We awoke this morning to unreal views of the Matterhorn. No those pictures aren’t photoshopped, that really is what it looks like out our windows. It is an impressive sight and really quite a shocking thing to wake up and see first thing. M and I both gasped with delight when we saw it in full bloom for the first time. Obviously today is the first day that the mountain wasn’t covered in clouds.
Being in actual fact, tourists, we thought we would do some touristy things today so we took a gondola up to Furi and Schwarzsee. The other pictures in this email are from Schwarzsee and mainly looking over towards Monte Rosa which is covered in new snow and glaciers. In one of the photos you can just catch a glimpse of the mountain amidst the clouds. Rosa is a bit taller than Matterhorn and truly more of an awe striking mountain as far as size goes. The Matterhorn is definitely more beautiful from a sheer beauty perspective, but Monte Rosa (when it can be seen) definitely reminds you of how small you really are.
This year is the 150th anniversary of the first ascent of the Matterhorn and Zermatt is celebrating that feat with a movie of the ascent and some more celebratory info sessions and displays. Seeing the mountain in real life, I can understand why it holds such a strong pull on those who like to climb. It practically stands there and dares one to attempt the summit. For a slightly unrealistic (for most humans) view of what it is like to climb the Matterhorn, look on YouTube for Killian Jornet’s record setting climb of the Matterhorn. If you type into YouTube, “Killian” and “Matterhorn”, one of the videos that comes up will be called, “Summits of My Life.” It shows Killian’s climb to the summit and back down to the little Italian town where he started in just over 5 hours. The video is only about 9 minutes but it has great views of the mountain.
After coming back down the gondola, during which time M had her eyes mostly open, we decided to walk around town a bit. The things that cause us to stop most frequently are the bakeries and the Rolex shop. They are very similar in that both have displays that make your mouth water and your stomach hurt, but for different reasons. Of course the bakeries have things on display that will give you a toothache just by looking. The Rolex shop on the other hand (or wrist) can cause you to gawk at both the craftsmanship and of course, the prices. $35,000 and up is not uncommon.
Another item we have been seeing a lot of is impressive vegetable gardens. They are big and have lots of beautiful veggies. M tells me there is lots of lettuce and rhubarb, but we have also seen raspberries and other veggies that I didn’t recognize since they were not on a plate.
Tomorrow is another run, this time up to Furi to check out the swinging bridge over the gorge. This is for M so that she doesn’t freak out when we come to it in the race. We will take a picture of it tomorrow so you can understand why someone who is afraid of heights would be terrified.