September 27, 2007
Ugh. How many more airports can I see today??? I am currently stuck at the Dubrovnik airport as it turns out my flight is
about three hours delayed.
Not only did I have to take a 6am flight this morning from Tunisia to London…I decided to pull an all-nighter since I would
have had to wake up around 3am anyway. Right now I almost feel sick because of my tiredness and lack of sleep. Not fun.
And of course it seems odd that I am flying to Zurich from Dubrovnik but there is really a simple explanation. This Zurich trip
was a last-minute thing that I decided to do to visit my friend Lorenz that I met while I was in Australia.
Hmmm… Maybe I should say ‘friend’…
Anyway, I was supposed to leave here at 5pm and now our flight isn’t leaving until 8pm. Should get into Zurich at 10pm. And
then it will be another 1½ hours to get to Solothurn – the town Lorenz lives in – by train.
September 28, 2007
How cool is it to arrive at an airport in a different country where a guy is waiting with a rose for you as you come through the
doors after passing through customs?
Answer: It’s pretty cool.
Once I crossed through those doors, I forgot I was even dead-tired a few minutes earlier. It was great to see Lorenz. And even
though I was originally dreading the train ride, all of a sudden it didn’t seem so bad. And it wasn’t. It went so quickly. Before I
knew it, we were arriving in Lorenz’s town of Solothurn.
This morning was our chance to walk around. We basically centered ourselves near the old part of town which is just about as
charming as a small European city that sits on a river can get. I came face-to-face with just how many chocolate shops (and
bakeries, for that matter) this country has. All I can say is ‘Wow’. Poor Lorenz had to follow me into each and every one as I
surveyed the inventory. And let’s just say I liked what I saw. Most of the time I left these places with a small bag in hand.
But then came time for the main event of the weekend – heading to the train station to go to Zermatt! I could barely contain
my excitement. I mean how can I express my feelings of seeing the Matterhorn outside of Anaheim, California? In all honesty,
I should probably thank Mr. Walt Disney for making this mountain so well-known for us Americans. Would I even know about
the Matterhorn if it wasn’t for Disneyland? Hmmm. Maybe I would. Maybe I wouldn’t. But that’s beside the point. What really
matters is that since Disneyland is a magical place, the Matterhorn is, therefore, a magical mountain. And I was on my way to
go see it. Hot diggity dog…
One thing that was funny that happened in Bern after we switched trains – the train conductor apologized when he made the
announcement that the train was going to be departing four minutes late. Talk about explaining a bit about a country’s culture
when they are apologizing for a 4-minute delay. Too funny.
We hopped into a new train in Brig (where the Glacier Express also goes through) and after a lot of beautiful scenery, we were
in the wonderful town of Zermatt.
I loved this place the moment I arrived. Was it due to the fact that there were snow-capped mountains? Possibly. And the fact
I haven’t seen fresh snow in ages? Once again, possibly.
There was just one problem. There was no Matterhorn. As far as I am concerned, it doesn’t even exist. After all, I still have yet
to see it. The reason? Clouds. A whole lot of clouds. One word to say to this – Boooooo!
Lorenz and I went to an excellent fondue restaurant. And let me ask what tastes better than cheese and mushrooms melted
together in a fondue pot? The answer is cheese and mushrooms melted together in a fondue pot while sitting in a restaurant in
the Swiss Alps! We did a toast to having the clouds vanish and producing a mountain for us to look at tomorrow. Please, oh
please, let our mini dinner prayer make its way to the weather gods. The only upside if it doesn’t happen tomorrow is that we
will still be here on Sunday morning. Maybe then?
September 29, 2007
I woke up really early this morning. Probably mostly out of anticipation. I wanted to see this darn mountain.
But at 6:30am things weren’t looking so good. In fact, they were looking identical to the evening before (meaning I wasn’t able
to see anything with all of the clouds). Sadness. I accepted there would be no Matterhorn today and I would have to somewhat
live vicariously through postcards.
When I re-awoke at 8am there was a different story when I looked out the window from our bathroom window – blue skies
with the tippy-top of the Matterhorn in its white snow-capped glory. I woke Lorenz up in my excitement. Even though he has
seen this mountain numerous times, he seemed genuinely happy about this as well. Or maybe I was just so happy that I was
assuming everybody else was just as elated about this? It didn’t matter to me. What did matter was that we were going to be
taking the train up to Gornergrat to check this mountain out.
The train ride was incredible. The beginning was filled with Swiss chalets and by the end we saw nothing but snow.
Snow, I said! When was the last time I saw that?
After taking our initial pictures upon arrival of us with the Matterhorn, it was time to tend to more important matters…
Making my snow angel! And I do have to say that it turned out quite marvelously. And then came my Jen-made Matterhorn.
And is there anything better than yodeling ‘Reeeeeeee-co-laaaaaaaaaaaa’ while up in the Swiss Alps looking at the
Matterhorn? Nope. At least not at that moment.
Later in the afternoon we took the gondola up to another place to view the Matterhorn. We were running low on time but that
was okay. I don’t know if I will ever be back here again so I wanted to try to do as much as possible. If we only had one hour by
the lake, that would have to work.
We walked out to the lake which doubled as a mirror for the mountains that were in close range from it. Here, we made yet
another Matterhorn out of the powdery snow.
Little fact: it is quite hard to pack powdery snow to make such things.
But we eventually made it work. And now we were staring at two Matterhorns.
We finished our day off by stopping at a chocolate shop and picking out some pieces to have as a nice little snack to hold us over
One might think last night’s fondue dinner would have done the trick as far as filling my craving. Nope. It only whetted my
appetite for more. And Lorenz’s, too. His pick was for a cheese and tomato fondue. Another winner.
Can I say again that I love this place???
September 30, 2007
I am now sitting and eating my breakfast. In a couple hours it will be time to say good-bye to Zermatt. So sad. I really loved
this place. Exactly what I think of when I think of the Swiss Alps. It’s so fun to be here and think ‘Damn. I am in the Swiss Alps
I also managed to pick up a little bit of Swiss-German here and there. No, I can’t have a conversation. But I am managing to
learn a bit of vocabulary. Hooray for me. For instance, I know how to say ‘red man’ and ‘blue man’. Don’t ask when this will
ever come in handy. Wait. I take that back. The reason why I learned the word for ‘red man’ was because Lorenz mentioned it
while we were waiting to cross the street. Later in the day I learned how to say blue. And then I learned to add an ‘er’ at the
end of words when describing a person. So then I managed to pick up the word ‘blue man’ all on my very own! As I said, not
like this will ever come in handy. Unless the Blue Man Group comes out this way, I think this vocabulary will sadly go to waste.
Such a shame. Or as Lorenz would say, 'Such a pity.'
|Me and Lorenz at Gornergrat with a
view of the Matterhorn.
|At a fondue dinner with Lorenz.