So today’s entry may last forever because it has been by far my most favorite day on the tour. We woke up early, any day that starts with a look at the Alps has to be a great day. We drove a couple of hours and took a train up to a little ski town called Zermatt, which is a the base of the Matterhorn. We got to do some shopping there and even sampled some pastries from one of the many bakeries. I didn’t buy too much b/c it definitely had ski town prices on everything. It was an adorable town though, complete with very old buildings and cobblestone streets. It was nice b/c you can only access the town via train so there were no cars to deal with.
We finally took a cog train up to the where we could see the Matterhorn. It, as everything in Switzerland has been, was an amazing sight. I know we were still pretty far away from the mountain itself, but it was huge and covered in snow. It was the most clear day so we could see the entire mountain. I guess we got lucky b/c I was told it is only clear only about 18-20 days a year, so I’d say we got really lucky! We ate lunch at the mountain top restaurant and got to take some time to really enjoy and take in our surroundings. I cannot say enough about how wonderful that experience was.
We ended the day with a fondue party at the city tent and some presentations of traditional Swiss celebration, complete with Alp horns, dancing, polka band, and yodeling (think European Vacation where Clark gets into the fight…just to stick with the theme of the blog). I actually got to play the Alp horn in front of about 500 people, they asked 2 teachers from the group to come up and play the Star Spangled Banner and I volunteered b/c I knew it would be a lot like playing the Horn. I totally killed the guy and beat the teacher from New Mexico, it was a great time….I knew those Horn skills would come in handy someday!
It was such a great day, I am sure I am leaving things out. Switzerland is a must for everyone who loves the mountains and this kind of culture. Tomorrow is our last full day here, which is sad, we’re heading to Montreux to visit the Castle of Chillion and walk around Lake Geneva. The Montreux Jazz Festival is going on at the same time too so hopefully we’ll get to listen to some good music too, Paul Simon is playing tonight, but we will miss him unfortunately.