The Train to Zermatt

The Matterhorn from our room

Perhaps our Teutonic surname granted some pull with our host, but the Alpenblick Hotel gave us one of their few rooms with a nice Matterhorn view.   Marcy and I continued our train trip through Switzerland today as we rolled our suitcases the few meters (Marcy said more than a few) from our hotel to the Geneva Cornavin station.  Here we said goodbye to the proper French of eastern Switzerland and headed for the German-speaking Alps.   It was a crowded commuter-class experience as we made our way around Lake Geneva through Lausanne and past the Nestle Headquarters in Vevey, but by the time we passed Montreaux and the Castle of Chillon, our car was quiet and we had plenty of room to enjoy the views of vineyards, orchards and vegetable fields. The valleys narrowed as we rose into the mountains, but the Swiss still managed to find places to cultivate their crops, even if it meant thin slivers of terracing several tiers high on the mountain slopes.  It was an easy change of trains in Visp and now the route to Zermatt was packed with fellow tourists and their luggage as we ascended at inclines I didn’t think a train could manage.   The Swiss have spent their money perfecting infrastructure with tunnels, cog rails and track details that made for an impossibly smooth and beautiful ride.  Not long after we left Visp, there were opportunities for some oohing and aahing as one great view gave way to another.   

Zermatt does not allow gasoline-powered vehicles and we had arranged for one of the ubiquitous small battery-powered taxis to take us up to our hotel.  The hotel was a straight shot up the road from the station, but for some reason, our driver saw fit to find a rather circuitous route through town.   Maybe he just wanted to give us our money’s worth.  

We arranged this trip because it was such a great package deal, but we had not accounted for how tired we would still be after our last trip.   Now, four days into this adventure, we have arrived in a comfortable place with a great view.   We originally planned to get up early and take a train up to a place that is supposed to have perfect reflections of the Matterhorn in a mountain lake, but now I wonder if we will leave this cozy room before our next leg of the journey. (It is very socked-in cloudy after all).  

Perhaps I look travel-worn and morose, but I am actually enjoying the ride.

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