We were warned two things about Switzerland.. 1. It is very expensive and 2. You will fall in love.
Both are correct.
We rolled into Zermatt Switzerland, home of the Matterhorn (otherwise known as the mountain featured on the Toberlone candy bar – readers, I hope you know your chocolate). Coming from La Spezia we ended up paying a little more than anticipated because the train we needed to take was sold out of economy tickets so we had to travel first class… Not ideal for us from a cost perspective but a nice little treat.
We arrived at about 3:30 and strapped on our girls, Nellie and Desna and made our way to our Airbnb. It was a little tricky to find but we found it and met our angelic host, Stanzi. Luckily she speaks good English from going to school in LA, so we hit it off right away, talking about stories of the people she has hosted, hiking trails, life experiences and more. She sat down with a map with us to show us the best hikes to do within our three days here. She recommended that for our first full day (today) we wake up very early as it was forecasted to be very clear and hike up the mountain to see the Matterhorn at sunrise. Wrapped up in the excitement of it all we set our alarms and ripped ourselves out of our warm comfy beds at an early 5:30am. We ate, dressed, packed and headed out the door. Our conversation about 10 feet out the door was something like this..
Rachel: So do you know where we are going.. Like where do we get on the trail?
Me: No… I thought you knew!
Safe to say that trying to read hiking trail markers and signs in the pitch dark – especially not English signs – is quite challenging. We missed sunrise but it didn’t ruffle our feathers! We walked around town a bit and took in the beautiful clear skies. At about 7am we found the hike entrance and started to make our way to our first destination – Riffleberg. It was pretty chilly out and soon after walking for about 45-60 minutes this eerie fog rolled in blanketing the top of the town. We kept hiking but soon the fog was upon us as well.
We happened to walk past an old Swiss chalet that looked like a restaurant – we tried to get in but the doors were locked. I looked into the window and noticed that there were people inside. I went to look at another window which actually turned out to be a motion sensored door. I walked in and said to the first person I saw “Hello! Are you open? I am cold!” Luckily it was a restaurant, they were open, and brought us two steamy cups of coffee – PERFECT for an early chilly hiking morning.
Caffeinated and warmed up we continued our hike passed our originally destination and further into the Alps to Gagenhaupt (2564m up!).
Post hike I took a cat nap and then we made dinner with our Airbnb host and shared a few more stories over some glasses of wine.
Tomorrow we plan to hike “the 5 lakes” – a less intensive trail that doesn’t reach as high into the mountains but is supposed to have a little more wildlife and greenery. Very excited!!!
Eating Swiss chocolate and sending love from the mountains!! ❤️