torrie's travels


The Matterhorn November 4, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Torrie Schneider @ 1:52 pm

So I had a pretty terrible morning today (personal stuff). But the show has to go on, so I got myself to the train station (early…at least I got to sit in the lounge and drink free fountain DC!) and got on the train to Zermatt. I had been looking forward to this location for some time (and no, not just because stupid Bachelor Ben proposed to vile Courtney here!). I have been looking forward to seeing the Matterhorn and even paid $10 extra to have a Matterhorn-facing room!

So the train to Visp was fine and then I had to change to a train to Zermatt. Except when I approached the platform, a man was standing there and said that we had to get on a coach bus instead. Weird. No idea why. The bus driver was nice and friendly and was helping people with their luggage. We drove for maybe 20 mins or so through the Alps and unbelievable scenery! Then we got to a stop and I thought some people would get off. Then I noticed almost everyone got off. Which is when I looked up from my book and saw a train outside with people getting on it. Oh! The bus was some type of shuttle to the train. Ok.

I got on the train and started reading again and our departure was delayed by a train ahead of us on the tracks. I would soon realize that there was only one set of tracks through several portions of this journey, so only one can go at a time! The conductor came around looking at tickets and he frowned at my Eurail pass, saying it did not cover this train. I was shocked because the Eurail app always tells me where there is an extra ticket I need. The conductor was very understanding and said that it’s very small print and I’m not the first. He said at least I booked this on my own and didn’t know because he has had people go through an agency who didn’t tell them that they needed an additional ticket. He said that my Eurail pass does give me a 25% discount on the ticket though. He asked how long I would be here and where was I going next. So he determine the best route was for him to sell me a one-way ticket for this journey and I should go to the ticket office in Zermatt and get a ticket for Thursday’s journey. He couldn’t have been nicer. I apologized and he said there was no need for apology and it wasn’t my fault!

I got to Zermatt and it was raining. The forecast is not conducive to gazing on the Matterhorn. 100% chance of rain and snow today and tomorrow. And yep, raining. I walked to my hotel and was greeted by yet another fabulously kind Swiss person. She told me that apparently I booked the room for 2 people, but because it’s just me I should see about getting a refund from hotels dot com. I paid a lot of money for this hotel, so you can be sure I fired off an email inquiring! She showed me around the hotel, including the pool, hot tub, and sauna area. My room is fabulous. It’s really nice and large. The shower in the actual room, not in a separate room. Good thing I’m alone! But it has a rainfall shower. And she pointed out the minibar, which is included in my room price. So have at it, she said. It gets restocked daily. Too bad there’s no DC. The room provides big, fluffy bathrobes (not to mention big, fluffy swim towels at the pool) and an umbrella for use for free! Not too shabby!

It was almost 3pm and I hadn’t eaten yet. I wasn’t sure I wanted to, but decided I should. She told me that the kitchen is not doing dinner right now because of the low season (but they still give us a complimentary breakfast buffet), but the town has many great restaurants. She said, “from McDonald’s to haute cuisine!” So I set out in search of something to eat. I passed McDonald’s, looking for something else, but most things appeared closed (one seemed open, but it looks like it just closes from 3-6pm). And otherwise it was all Italian places. Seriously, I can’t get away from Italian restaurants on this trip! Considering I am going to Italy on Thursday, I’d like to wait. So I ended up back at McDonald’s. I needed some comfort food anyway.

I returned to the hotel and made a beeline for the pool. I sat in the hot tub for awhile and then relaxed on a beach chair and read for 2 hours. It was lovely. Not sure what I will do tomorrow, because I received an email from the paragliding company that they don’t have pilots for me, as it’s the low season. Plus, the weather. It’s not looking good. I wanted to go hiking on trails and just really get out into nature, but the weather seems like it might be prohibiting that. If it’s snowing instead of raining tomorrow, I will definitely get out. Otherwise, it might just be a day and a half of forced relaxation. Which is probably not a bad thing ahead of 12 nights in Italy, where I imagine I will have a full plate of things to do and see!



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