Kuntz Family Visit & Zermatt

Easter is a public holiday providing a four day weekend here in Switzerland (and for a large portion of Europe). Andrew’s entire family was able to come visit us in Lausanne and we all took a trip together up to the ski village of Zermatt. Everyone arrived on the Tuesday before Easter, plus Robin’s boyfriend John on Wednesday. Those two days the Kuntz family spent their time touring the Lausanne area and we were able to go out to dinner together at one of our favorite neighborhood restaurants, Le Lyrique, on Wednesday night. We were in Zermatt from Thursday – Monday. Zermatt is one of the top ski resorts in Switzerland and is home to the famous Matterhorn (French: Cervin). We had so much fun spending time together and exploring the massive ski area over the long weekend.

Transportation: We arrived in Zermatt by train. It’s just over a three hour ride from Lausanne and a gorgeous route through the mountains. Similar to the village of Saas-Fee where we spent Easter 2016 (see post), Zermatt is another one of these carless villages. If you tried to drive, you would have to leave your car in a different village and take the train into the village. It certainly adds to the charm to be able to walk everywhere without cars and to only see the city ski bus or little electric taxi carts transporting people around the village.

Accommodation: Andrew’s parents graciously rented a ski chalet in Haus Maryland for us all (see photos here of the place). It was perfectly situated between the different points to access the ski area, on a quieter street off the main drag and had an incredible view of the Matterhorn.

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View from the chalet of the Matterhorn. We skiied up there beneath that beautiful peak all weekend!

Eats: We went out to eat twice while in Zermatt to two different restaurants I found on TripAdvisor: Restaurant Julen on Friday, which is part of a family of restaurants in the village and known for serving their family farm lamb. We went to Grampi’s on Saturday for Italian, and specifically for their pizzas. Both were excellent!

Activities: The primary reason for coming to Zermatt in the winter is to ski. It’s a massive ski area that spans over the border into Italy. You can take every kind of transportation to reach the pistes and we managed to take each one: gondola, chair lift, tow rope, cable car, alpine mountain funicular (inside the mountain!), and even a train. It was impressive. Our weather worked out pretty well for the trip with sunny warm weather on Friday, clouds on Saturday and then Sunday it switched to a winter storm in the afternoon with high winds and snow. So, a little bit of everything! For it being spring skiing, while there was nothing on the low elevation pistes, the snow stayed pretty nice in the higher elevation ski area and we even got a liiiittle fresh snow on Saturday night. We had a fantastic time with the Kuntz family and loved getting to ski together in the Alps of Switzerland and Italy. Zermatt is absolutely gorgeous and an incredible ski area. I would love to return some time in the future.

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We took a cable car and then an elevator to reach this panoramic viewpoint of the Alps and the Matterhorn behind us from the top of the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise. It was incredible up there.
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View of the Breithorn (4,164 m) from the panoramic point and a helicopter up in the right hand side.  Helicopters were pretty common sites here. They are used for a mix of reasons, from sight seeing tours, to rescue, to heli-skiing.
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View from the top of the panoramic point of the Alps
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View of the piste we skiied from above on the panoramic point. It was amazing!
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Up high in the Zermatt ski area on Saturday, that’s the village of Zermatt where we stayed far down in the valley if you look closely. For perspective, the village is at 1,620 m (5314 ft) and we were standing for this picture at 3,883 m (12,739 ft). After taking this picture we skied all the way down to the village – the longest on-piste ski run in the world!
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Skiing in Zermatt, here’s another angle of the Matterhorn
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The Kuntz family on the Italian side of Zermatt at the Chalet Etoile on Friday for lunch. It was sunny and gorgeous from here as we ate our lunch on the deck.
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Squinting in the sun but we’re so happy to be together skiing on the border of Italy and Switzerland 🙂
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Zermatt is famous for its aprés ski parties. While the scene was quieting down as it was the end of prime ski season, we managed to catch an awesome live band at the bar Hennu Stall on our way down the mountain on Friday. Nearly at the bottom of the valley, there was a narrow path of snow to let you ski your way to this spot. It was a good time and even more fun to ski the last little stretch after we’d downed a couple beers 🙂
Chris, John & Andrew in front of the Matterhorn while skiing on Saturday
Saturday, skiing with a bit more clouds covering the Matterhorn. That is the Riffelberg train station to access the ski area.
Lunch spot on Sunday at the Blue Lounge Blauherd 2,571 m. DJ spinning 90s rap beats included!
Amazing views the whole weekend!

 

 

 

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