Let me explain. I live on a mountain, at least it is called a mountain. I know that in reality it is just a rolling sort of hill and the name “Mt. Duneed” is probably geographically correct in that it is an extinct volcano and sticks out from the landscape in (sort of) the way mountains do… but as mountains go it’s kind of… twee.
Anyway… I’m a little bit ashamed because THESE are mountains. Truely stunning, gasp-at-the-grandeur, open-mouthed amazement, tear-in-the-eye type mountains. Absolutely beautiful in every way.
We had caught the train from Geneva to our overnight stop at Tasch, at the foot of the Alps. From there we caught the shuttle train to Zermatt, nestled below the Matterhorn and surrounded by thirty or so 4000 metre mountains. Zermatt is a busy alpine centre; REAL Swiss chalets, boutique shopping, bars, restaurants everywhere and filled with skiers and sightseers, all of them, like us, drawn to the majestic surroundings. It is the sort of place you can pay $25 dollars for two coffees. Seriously. (As luck would have it the young manager at The Grand Hotel seemed to like talking to us about the Australian coffee scene and insisted we didn’t need to pay. What a nice chap!)
Zermatt has no conventional cars, just cute little electric buses zipping well-heeled skiers between hotels, shops and the slopes. We were neither well-heeled nor skiers. It would have been awesome to have time to try the ski slopes. Skiing here is year long and there are runs that drop two or three thousand metres and can take up to an hour to complete. Amazing.
We chose to take the cog-train to Gornergrat, 3100 metres of panoramic spendor. We thought it was the ideal place to lunch on fondue: Matterhorn to one side, a Saint Bernard wandering nearby and a brilliantly bright sun on the snow. The rest is best told with photos…