A Winter Walk
Hello! We have been very busy packing as much as we can into our days here in Switzerland. Time has flown but in some ways it feels like we have been away from home for ages! The sign of a good trip!
Time, surrounded by intense natural beauty in fresh cold air, has rejuvenated us all … and provided me with so much inspiration and ideas for my work in 2016. It is so good to step away from it all, just for a short time to really refresh and regroup and research for my business!
We have been blessed, in our time here so far, to experience Zermatt in all weather conditions. We have revelled in sunny days … skiing past the majestic Matterhorn, sitting in mountain bars with views out to forever … and we have also celebrated the heartstopping beauty of massive snow falls in the past week.
Yesterday, we woke to the sounds of the avalanche control explosives blasting up in the mountains. Sounds like canons, that shake the entire village! There has been a tonne of snow over the past few days. Coupled with very poor visibility up on the runs, and the work needed by the mountain machinery to make the runs safe, many ski runs and lifts were closed yesterday … so we decided that we would take the opportunity to enjoy a snowy, ‘winter wonderland’ walk and do some exploring … despite rather heavy falling snow!
We headed up to Winkelmatten, one of the most beautiful suburbs in Zermatt.
Every activity here takes a little bit longer than expected, due to the need to experience every permutation and combination of snow play!
We made our way to the park, in Winkelmatten, that the boys have enjoyed every time we have been here over the past 3 years.
Despite my eldest being almost 18 years old, he is still a little boy at heart when it comes to playing in the snow with his little brother. It has been a joy to watch him finally relax and put his last 3 years of heavy duty schooling behind him. His brother has been positively joyous having his big brother’s undivided attention for weeks now!
Some play equipment needed to be dug out in order to be played on!
After exploring beautiful Winkelmatten again, we decided that we would brave the 2 hour walk up to Furi, a little village at the base of the Matterhorn, which is the last little village you ski through on the way back down to Zermatt.
The walk is all uphill and winds through the most beautiful mountain scenery. It really was a winter wonderland and we kept stopping to take in the fact that we were in SWITZERLAND!!!!!
Just as well not too many folks were around, we were rather noisy in our joy yesterday!
The weather started out rather snowy …
… but we saw glimpses of the sun!
There was so much to enjoy along the way!
Ice! … and dangerously sharp icicles, that very much appeal to boys!
There were bushy tailed squirrels, shaking snow off the trees and scurrying back into their winter nests …
… and signs, teasing us that we were close to warm food!
Chami – Hitta is one of our favourite restaurants on the Riffelalp ski run. It appears after a very steep slope on the way down to the lift. Their apple strudel is a great reward for making it down in one piece!
I would much prefer to ski there, rather than take the 35 minute walk from this track!
These restaurants are so much easier to access when you are on skis!
Finally we came across a little bar set up in a marquee! With lively music and tempting warmth!
We kept going as we knew we were close to Furi … and the little restaurant that we love!
Much to the disappointment of this skier, the lift was closed yesterday due to the volume of snow over the past few days … and the poor visibility! We directed him on how to bypass the lift station, to get down to Zermatt via Furi. There was no other way he could get back up the mountain, so he had to go all the way down to Zermatt to get back up the top again! Locals, we are! Locals!
The boys delighted in the depth of snow!
Visibilty was poor!
Glad we were not on skis!
Note to future travellers: this darling little restaurant at Furi has the best pizzas, the best Rosti and the best service. It also has the same chefs since our last 2 trips here! They sort of recognised us! Over enthusiastic Aussies are easy to remember, they said! We met some great Glaswegians here and spent our lunch laughing and celebrating the joys of travel … new people, new food, new experiences. Heaven.
On the way back to Zermatt, as the road graders had been through, the boys delighted in throwing big snow balls at each other. It took us ages to get back to Zermatt! So many distractions!
We headed back into town …
… past babbling brooks …
… and snow covered greenhouses …
… into a very quiet town!
Big snow keeps people indoors!
Not us, though!
Such a magical day! The stuff of dreams.