Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Austria - 2001
October 2, Tuesday
We talked to Susan last evening and all is well except she told us to be careful that the government is warning people that overseas travel is dangerous. Of course, it didn’t help my sleep, but we were up early for our short trip to Tasch and Zermatt. Our short 130 miles (?) took over 5 hours. They are slow miles. I was pleased to find it an easy drive without hairpin turns up steep mountain roads. We took the cog railway out of Tasch and were in Zermatt in about 20 minutes. It is a busy tourist town. The weather is fabulous – actually too warm for our clothing. We came with hats, gloves, sweaters and on Oct 2 it is hot in the sun (high 70’s) but pleasantly cool in the shade. People are shining on the Matterhorn above where we are staying and there are lots of hikers. Met a couple from N.C. – a rarity as no U.S. seem to be here.
Stayed at the Perren Hotel and it is lovely and had dinner in their restaurant – one of our super best meals. One of the interesting things to see here is the cemetery. So many of the graves are for those lost on the Matterhorn, young men mostly. There is a lovely church where we said some prayers for Tom and a safe trip home. The streams coming down from the glacier are powerful and the water is an opaque green – very unusual. Tomorrow we leave early on the Glacier Express. I am really looking forward to this train trip.
October 3, Wednesday
Left Zermatt at 8:50 in the most beautiful train with large panoramic windows. It was smooth as silk and a very quiet train. The views are spellbinding. In every direction are the snow-capped mountains so close on all sides. It is a very relaxing trip and 4 hours passed very quickly. Every seat was filled and we had a darling South Korean couple across from us. They are coming to the U.S. later this year and we exchanged addresses and e-mails. He has a Christian Magazine he publishes for teachers and is coming to a conference. St. Moritz is lovely – much larger and more cosmopolitan than Zermatt. The stores are elegant (closed unfortunately) but we did some window shopping.
We return tomorrow, leaving at 10 am, back to Zermatt. This has been a real highlight of our trip. Hope all our pictures do justice to the glorious views. The sun was so strong today we wore sunglasses almost the entire trip – except some tunnels of cause. You can’t look down as the train track runs along the sides of cliffs with no shoulder and across bridges that span chasms.
Hotel Laudinella – very good.
October 4, Thursday
Back to Zermatt – same route, same train, lazy day.
Perrin Hotel – terrific hotel, great restaurant, nice people.
October 5, Friday
Off to Italy – train to Tasch where we get back to our other suitcase and the car. We lightened our luggage by taking enough for 3 days in one suitcase. We traveled East to pick up the road South to Italy and it took us over the furka pass. Never have I been so frightened – a narrow, 2-lane road that twisted along the mountain edge up to 2,431 meters or over 7,000 feet. Most of the trip was very slow because of switchbacks. I could look up and see the road as it wound its way to the top and it seemed endless. I found myself holding my breath on the turns as I prayed no one would be coming the other way. It was such a relief when we reached the turn for the Gotthard pass, but we feared it would be another tough mountain climb, but we were pleasantly surprised as it was a “piece of cake” after the previous pass. The road was wider and the climb was 300 meters less in height. Arrived in Menangis about 6pm after a long day of driving and stressful driving at that. This looks like a nice town and we have a room overlooking Lake Como with a little outside balcony – The Bellavista Hotel.
We had a nice dinner and then back to our room with a good book.