• Michelle Howell

Go here: Zermatt, Switzerland

Gorgeous mountain views, switch backs and windy trails.

Delicious milk chocolate, savory potatoes, and ooey-gooey cheese hidden somewhere on every menu.

Switzerland is my kind of place.

Geneva and Zermatt were my home for a bit of the summer in 2018 and stole my heart. It's where I climbed my first serious mountains, tried rösti for the first time, and ...drumroll....

got engaged! A year removed, I've found myself day dreaming of this place or maybe just traveling abroad in general. With our wedding less than a month away I also realized I never shared anything about our trip. So without further ado I give you Zermatt:

Zermatt is located in Switerland's Valais canton surrounded by several mountains including the Matterhorn, Gornergrot, and Monte Rosa. Since the area is a car free zone, after our flight from Boston to Geneva we took a very scenic train ride into the valley.

Most mornings started with a quick walk to coffee and maybe a pastry at Fuchs before setting our for the days hike. Since the area is primarily a ski resort in the summer hiking is the main attraction. Along the way there are small chalet villages and restaurants with views over looking the valley below.

Lunch at one of the many chalet restaurants we hiked to

Tea service at the Grand Hotel Zermatterhorn

We'd hike to a restaurant, stop for lunch, and descend the mountain back to town.

On our second day of hiking though what was intended to be a leisurely 4 miles or so into a neighboring town for lunch turned into a 14 mile+ day lost on the side of the mountain. Even though it was Early July snow and ice were on the ground and the path we intended to take was barricaded with an ice wall that hadn't melted yet.

We very stupidly in retrospect decided to take an alternative route that some other hikers said existed, but was not clearly on any of our maps. After ascending switchbacks for well over an hour and not recognizing any of the trail markers we were most definitely lost. Instead of descending and going back where we came from Max and I decided to press on and ascend fully the mountainside we were on figuring that at the top we'd at least be able to visualize and see where we were.

From the top we figured out what trail we were on and located a path down the mountain as well as a ski lift that could take us back to Zermatt from there. The kicker? The ski lift closed at 5:00pm and we needed to descend and cover A LOT of ground to get to it and we were not prepared to descend a still fairly icy and partially snow covered path. If we didn't catch the lift it was another two hour plus hike back to Zermatt.

In the end neither of us fell to our deaths, We had to sprint down the final switchbacks to catch the lift with two minutes to spare, but we made it.

The one perk was running into a very friendly flock of sheep grazing along the snow banks.

We're hoping to go back to Zermatt in the future, minus getting lost on the mountain.

For now our next stop is West Palm for the Wedding

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