Friday, October 20, 2006

The Matterhorn

We just returned from a trip to the Matterhorn (one of the highest peaks in the Alps - 14,692 feet).

Zermatt, the small town at the base of the mountain, does not allow cars. We had to leave the car behind and travel in by train.

When we arrived, we could see most of the mountain.

We had a great view from our hotel.

When we woke up the next morning, the mountain was gone -hidden behind dense clouds.

Zermatt was small and sweet - but I must say there is definitely something strange about a ski resort without snow. It reminded me of a night club at 3 a.m. - after the lights come on.

The day we arrived, Dad and Fern hopped a small train up to Gornergrat 3,089m. Brian and I had hoped we could join, but it was far too high to take a small child.

The next day, we went for a hike before heading home. The hike was lovely, but the drive home turned out to be the real adventure of the day.

It all started when we opted to take the mountain pass (up and over), instead of the train (straight through the mountain). We were about a quarter way up, when the gas light went on. There were no towns or gas stations for miles. About halfway up, we turned off the headlights, and even the stereo. We all started leaning forward.

The road twisted and turned - up and up we went. I couldn't help but notice that where was a distinct lack of guardrails. Soon, we were up so high we found ourselves staring down a glacier.

We passed a strange, deserted hotel.

The good news: We made it to the top after what seemed likes miles and miles and hours and hours.

Here's a look at some of our drive up...

We coasted the entire way down. And finally, we came to a small town. We coasted right into the gas station. The bad news: the pump was empty.

Somehow we managed to make it to the next town, where we were rewarded by a gas station with gas.

Note to self: always start a mountain pass on a full tank of gas.

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