Feasting in Zermatt

As to my new relationship with European skiing, I paraphrase the great Jerry Maguire:

You had me at Lunch.”

In Zermatt, the skiing is good, but the eating is great!

Zermatt is a quaint town nestled in the shadows of the mighty Matterhorn.  In the central village, people wander along the snow covered streets past chalets with cheerful window boxes, retail stores full of ski gear, bustling bars stocked with stout ales, and pointy steeples chiming every hour.

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To add to the fairy tale setting, no cars are allowed in town.  The cheerful sound of gently jingling bells announces the arrival of silent electric taxis and old fashioned horse drawn carriages.

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I have always said that I excel at the après part of skiing.  It turns out that this is the basis of the entire European ski experience.  Skiing is merely something you do for a short while in between meals.  Lunch is a lazy event, and we enjoyed lounging in the sun on terraces overlooking the extraordinary mountain range.

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Leave your cafeteria tray behind and forsake your chili and fries for china plates heaped with cheese fondue and potato rösti.  Or, if you tire of Swiss cuisine, ski over to Italy for homemade pasta at a mid-mountain trattoria.  That’s right, Italy!  I gave up “retirement” and reluctantly strapped my skis back on, lured by Italian cuisine in Cervinia…it was definitely worth it.

After lunch, sit and relax in lounge chairs as you digest your feast and soak up the sun with a campari on the rocks to keep you refreshed.  You get the picture….après is all day!

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When you eventually ski back down to the village, make sure to visit Laderach Chocolatier for the finest selection of chocolate “bricks” imaginable.  As I left the store, my bag was ridiculously weighed down with my chocolate haul!

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If you find the time to ski between meals, the ski slopes are wide open and the vistas are absolutely extraordinary.   The iconic Matterhorn spikes above the vast mountain range and is beyond picturesque.

IMG_2754Photographs taken against the iconic mountain peak look as if we called Hollywood to roll in a fabricated backdrop.  The Matterhorn is, after all, the symbol of Paramount Pictures.  Jackie caught some air and I snuggled with a furry friend as the Matterhorn looked on in the distance.

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I found it necessary to be in constant motion in a futile attempt to work off all the meals we enjoyed day and night.  Zermatt offers extensive groomed hiking trails that wind through the woods and up the mountain slopes through snowy wonderlands.  I traversed the trails happily with my spikes supporting my feet and my ipod humming in my ears.  Total bliss.

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I can’t wait for our next ski break in Europe.  You should join me…

we’ll “do lunch”!

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