Wednesday, March 30, 2011

An alpine weekend

Liliane and I spent three days over last weekend seeing quite a large part of Switzerland by train. On Friday we went to Zermatt, which sits at the foot of the Matterhorn – a truly stunning mountain. Zermatt is very user-friendly for skiers, who can take the ski lifts right in town. There’s a flow of foot traffic to and from the lifts at the start and end of the day, and a vibrant après-ski scene. We had apple strudel at a café looking up at the Matterhorn, and dinner at La Dolce Vita on the main drag.

Saturday we took the Glacier Express train from Zermatt to St Moritz. We apparently crossed 291 bridges and went through 91 tunnels. Gorgeous views. Lots of snow. Interesting history. Some fun people in our carriage, including a bunch of gregarious Italians and a lovely Japanese couple.

In St Moritz we stayed in Dorf, the upper part of town, where there is a leaning tower. (The lower part of town, at the end of the lake, is called “Bad”.) One of my clients is from here, and I’ve just remembered that I used to smoke St Moritz cigarettes!

The highlight of the trip for me was our walk around St Moritz Lake on Sunday morning. On the shady side of the lake, which was still frozen, the path was covered in crunchy snow and occasional ice. Very beautiful.

From St Moritz we took the train to Zurich. I was last there in 2007 just before I joined my friend Wisty from Oz on the Mont Blanc Circuit trek. Liliane and I transferred here to the Lausanne train, which went through Bern. On the spur of the moment I decided to spend the night there. I stayed at La Belle Epoque, which I had noticed when I was there a few weeks ago. I took a walk around the part of the city that overlooks the river, got some work done and ate dinner, then finished a job yesterday morning before heading back to Lausanne at lunchtime.

Dinner at Jacques’ last night, where we planned some of my last Swiss adventure…

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