Wednesday May 2, 2007 - I arrived in Zermatt at 8:30pm Tuesday night. I made it to my hostel just in time to check in. The guy at the desk was typing up a note for me as I walked in the door, so that was lucky.
It was soooo good to be back in Zermatt. It was the one place that I knew I absolutely had to get back to while I was in Europe. I loved it so much before and there was still so much there that I hadn’t done or seen. It has been almost 6 years since I was there last, and not a whole lot has changed and I loved it.
Once I arrived I just got cleaned up and went to bed pretty early because I wanted to get up in the morning and go skiing. But when I woke up at 8 it was pouring rain outside. I went out anyway to see how much rentals would cost, but I found out that the lifts were closed for the day. So I went back to the hostel and took a long nap until about 2. After reading for a little
bit, I decided I would go buy an umbrella and look for the place where I stayed with my German class 6 years ago. I found it pretty easily and it was like dÃ©jÃ vu being back there again.
After I had walked most of the city, it had started to clear up a little bit, but I went to the new Matterhorn Museum for awhile. It was a really neat museum with stories and artifacts from some of the first climbers in 1865.
Once I had spent over an hour in the museum it was really nice outside and I decided I would go for a hike. I didn’t have a map with me but I thought if I just head towards the Matterhorn there will be some good trails. I found a trail right away and walked up it about 2 hours. Once it turned 6pm the sun was starting to go down and I knew I wanted to be off the mountain for sure before it got dark. I decided to keep walking for another 20 minutes before I would turn back. It’s such a different feeling to be up in the mountains, miles away
from anything or anyone and just listen to the silence. It’s almost eerie. As I was standing in the silence and in the snow because I had hiked so high up, I heard a bell coming around the next bend in the trail. It was a herd of sheep coming down from the mountain. There were about 20-25 of them and they were all following the lead sheep with the bell around its neck. It was such a cool sight because they were not being herded by a shepherd; they were making their own way back down the mountain to their barn. They were obviously startled and almost a bit confrontational about me being there so I took a few pictures and then decided I should head back down the mountain. It was an awesome hike.
I looked at the weather again when I got back to the hostel, and it looked like I would be out of luck for skiing the next day too. But, I decided to get up at 7:30am anyway and rent some skis and see what happened. It turns out, that while it was pouring down in the town of Zermatt, it was a
white out up on the mountain and they were getting tons of snow. I rented my skis and was on the chairlift by 8:45. I was one of the first people on the mountain that morning and all of it was powder. It was the lightest snow that I have ever skied in. It felt like I was just floating through it all.
I went up the highest gondola that was open, which rested on top of a glacier. The exit of the gondola was in Italy. So I skied down the glacier back towards Switzerland and came to a sign where I could ski into a town in Italy, or back to the Swiss town of Zermatt. I stayed with Zermatt.
The weather was perfect for skiing as well. There was a clear view of the Matterhorn and the surrounding mountains, there was not a whole lot of wind, and it wasn’t too cold. Perfect. I skied from 9-2 and then a huge cloud moved in over the mountain and it was a whiteout again for the top half of the mountain.
I decided to call it a day at 2 once I couldn’t see where
I was skiing anymore. I decided to catch a 3:30 train to Milan so that I could use my Eurail Pass to take an overnight train back to Wiener Neustadt that night. It was an absolutely perfect trip to Zermatt again!!
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