On Friday we bid a sad farewell to Grindelwald, loading bags and 3 people into a taxi while forcing the other 3 people traverse those lovely hills to the train station.
Our first train transfer was at Interlaken Ost, so we took advantage of the switch and breakfasted at the Interlaken CoOp cafe. Wonderful food and lots of free entertainment – 8 paragliders and 3 sky wings soaring overhead as we ate. Can you spot them?
The Zermatt valley is perpendicular to Grindelwald’s valley, with very different geology and vegetation. Apparently, this range is where the African and European tectonic plates collide: Grindelwald is on the European side, and Zermatt on the African. Ecologically, the “feel” of the Zermatt valley is more Mediterranean and very reminiscent of the drier, hotter Colorado Rockies. Clearly lots of slate mining in the area – and slate roofs are an art form in themselves.
Arriving at the Zermatt bahnhof, we stepped into a world quite different from quaint little Grindelwald. Zermatt is where the rich and famous come to play.
Chalet Huwi, our fabulous Zermatt home-from-home. The bus stop is right next door, hamdulillah!
Our chalet is in the überdorf (upper town). After unpacking, we walked down the looong hill into the ünderdorf (downtown near the train station).
Crocuses are abloom all over the Zermatt valley.
We enjoyed a delicious – and unusual – lunch on the terrace at Cafe Snowboat in the Zermatt Yacht Club. Why is there a yacht club in Zermatt? Well, the building is shaped like a boat, but otherwise????
We stocked up on food at our new CoOp (located in a VERY ritzy shopping center). Loaded down with grocery bags, we ventured warily down the street to the red line bus stop.
Zermatt is car free, so I had visions of quiet, peaceful pedestrian lanes. Ha! Auto-free is most assuredly NOT vehicle free. Electric taxis, trucks, buses and bikes zip past at lightning speed and the lanes are quite narrow. I quickly learned to jump to the side when that buzzing mosquito sound zoomed up from behind.
Exhausted from our labors (and stuffed from a late lunch) we settled in to our new space, nibbled our way through dinner and tucked ourselves into bed.