Thursday, July 31, 2008
From Summer to Winter in 24 hrs!
Sooooo-de-li (That’s Swiss-German for: Soooooo).
After a hearty breakfast of fresh bread, cold-cuts, cheese, jam, butter, yoghurt and fruit (insert a couple of eggs for Orange-X here) early the next day, we made our way to the cable car station that would take us up to the Klein Matterhorn Station at 3’820 meters above sea level(12’533 feet) where we bought our tickets.
Unfortunately, the weather was doing pretty much what it wanted (not what we wanted). At Zermatt’s 1’862 meters, the sun was shining and the temperature was about at 24-26°C (high 70’s°F). However, the skies up in the heights were covering up fast. They said: “-1°C (30.2°F) at the top." … Brrrr! Since Chris had not brought any closed shoes - and in this case, even a pair of sneakers would have not been safe - we had made sure that both had adequate footwear before we left Basel.
Half way up we were told that we had to wait because the winds were too strong. We had already had rain and wet snow, and it was getting worse. So, we went for a hot chocolate and waited. After 20 minutes, the skies cleared up again (how fast it can change) and we could continue our ascent. It was breathtaking to see all the crevasses, the steep, rocky and sometimes icy slopes. You really have to know what you’re doing if you climb up here by foot, even in summer.
However, once we reached our destination, the Klein Matterhorn station, we realised two things: a) the panorama platform was closed for repair and b) we had a freeking snowstorm up there! It was like a Canadian blizzard. Look!
And we wanted to show them the Matterhorn?? HA! FOR.GET.IT! The best the weather would allow us to take was this. We saw only the lower part of the great mountain!
Anyhow, we walked to a provisional kind of “restaurant”. While we were warming up and recuperating from the thin air enjoying a coffee, we noticed that Chris was not doing well… at all. During her first visit back in 2003, the heights had been no problem for her, but in the meantime, she had her thyroid gland taken out because it was hyperactive. And then, Chris’ heart started pounding like crazy (low oxygen, probably) and she panicked – which did not help. So, we had to get her down again and fast! However, the winds had stirred up a storm in the meantime and we had to wait. Luckily, after about only 15 minutes, we could start our descent and at mid-way, she felt better again and the weather had changed to friendlier skies. Look at those views! Isn’t it beautiful up there?
By the time we were back in the village again, Chris was fine and we were back to a sunny, warm 26°C (78°F), so we took a few pictures in Zermatt and had a late lunch. We then made our way to the hotel to pick up our things, took a taxi back down, paid our parking fee in Täsch: a whole CHF 7.00 for 24 hours! Not much by Swiss standards, and drove back to Basel.
Once at home, we threw in a few washes in and were ready for the next adventure: the following day, we were off to Amsterdam.
So, folks. That’s where I leave you until the next entry. We're going on holidays to Egypt this Thursday for 2 weeks (Yippee!!!!!)and I doubt that I'll find much time to catch up, so have an excellent time!