Guten tag from Zermatt!

Whoa – Where to even begin?  To say that the past week plus has been action-packed would be an understatement!  It also seems unreal that I’ve been in Zermatt just over a week.  And, to be honest, just the fact that I’m here and that this is my view in the mornings is unreal:

The view when I wake up
How can I complain? Not the best photo, but the view is great

To backtrack to last week, I flew to JFK last Thursday and met up with the other teachers and the students to fly to Geneva as a group.  Once we arrived Friday morning, we took a bus and then a train to Zermatt, and we hit the ground running, as they say.  Saturday and Sunday we hiked and played a lot of get-to-know-you-games (it’s a bit like summer camp, but with an academic component and, well, it’s obviously not summer).  Saturday we went to Klein Matterhorn (via chairlift) and spent plenty of time ooh-ing and aah-ing.  I also spent a lot of time shivering and thinking about all of the warm clothes that I left in storage.  Klein Matterhorn1

The view from Klein Matterhorn
The view from Klein Matterhorn

The view from Klein Matterhorn

I am lame and have zero photos of my own from our Sunday hike – in large part because it was grey and rainy in Zermatt when we left, and I had zero expectations that it would turn out to be a lovely day.  It did, so I cursed myself the entire time.  But, we took the train to Riffelberg, a charming little…  hamlet?  (it certainly isn’t much of a town!) and then hiked from there to Rotenboden (no joke, that is the name of a… place).  It was a stunning hike, and I couldn’t stop dropping the superlatives.  It gave me a sense of the scale of the Alps, which are sharp and rather unforgiving but beautiful.  At the same time, the Swiss have ‘civilized’ the mountains in a certain way, as you pass through tiny villages or hamlets on the side of a mountain or take a chairlift right up to a peak.

Riffelalp
Riffelalp – Source
The hike to Rotenboden
The hike to Rotenboden – Source

We finished the hike on Sunday with dinner at the Riffelalp Resort which, while an amazing place to dine because of the view and good food, wasn’t overly formal.  It was, I think, the most beautiful place where I’ve ever eaten because of the scenery – I felt incredibly lucky to watch the sun set over the Alps while eating dinner.  The only way that it could have been a more perfect day is if I could have shared it with Michael rather than with 50 students and 13 other faculty members!

As for Zermatt – I am getting to know the town and already have a few favorite bakeries.  It is small, set in a valley, and is accessible only by train (although, yes, there are locals who have cars).  It hasn’t blessed us with perfect weather, but maybe I appreciate the sunny days even more, especially when we can see the Matterhorn towering in the south.  The program is fast-paced – we started class on Monday and we keep the kids busy, which means that we stay busy!  I do appreciate that I’ve taught before and have the experience to “wing” certain things, but on the whole, I like the students whom I’m teaching and the faculty with whom I’m working.  It’s also hard to complain when this is where I’m working:

Zermatt
Zermatt – Source

And this was my “office” over the weekend:

Hiking from Trift to Zermatt
Hiking from Trift to Zermatt – Not a bad day at the office, even on a Saturday!

This seems a bit patchy – there are gaps to fill in, and I’m not sure that I’ve explained well at all what I’m doing here (other than it’s a mid-life crisis) and what life is REALLY like.  But I’m still trying to take it all in myself!

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2 thoughts on “Guten tag from Zermatt!

  1. Wow! It’s amazingly beautiful there! And I am not surprised by that. LOL! I am happy you like the staff and students!!! We need to hear more about these bakeries. And I was wondering if Michael was there! I look forward to your next post! 🙂

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    1. It really is crazy pretty here, and I just keep repeating myself over and over as I say that, and I pinch myself on a regular basis to confirm that, yes, this is my life right now.
      The bakeries are seriously awesome, and I really like that a lot of stuff isn’t overly sweet.

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