Well, it isn't a secret that 50 Shades of Grey premiered this past weekend. Although I will admit I did read the trilogy, this 50 shades refers to a much different reason for helicopter rides, ropes, poles, gloves, and whatever other innuendos you can think of when referring to a ski trip to the swiss alps.
This year marks the 10th anniversary for skiing in the city that fills my heart with more pleasure than one can imagine. Year after year the feelings are always mutual - Zermatt provides fresh snow, sunshine, and an even better atmosphere (food, drinks, accommodation, etc.) and I take full advantage of the situation at hand - call me selfish.
Perhaps I am a creature of habit, but every time I come back for more there are several variables on the “Zermatt Checklist” that must be checked off to really feel satisfied.
1. Get to know ALL of Zermatt
Zermatt is not only the highest ski resort in Europe reaching climax at 3,883 meters, but there are over 360km of pistes to explore. Even though I was only in Zermatt for a long weekend, I was able to explore all of the ski areas. It was romantic; Zermatt was a little shy at first, keeping the sunshine all for himself - but after getting to know each other again he really let everything hang out (the views were that good).
[ ski areas: Schwarze Paradise / Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, Gonergrat (a long train ride to the top is well worth the view on a sunny day - Rothorn / Sunnegga ]
2. Get cozy with an italian
Italy is right next door, so just cheat on Switzerland for the day and ski down the 17km piste to Cervinia. Grab an amazing bowl of pasta and a crispy margarita pizza. I always go back to Zermatt at the end of the day, so no one would even notice I was gone (minus the food belly from all of those carbs).
3. Drink in an igloo.
Enough Said. There is even a blob to jump on.
4. Apres Ski at Hennu Stall
Loosen up a bit before you get down to the town at Hennu Stall. Funny story in fact - 10 years ago, I remember skiing down the home run witnessing 200 skis parked outside a little chalet bar 5 min ski down to town. I always wondered why people were dancing on tables, falling over, taking shots out of skis, and then skiing home with their little ski bunny. I understand it all now, and finally got to take part in the fun. No comment, just experience it. The music is great, the drinks are better (cash only - 50 Euro credit card minimum, by the way)
5. Fondue at Le Gitan
This quaint, classic swiss restaurant has their wine list written on a chalk board and locals come for the night without an ounce of rush. The tomato cheese fondue made love to my taste buds. Between the soft yet crispy bread, mixed with the cheese melting in my mouth my taste buds were exploding with endorphins. I could have done it over and over again (with no regrets).
As if I wasn't satisfied enough, I splurged and got the Toberlone dark chocolate mousse (you know the saying ‘once you go black…’)
6. The Old Town
Those calories aren’t going to burn themselves… After dinner take a stroll through the old town. We always look at all of the hotels being built and write them down for the next time. The new, Hotel Omnia embodies contemporary elegance with one of the best views of the Matterhorn (absolutely stunning), and the recently renovated Hotel Beausite eludes classic swiss beauty with a mountainous flare.
Zermatt with the lights on
& with the lights off
7. Get Fuchs.
Fuchs is a popular bakery in town and one can not go to Zermatt without getting 2, maybe even 3 of these soft donut balls. They are fluffy, doughy, not too sweet, but just sweet enough. Get them in the morning while they are fresh.
8. Eat and drink everywhere.
Everything tastes amazing.
Maybe it is the eating, skiing, drinking, or the hiking - but I think it is safe to say Zermatt has my heart and every time I come back it keeps getting better and even more exhausting. Either way, I hate to say goodbye.