Getaway weekend in Zermatt, Switzerland
Recently I have received an email from Wikio that my blog is ranked 27 in the Travel & Tourisms category which was quite pleasing but at the same time feel pity because I have not been able to blog about my travels. A lot of ideas and memories have flowed into my head but hardly can get my head into it. I like writing about my travels when they are still fresh, otherwise other new things come up and then eventually lose the interest to write anymore.
The email from Wikio has motivated me to write more about my travels, frankly speaking, travel blogging is much harder than posting a recipe.
Anyway, last weekend, I had a splendid weekend albeit short in Zermatt. We were already thinking of going back in the coming winter and/ or next month if I am lucky! I have visited Zermatt for 3 times so far, the first time was about 18 years ago in Winter, the second time in Summer 2008, and this (3rd) time also in the summer.
This time with only 3 years apart, I have noticed a lot of changes/ developments, in a good way I mean. Firstly, there is a new covered parking at Täsch, here you can park your car and take a 10 mins train ride to car-free Zermatt.
Zermatt must be one of the top most visited place in Switzerland. It is a pilgrim visit for the Japanese because of the Matterhorn, it was quite funny when I saw the Japanese flag was below the Swiss and EU flags outside Restaurant Schwarzee @2583m.
Changes do not happen overnight, later I read an article from Zermatt Magazin Edition 6/ 2011 and found out that a lot of work had been put behind, namely Christen Baumann, CEO of Zermatt Bergbahnen AG made the merge of three railways (the funicular railway Sunegga, the Rothorn railways, the Matterhorn railways as well as the sports area on the Gornergrat) happened in 2002, the merge weld the three very differing cultures into one. In only 10 years, 300 million Swiss Francs were invested for developments, so that there are no more waiting times in the skiing areas of Zermatt and snow is guaranteed.
Personally I found Zermatt is a superbe choice for English speaking visitors. If you have visited other places in Switzerland, you may feel a bit lost if you don’t speak a little German/ Italian or French depending which part of Switzerland you visit of course. For example, I could not find a good hiking book around Basel and Jura region available in English. In Zermatt, the pocket sized brochure titled “Adventure in the mountains” covers a good handful of hiking routes to explore.
We could only take a short hike last Saturday, firstly because Peter had to carry Baby Marc and the backpack and that accounted 20 kg and secondly I am not an experienced hiker. That day was a gorgeous day, better than we had expected, the Matterhorn was not covered by clouds throughout our entire hike.
We have chosen one of the Themed Trails, the Blumenweg @Rothorn: Blauherd-Tuftern-Sunnegga which features a wide variety of alpine flowers and their characteristics and medicinal uses. Hiking while learning educational things made the excursion even more interesting. The signposts are nicely done and with English translation : ) If you want to learn more, you can buy the Theme Trail book at the points of sale of Zermatt Bergbahnen AG, from Wega or ZAP.
During the hike, I was always lagging behind because I could not stop myself from taking photos and Peter does not like stopping, luckily I managed pretty well, thanks to my good hiking shoes, also bought in Zermatt last time.
After hiking, we spent a good hour at the wellness pools in our hotel, La Ginabelle. I would recommend this hotel, we took the half pension package and every night they offered 5-course meal. Unlike normal Swiss style cuisine which is usually relatively heavy, I guess because this is a wellness hotel, after 3 dinners at this hotel and some active outdoor activities, both of us did not gain weight and could even lost a little. But to be honest, there are so many nice hotels in Zermatt that you can do too wrong in picking one.
To this end, I already hope to visit Zermatt again. One can never get bored here owing to the unlimited choice of activities for every one even for the little ones, e.g. the Wolli Adventure Park at Sunnegga- yet to explore with Marc another time.
P.S. The Zermatt iPhone App is very useful and well done, you could find the current events, activities and many more there.