Nov 19, 2013

Ski & Fondue: Swiss Style


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).

19 comments:

  1. I just showed my bf your pictures from yesterday and said "we need to go here for a skiing holiday!" can't wait to show him these. We've only had a few lessons but I've picked it up fairly quickly, but am still terrified if it's too steep! So maybe I'm a beginner/intermediate as well? Do they have smaller slopes to learn on? I tried snowboarding and was a super failure, so went to skiing instead.

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  2. Girl!! I am so jealous!! Your pictures tell the story all by themselves WOW!
    You are one blessed lady to get to experience this and more. The fondue looks awesome, I am really interested in how they decorate their restaurant like that. Is it done with the pine year round? If so that is way cool.
    I can't wait to read more of your life.
    If you want to visit me you can at http://thesavoryshine.blogspot.com/

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  3. Looks like a blast! And I am ALWAYS up for fondue- yum!

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  4. This looks amazing. Now adding it to my list of places I want to visit while in Europe. And now I really want to have a fondue night.

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  5. AHHH stop with all the pictures I am soooo jealous! Looks so amazing :)

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  6. How fun are these photos?! I'm not a big fan of the snow but this looks like such a great trip. :)

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  7. We have a fondue party every year, but I'm jealous that you got to try legit fondue!

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  8. Beautiful pictures! I would love to visit Switzerland, one of my friends lives there at the moment, but unfortunately I don't have time to visit her :(
    We make a fondue party every year, but I don't think it's a proper swiss fondue :D

    xx, eleonora

    * eleonoras blog *

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  9. Is it worth commenting on every one of your blogs posts with "Wow." I feel like that's all I do. Anyway, wow. This seems right out of a postcard. I want to eat cheese in Switzerland!

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  10. What an amazing experience... The skiing ... not the cheese... Well maybe the cheese :)
    I've never been skiing... and I lived in Maine for 7 years! Seriously!!
    I'll just have to live vicariously through you!
    Have a great rest of your week,
    Tammy x

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  11. Sometimes I wish I could ski....................like when I read blogs like this................

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  12. WOW!! I love skiing and actually worked at a resort in VA, this looks amazing!! I love the igloo bar, that's too cute!

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  13. I love the little fur covered stools! At first I thought you were going to be eating outside there and I was like, "but the cheese will get cold!" And then I saw the cozy diningroom... crisis averted :)

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  14. Your photos make me want to sign up for ski lessons and head to the Swiss Alps stat! :)

    Cheers,
    Kristina

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  15. Fondue! Yum! I think I would give the skiing a miss but would dive into the fondue!

    Molly

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  16. This is everyone's swiss dream in a nutshell!

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  17. What a dream come true!!! Lucky girl! It looks like a blast. I showed your post to my husband and you now have him day dreaming of sliding into a bar off the side of a mountain. lol. Great post. Glad you made it without any broken limbs. ;)

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  18. Swiss skiing is the best - although if you're a beginner I'd wait until spring. You can ski in Chamonix until May with the best conditions. Did you love the raclettes fondue!? It's so good after a long day in the cold - but fills you up quickly!

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