Day 10, Thursday, 9 July 2009

Breakfast was in the hotel this morning at 7:15 am to get ready for our trip to the Matterhorn.

We departed at 8:00 and headed by coach to the town of Tasch – about 75 km away.  There, we boarded a train to take us to Zermatt.  This is a small town in the Swiss Alps that serves as the gateway to the Matterhorn. It is auto-free to cut down on pollution.

Teagan and I went shopping in Zermatt for about two hours.  Then the entire group met at 11:30 for instructions about taking the cog railway to Gornergrat.  We walked over to the station to catch the train.  It works on a rack and pinion system since the angle of ascent is too steep for a traditional railway.  It travels through a tunnel in the mountain and exits at Gornergrat at 3089 meters elevation, where there is an excellent view of the Matterhorn.

When we got there, the Matterhorn was mostly engulfed by a cloud that seemed to just move back and forth.

After getting our pictures taken, we headed to the lunch area, where we got a sausage that was very good.  After lunch, we went for a short walk on a mountain trail.  The cloud stayed around the Matterhorn the whole time we were there.  We took lots of pictures of neighboring peaks and several of the Matterhorn, as well.

We headed back down to Zermatt at 2:00 pm to pick up a dessert and to pick up an item we purchased earlier in the day (can’t give away what it is).  Teagan got an Apfel Strudel and I got a Nuss (nut) pastry of some kind.  They were both very good.

We returned to the meeting area around 2:45 to pick up an item at the gift shop and to look at our pictures in front of the Matterhorn.  Then the chorus sang an inpromptu song in the square.

We headed to the train back to Tasch where we boarded the coach to head back to Crans-Montana.  Once there, we had free time until the fondue party at 7:30.

Teagan and I headed to a grocery store to lay in supplies for our lunch tomorrow in Lichtenstein.  Then we went shopping in the village.

We returned to the hotel to get ready for the party.  Then we each headed over to the town tent a little after 7:00 pm.

The fondue was a blend of seven Swiss cheeses.  Mostly I tasted gruyere.  There was a three accordian polka band.  There were dancers performing traditional dances.  The dances looked like a swiss version of square dancing.  Then there was a horn player who played one of those long swiss horns (think Ricola commercial).  He invited audience members to come up and try to play the horn, also.

The dancers also invited prople to dance with them.  Then there were dances that everyone participated in.

The party wrapped up around 9:30 and we returned to the hotel to pack for our travel day tomorrow.

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