When Jonathan brought me to ski in Zermatt Switzerland I had no idea that we would ski the whole day around the Toblerone. Excuse my ignorance, but until that day I had no idea that Matterhorn was the logo of Toblerone and that it is located in Zermatt.
Cars are not allowed in the Zermatt ski village, so we had to park our Opel in a near by town of Täsch and took the train into the ski village. The only form of motorized transport in the village are electric tuktuks that drive around with tourists. The site was a little bit surreal but cute.
We arrived in Zermatt without a room booked because that’s how we roll. We occasionally book rooms but in this case we happened to arrive during a busy vacation period and it bit us in the ass. We arrived in the evening and were quoted a price of 100 Euros per night EACH. We scoffed at that and ended up walking around for an hour or so asking if anyone had rooms available. Jonathan was confident that he could find something, and he usually does, so we lugged around our skis and boots with us going from one hotel to the next. Everything was booked; the only place to sleep we could find was a hostel dorm but that wasn’t gonna cut it. Jonathan and I hadn’t seen each other in a while because I was on exchange for one semester at school at the time. Silly us, we shuffled back to the first hotel and bit the bullet for the overpriced room. At least we would sleep comfortably and our belongings were kept safe while we skied the next day. That is still the most I’ve ever paid for a hotel room. The lesson that we learned was always book a room before coming to Zermatt, Switzerland.
We got up in the morning and walked in our ski boots to the ski lifts of Zermatt. The cashier said that Cervinia was closed off for now due to high winds. We thought, “Sweet! This must mean we can ski into Italy with our lift passes.” I could tell from the start that Zermatt was going to be super posh as there were escalators for skiers to get onto the gondola.
We skied for a couple of hours, enjoying the views of the Matterhorn and the cogs train that pulled up with non skiing tourists. We checked the lift board and saw that Cervinia was green lit! Whoop! We went to the highest point accessible by a lift, Gobba di Rollin at 3899m. As we got off the gondola, I felt a little light headed. I felt as if I was I was a little buzzed from alcohol. Is that what high altitude feels like or was I just imagining it? Anyway, we proceeded to ski into Italy from Switzerland. It was beautiful, there was hardly anyone there and it was the best run of the day. It took us over 30 minutes to get to the bottom. As we tried to make our way up we were notified that we had to pay 20 euros each to go up. Apparently we were mistaken and our lift passes didn’t cover Cervinia. Why was the cashier so concerned in the morning? Regardless, Europe has had tourists coming in for decades; it has figured out how to squeeze money out of them to the maximum. We decided not to dwell on the money spent and proceeded to enjoy the rest of the rest of the day skiing in the Alps.
We made our way down with dozens of other skiers, the more we descended the slushier it got. I was more and more reminded that we were skiing in March. It was a wonderful and an expensive experience skiing in Zermatt. The day before we had skied in Chamonix-Mont Blanc, France, but Zermatt felt much more like a proper ski resort. The vertical drop was staggering, the village was picturesque, and the trail system was interconnected without the need for silly shuttle buses. If it had more powder it would have been mint for off-piste skiing. I guess we have just got to come back for more.