Thursday, July 15, 2010

Tripnotes: Switzerland

Ok - So I'm wayyy overdue on Tripnotes. And since NYC is hotter than heck, I figured I'd post about the coldest place I've been...

Behold. Ze Matterhorn.

Sometimes, on a long weekend, people like to relax at home and recharge their batteries. And sometimes, on a long weekend, some other people like to hop a plane to Zurich and hang out in Switzerland for 48 hours. So, in search of snow, potato pancakes and high alcohol content beers, we headed to Zermatt, a tiny ski-town nestled in the Swiss Alps on the border of Italy. Sweet.

To get to Zermatt, fly into Zurich and take the high-speed rail (which is located literally underneath the airport – super easy!!) through the Swiss countryside and up into the mountains. The ride is 3 hours of relaxation and in my case, snoozin’.

Once arriving in Zermatt, it's like being back in time. A car-free town, electric buggies act as taxis, swarming the train station to pick up guests and visitors. They’re really cute and surprisingly, super speedy!!

Zermatt is full of tiny little hamlets with rustic restaurants and homes tucked away into the snow. It’s so much fun to pop in and warm up with a hot chocolate…or a big beer...

CHEERZ!

This way to Italy!

If you’re pressed for time (like me – obvi) DO NOT miss your chance to ski over to Cervinia, Italy. You're gonna feel like James Bond - it's the coolest! We headed over to the Italian side of life for lunch and had an outstanding meal at the super-popular Chalet Etoile owned and operated by Swede Ulla and her crew of young Swedish thangs. After a light lunch (think red wine, papperdelle with wild boar ragu, zuppa di mare and double espressos) we rolled back over to Switzerland for a lil après ski action...

alfresco dining.

Grappa = Italian Gatorade.

People take their partying and their warmth seriously here. Outdoor bars are common, and almost always have fur pelts and hot water bottles for patrons to keep away the chill. The booze helps with that too. It is my kind of town baby.

totes cozy.

The frozen tundra.

So in short, 48 hours wasn’t enough and I can’t wait to go back for longer. If you’re planning a trip to Zermatt, here are some recommendations:

Lodging:

Chesa Valese - Cozy and warm family-run hotel. The host Daniella was the best and even packed us a delicious lunch for our return trip.

Hotel Bristol - Basic and clean with a great heated ski storage room. Super close to the ski shuttle.

Food:

Chez Vrony - An ancient on-mountain organic restaurant with carefully prepared dishes like spiced pumpkin soup and local delight Rosti. Not to be missed.

Le Mazot - Located in town along beside a winding creek, Le Mazot is a romantic spot with amazing roast lamb and reasonably priced Swiss wines.

Caffe DuPont - Get your sausage fix at Caffe DuPont a rustic, casual restaurant in town. Local dishes and bottled beer make it an affordable option in an otherwise spendy spot.

Dranking:

Papperla Pub - A super popular locals après-ski spot. Spin the drink wheel for 20 euro for a chance to win 50 drinks!

Hennu Stall - Located on mountain, this après bar gets ragey with a DJ and spirited locals.


p.s. the skiing was great!

10 comments:

Cara said...

ahh SWITZERLAND! One of my best trips EVER!
<3

Krystal said...

i live here, yo! obviously i loved this :)

Megan Taylor said...

oh I've always wanted to go! when my mom was in her twenties, she traveled around Europe and says Switzerland was one of her favorite places. your pictures and stories made me ache with longing -- i need a vacation and i need to go there! someday!

xoxoMegan

dulci said...

Krystal - you're so lucky! You get to breath fresh Swiss air every day!!

Megan - you must GO! you'll love it...everything is so orderly and efficient :)

Smita said...

Hahhaa, your blog posts are always so cool (no pun intended) and funny! Love the black and white shots.
Have a happy weekend :)

Smita

www.photohogger.com/blog

Kristin Hjellegjerde said...

We went to Murren for skiing one time. It was so gorgeous I cried of happiness:)

DolceDreams said...

Oh this cooled me off incredibly....looks like you had an awesome time, too quick though I imagine!
Keep the chill going...i hear you are almost as hot as we are here in the desert!
Nathalie

dulci said...

Kristin - I haven't heard much about Murren, but it sounds like it's just as beautiful as Zermatt!

Cade + Tosha said...

Did you really take that first picture of the matterhorn? If so, very jealous. I went last June and the whole time I was there it was to cloudy to get a good shot. But yes, LOVE switzerland.

dulci said...

I really did!! After so many hours of traveling, it was as if the heavens were saying "WELCOME!!!!!". The rest of our trip it was too cloudy so I was lucky to get this pic!