I am already Stateside, having returned last Wednesday, and it seems totally crazy to think that just a week ago I spent my last day in Zermatt. And what a day it was! Probably my favorite ski day, which was a nice way to say good-bye to Zermatt and my Swiss experience.
We woke up bright and early to take the 7:00 am train to Gornergrat Station. The last time we were there as a group was in September, the very first Sunday, when we hiked up to Rotenboden and then took the train on to Gornergrat. This was the train that I “caught” at least once a week during hiking and climbing season, either to start a hike or end a hike or to go to and fro climbing at Riffelalp. We watched the sun rise over the Matterhorn, although I’m not sure if it ever fully rose until we had abandoned waiting around for it and had already hit the slopes. Never mind, it was still a beautiful morning and a lovely way to say good-bye.
We spent the morning skiing, and some of the other slopes were finally open, so it was just a FUN DAY of skiing. It made us all a bit sad to leave – we all kept thinking ‘How about one more day? Just one more day?”. Especially one more day without teaching or grading or other responsibilities – no doubt that allowed us all to enjoy the experience just THAT much more.
The last week was filled with work, grading, cleaning up, packing but I think that everyone tried to appreciate the final days, going to favorite haunts, such as Pollux (for the adults, at least) which was the best place to unwind at the fireplace, all the bakeries (Hornli, Biner and Fuchs), and walking along the quaint little streets of this Alpen town. I can’t quite believe that I was there for 3 months. I wouldn’t call it ‘living’, but I certainly experienced so much during these three months.
I can’t deny that I was ready to return to the States – to see Michael and, of course, Gus, both of whom I had missed quite a bit, especially the last weeks. But what an adventure I’ve had this fall!
And, as crazy as it is, I’m not quite done with my travels yet, although the next trip will take me east. Thailand and Cambodia – we’re headed your way!