended up having chateaubriand which I’ll tell you about later. We didn’t stay out too long since Mr Mac was clearly jet-lagging. We were back in the hotel by 8:30pm. Mr Mac was snoring his head off before 9pm.
Since we’d both gone to sleep fairly early the night previously (and because we wanted to go up the mountain), Mr Mac and I got up early on Sunday (my actual birthday). We had breakfast and headed out to grab a cable car up the mountain, with the hopes of seeing the Matterhorn at last. We were both disappointed to be informed that the cable car was only going as far as the first station at Furri because of high winds. The information boards indicated winds of 88km/h up at the Klein Matterhorn summit. So, no mountain trip again but we took the cable car to the first station at Furri anyway and decided to stroll back down the mountain, enjoying the views.
The views were absolutely gorgeous as you can see….
The walk down was signposted to take an hour and a half but we made it in 45 minutes or so, and that was with me faffing about taking photos of nearly everything. We made it back to our hotel just in time before the rain started. After a couple of well-earned cokes in the hotel bar, we headed back to the car and on the road to the Village of the Damned.
While I was disappointed we never managed to actually see the Matterhorn, we had a lovely time away. Of course, because the weather was against us and we didn’t manage to do what we wanted only means that one day we’ll have to go back. I can certainly live with that.