I don't know which is better...eating REAL Swiss fondue or skiing the Swiss Alps? It seems like you can't have one without the other. Or at least you'd be silly to only try one but not the other. Each are out-of-this-world amazing and I count myself one lucky duck to have been able to experience both in Zermatt.
As I mentioned in my last post, skiing the Swiss Alps during heavy snow and fog proved to be quite challenging. I'm not an avid skier by any stretch of the imagination, but I have skied the Austrian Alps and a handful of slopes around the USA. I'd say I'm right between beginner and intermediate. Beginnermediate, maybe? But the close to white-out conditions at the tippy top of the mountain sure almost made me wet my long johns. I might have said more than a few explicit words as I navigated down the slopes, barely being able to see 3 feet in front of me. When you're not sure where the trail begins and the mountain ends, it's kind of terrifying skiing down at a moderate speed. The good Lord must have known we were struggling on the slopes because there was a perfectly placed igloo bar right at the end of a trail that almost did us both in. We stopped in for a piping hot mug of glühwein and enjoyed relaxing inside the igloos before mustering up enough nerve to hit the trails again. Thankfully, throughout the day D and I both only fell a handful of times and managed to keep all bones and skis intact.
The reward for our frightful (yet fun) ski adventure? CHEESE!! Gobs of hot, buttery cheese covering fresh brown bread and veggies. Thank the Lord for the Swiss and their affinity for melted Gruyére in cute ceramic pots. They know the way to this cheese lover's heart! Our fabulous hotel had a small restaurant just for its guests and they hosted a traditional fondue dinner for our 2nd night there. D and I LOVE the Melting Pot restaurant in the states, but I'm telling you, eating fondue while gazing at the Matterhorn as it's snowing outside just takes the fondue experience to a whole other level. Like who am I and how did I get here? PINCH ME WORTHY. Needless to say, we stuffed our faces like merry animals and retreated to the bar for a hot chocolate & Bailey's nightcap. Perfect ending to an adventurous day on the Swiss slopes. Also, you should know I bought myself a real Swiss fondue pot while in Zermatt. Cost me a pretty penny, but when in Switzerland, right? Fondue party at our house!
ZERMATT SKI INFO
We skied the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, Gornergrat, & Riffelberg ski areas. Prices for lift tickets in these areas can be found here. List of local ski rental offices can be found here. If you are military and live near a base with an MWR or Outdoor Recreation organization, check with them to see if they offer ski rentals (cheapest option!). We rented skis/poles/helmets from Outdoor Rec on our installation and brought them with us. If you plan to drive to Zermatt, keep in mind the town of Zermatt is completely car-free. You can park your car at the Matterhorn Train Terminal in Täsch (14.50 CHF a day) and take the train shuttle into Zermatt for 8 CHF each way (approx. 12 minute ride).