Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Zermatt Me

A little addition to my cooking post:
Tonight I volunteered to make dinner
(I've got to stop doing that) and since we had pasta last night I figured my options were fairly limited. I opted for a dinner that was the staple of my childhood: salmon, rice, and steamed vegetables. (When I mentioned that today to a friend they said, "FISH was your everyday meal growing up!?! I didn't realize how lucky I was!) The rice was great (cooked in a bag! Didn't know they had such neat inventions did you?), the vegetables were fine, and the salmon... Well it was terrifying! All the directions (my mother's and the "how to grill salmon" I found on Google) said be sure not to overcook it. Well I was afraid of undercooking it. After 10 minutes it looked pretty raw still... Although I love sushi and could eat it by the bucketful, the idea of serving raw fish to my employers and the children I am in charge of keeping alive was mildly terrifying. I ended up breaking it into pieces (sorry fish) to make sure all the insides were the same color and cooked the way through... Whatever, everyone still ate it!

Alright Zermatt. Zermatt is a town in Switzerland about 4 hours from Zürich. It is essentially a resort town as it is at the foot of the Matterhorn mountain. Zermatt is great because it is only accesible by train, or if you're really ambitious, hiking. There aren't any cars in Zermatt save for some taxi/bus things. My friend Kristen and I took the train (a bit later than intended) to Zermatt Saturday morning. Despite the terrible weather forecast she and I were determined to have a blast. The train was great--one forgets how great it is to be with a girlfriend who you can just "shoot the breeze" with and laugh about nothing. We arrived in Zermatt around 3:30 to a gorgeous day--so what is the first thing that we do? Shop. (I told you she's a great friend!) After Kristen's sunglasses purchase (I refrained) we decided to take the train up the
Gornergratt mountain and check out the view.

On our way back down the promised clouds moved in and the weather became not so beautiful. We found a place to stay (a great hotel room for really cheap!), grabbed some dinner from the market and attempted to hit the town of Zermatt. Well we didn't get far... All the tourists that were milling about during the day were noticeably absent at night so we ended up grabbing a couple drinks and meeting fellow Americans. These guys are avalanche specialists in Jackson Hole and after chatting with them I now know more about avalanches than before but these specialists did nothing but increase my fear of avalanches (and decrease the thoughts that I might ever survive one). We woke up on Sunday to a beautiful fall morning and a great view of the Matterhorn. Kristen and I took the series of cable cars up to the "Klein Matterhorn" or Little Matterhorn and had some pretty spectacular views! There were a lot of people skiing (of which we opted out--there could be an avalanche!) and hiking, which we did on the way back down (not from the top clearly).

We left Zermatt after lunch and headed to Bern to tour (and to wait until 7 so I could get home for free) and enjoyed our couple of hours there. All in all a fantastic weekend in Switzerland!

See the little black spots? Those are people hiking up there!!

Kristen & I in front of the Matterhorn!

See the middle of the picture? The tan building thing? That's where I was standing the day before--where I took the above picture--that's how high we were!

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