I’ve been wanting to share the second part of the trip for over two weeks now but the impression the place has left on me makes it difficult. I cannot believe it has been a month since the trip. I feel like we got back home just yesterday. So many good memories. I almost feel like I’m in a daze since I’ve been back. Not sure how to explain it but I feel like there is this need inside me to escape and go somewhere; away from responsibilities and the sickening routines. I guess that’s what travel does to you, let’s you be someone else while it lasts. Being someone new for a while is actually a great feeling, so relieving in fact. Like no one identifies you from before, nothing from the past soaring above you and absolutely no responsibilities. So you’re this complete new individual when you travel; creating new relationships, learning to live in a different way, express differently and interacting with diverse people. The whole thing becomes a new experience and life altering. You learn and develop so much when you travel. It’s truly an unbelievable feeling. In Sha Allah my husband and I want to travel more frequently.
DAY 5 & 6: Zermatt (Tuesday & Wednesday)
Zermatt, from the time we set foot there, gave me major romantic vibes. Bordered by mountains, this was the most romantic place among the ones we’ve stopped at. In this city, you will mostly see the old-style wooden houses and buildings. The buildings were so short and podgy compared to the skyscraping buildings you find here in Dubai. The entrances to the shops were small, the vehicles were small and they had no cars! Yes no cars at all. Zermatt is a small stunning city, like if Lucerne and Interlaken had a baby. Gosh.
Unfortunately our stay in the city was not sufficient. Though it’s a small city, there are abundant of things to see. We somehow managed to go everywhere as much as we can. We had an excursion planned for day two to the top of Gornergrat to see mount Matterhorn, so Day one was spent exploring the city and we also did a little shopping.
Places to visit:
- Just walk around the city: Take the bus and go around. Believe me there is no way you can get lost in such a small place but even if you do, the people there are so kind and cooperative. More than boarding the bus, we found that walking was ideal so that we don’t miss out on anything be it small or big.
- The Matterhorn Graveyard: Honestly I was fascinated by the cemetery. It’s not in our belief to visit cemeteries but the cemetery was hard to dodge as it was right in front of our hotel room and we had to cross it to get to the other side of the city. If my husband would have let me, I would have spent an entire day taking pictures of all the tombs there. The graves were of those people who had perished trying to ascent the Matterhorn Mountain, a majestic peak of the Alps. There were graves there that were so old, I’m talking about decades old and each of them had a story to tell about their life and how they died. I don’t think I will ever have the nerve to attempt ascending a mountain but it was interesting to contemplate how some are daring enough to take the risk and unfortunately losing their lives in the process.
- Zermatt Church ( St. Mauritius Pfarrkirche Church) : Beautiful Architecture !
- Matterhorn Museum: It’s a miniature museum with all the particulars about the first tragic ascend to the Matterhorn. It still holds the broken rope that led to the tragedy cushioned within a glass case.
- Gornergrat Bahn Train & the Matterhorn: Do not miss out by not boarding the train and going to Gornergrat. The Gornergrat gives you the finest and closest view of the Matterhorn Mountain minus having to actually climb it. The Matterhorn is located between the boundaries of Italy and Switzerland. So you can ascent it from Italy or Switzerland. It is a bucket list destination for most climbers. About an estimated 500 people have perished trying to climb the mountain. For most of the trip, I called Matterhorn as Mount Toblerone as it is the peak you see on the renowned chocolate’s packaging.
- Sunnega: On day 2 after we descended from Gornergrat, we had plenty of time and I really wanted to go on the famous gondolas. I definitely wasn’t going to leave Switzerland without going on the gondolas. The gondolas from the Bollywood movies. FAMOUS. To go to Sunnega, you need to catch the subway train which is so cool. Astounding train work there! The trains go practically everywhere. The trekking trails from Sunnega leads to a small village, the same village mentioned in the novel Heidi. I call it Heidi’s village.
- Rothorn: After you reach Sunnega, take the gondola to the peak called Rothorn which stands at 10,180 feet. Be sure to take a coat with you, it will be chilly. There isn’t much up there, except that you will have a good view of the peaks of the Alps in Zermatt. Unfortunately we went up there late in the evening and had to catch the last ride back to the train station. I was terrified that we might get stranded there. With each passing minute that the gondola didn’t return, my heart was pounding even faster. Its hilarious thinking about it now but at that point, it was so frightening for the sky was turning gloomy and I wound up crying.
On day 6, we boarded the 7 hour scenic train (Glacier Express) to St. Moritz from Zermatt. At that point, train rides in Dubai had really scarred me and I wasn’t really sure about this journey. If you are in Dubai or ever been there, you will know how dreary the metros can get. You only get to see buildings through your entire journey. And hence I was really hesitant when my husband told me that he had reserved us seats on the glacier express but I was mistaken. It was raining that day so I couldn’t get food pictures of the scenery. Our stay in St. Moritz was really short. We didn’t get to leisurely walk around the city like we had done in the previous destinations which was really sad. There were so many places I wanted to see but didn’t have the time for. St. Moritz is a shopping hotspot. It is a more of a high-class city than a picturesque one. You will find a row of designer shops like Louis Vuitton, Prada, Michael Kors, Jimmy Choo, Chanel, Dior etc. There were many more, I can’t quite recollect.
Places to visit:
Glacier Express: I know it’s not something to stopover in St. Moritz but I highly recommend reaching St. Moritz this way! The glacier express claims to go through untouched mountain landscapes, glamorous health resorts, deep gorges, delightful valleys, 91 tunnels and across 291 impressive bridges. I’m not sure I saw all of that but the journey was gorgeous. It didn’t feel like 7 hours at all. Sitting in the glacier express is when the feeling hit me that it’s almost the end of our journey and we will be back home soon. Somehow I didn’t want that. The food on the train was decent, be sure to try something.
Muottas Muragl: Since we only stayed a day in St. Moritz, actually just an evening. So when looking for the best place to go in St. Moritz, we were suggested to go to Muottas Muragl by the hotel staff. Muottas Muragl is a summit of the Alps. It includes a hotel and a panoramic restaurant. We didn’t get a chance to dine at the hotel because it was packed. It is a spectacular place and the hotel is rightfully named as Romantic Hotel so be sure to try it. Book the hotel prior to your visit through your travel agent or online.
The next morning we had to leave for the train station and board the train back to Zurich. Leaving for the airport, the feeling was overwhelming. My thoughts will forever remain in Switzerland. My husband keeps saying I won’t be saying this when we go to other places but I know deep inside that Switzerland will always be on the topmost for me.
“Even after all this time?” “Always”.
Check out part 1 of my vacation blog: