Zermatt

This was the first time for two nortrekkers to visit this special place in the Swiss Alps where only public transport in the form of trains, ski-lifts or electric taxi cabs are allowed. We arrived late on a Saturday afternoon in February 1999 at our hotel, the Gornergrat, located at the terminus of the Gornergrat Railroad at 3100 m above sea-level after a 45 min. train ride from Zermatt village.

Jungfrau in October 2008

This was a reunion with friends from the US and Switzerland:

   

             

 
The view toward the 4478 m Matterhorn mountain was just magnificent. As you see from the photo, we were met at the train terminus by traditional Swiss skiers who had been able to develop their skills using skis very similar to those used in Norway at the introduction of modern skiing by Sondre Nordheim in Telemark in the 1870s. The next two days were spent practicing our skills with our Swiss hosts as excellent guides both on skis and snowboard. The photos below may give an impression of this experience which we certainly will remember forever after. 
Note the difference between Nordic and Swiss downhill techniques.
 

 
 
 

 
 
 
 

Our charming hosts with Matterhorn watching behind them.

We also managed to visit Zermatt village where snow was not as abundant as at 3000 m at Gornergrat. But even though the village was dominated by many new hotels, we will never forget our visit to this remote valley in Switzerland where we also learned by first hand that some of the best wines in Europe are grown all the way up to the edge of the glaciers.
   

 Visit Hotel Gornergrat/ 
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