So Russ and I left Mum with the relatives in Austria and took off for a week in Switzerland. Our drive to Zermatt was much longer than expected after our GPS wanted to send us over a closed mountain pass. Now the reason it was closed was due to heavy snowfalls! Yes, that’s right, snow in Summer. Oh how I love the Alps. So instead we managed to get through on another pass that was still snow affected but the road was open. Phew! We were at 2600m and you can see the amount of snow around below.
There is no driving into the town of Zermatt so you have to park your car in a garage in Tasch, a small town connected to Zermatt by rail. After many nights of small B&B’s and lots of time spent with mum I thought I would spoil Russ, so I booked us into a beautiful hotel in town called the Matterhorn Focus. Upon checking in they upgraded us to a suite and what a room it was. My jaw dropped when I walked in, with views straight up to the Matterhorn and the Matterhorn Express outside our window, now this place is a slice of heaven. Only one thing missing? SNOW! We did have the option of summer skiing on the glacier but after lots of deliberating we decided not to. You can only ski until 1pm and the cost would have been about $500 Aussie dollars as we had no gear with us. It also meant that I didn’t have to go on the big cable car which I’m not a fan of. Phew! Everyday we travelled up the mountain to hike, lunch and laze about. It’s a stunning place in summer and I can only imagine what a wicked playground it would be in winter.
Loved the rustic trimmings inside our hotel
The train up the Gornergrat to the observatory
After 3 days of fun in Zermatt sadly we had to leave, but we were not leaving Switzerland yet and we only had a short drive to Grindelwald in the Jungfrau Region. Now we thought the view was amazing in Zermatt but we had no idea about the outlook awaiting us at Grindelwald. The view from our balcony was post card perfect and looking directly at the famous mountain, the Eiger. We really wanted to go up to the Sphinx lookout on top of the Jungfrau but the weather had closed in on the mountains and it wasn’t worth spending the 170 francs each to get up there as you would have see nothing.
A highlight of the trip was a visit to a traditional Swiss alp farm where we got to see how they made Swiss cheese the original way, including taste testing straight from the pot. We watched how they turned milk to cheese, and how they stored the cheese for one year before market. Afterwards we watched the cows go out to pasture on the mountain, all you could hear was the sound of bells ringing. Our tour guide was an original mountain man who had many amazing life stories. He has climbed nearly every major mountain there is to climb and was in charge of the Search and Rescue for the Grindelwald valley for most of his life. He started a ski resort in the USA and ran the Jungfrau Hotel. He can speak five languages and still hikes everyday and he is 80. WOW what an interesting character.
We were happy to leave Switzerland by the end of 6 days as our bank account was completely drained, but it truly is one of the most beautiful places in the world.
The view from our balcony, truly breathtaking. Did I mention there was also a spa on the deck? If you’re ever in the area I definitely recommend staying here, at Silvia’s Bed and Breakfast.
Swiss Alp Farm, Swiss Cheese the original way. Did you know proper Swiss cheese has no holes in it.
Train going up to the Sphinx Observatory on the Jungfrau, unfortunately we never made it up there with bad weather.