Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Matterhorn Glacier Trail

Last weekend Kevin, Mya, some friends, and myself took the train over to Zermatt, Switzerland to hike the Matterhorn Glacier Trail.  Our visit coincided with a Matterhorn marathon.  Yep you heard me right.  Some crazy individuals participated in either a 16K/1100m, 30K/2000m, or 46K/3600m marathon up a mountain, and they paid money for this torture.  While the runners warmed-up, we also prepared for our hike by carb-loading on Swiss pastries and hydrating with multiple cappuccinos.
Kristi and me waiting for our husbands to bring us breakfast.
The Starting Point  
Some participants warmed-up by jogging around town.  Not exactly what I would want to do before an insane mountain marathon.
Our warm-up
Warm-up completed, we walked through town on our way to the gondola... 

Man taking his sheep for a walk.
Such a beautiful village!
 We got off the lift at Schwarzsee to begin our 3 hour hike to Trockener Steg.
Our Route: gondola from Zermatt to Schwarzsee, hike from Schwarzsee to Trockener Steg, then gondola ride back to Zermatt.
Mya and me posing at Schwarzee.
Family Photo
Schwarzee Lake & the "Maria zum Schnee" (Lady of the Snow) Chapel
This is just silly.  Can't believe how beautiful this country is!
Look at me, I'm hiking.  I got my sneaks on and everything.
Pensive Kevin
Pensive David
Pensive Mya
Kevin is psyched to be this close to the Matterhorn.
Jenn & Mya
No Mya isn't playing dead; she's rolling in sheep shit.
Looks like a different planet up here.
Alp River

Mya racing ahead of me.
Me huffing and puffing up the trail....the air, it's thin.
Me rock climbing. 
More silliness...

Trockener Steg
Kevin enjoying one last pensive moment.
Considering it was my first proper hike, I was pretty wiped out after 3 hours of mainly up-hill walking, but I loved it!  To celebrate our accomplishment we took the lift back down to Schwarzsee for some much deserved beers and rösti.
Go team!
Best rösti of all time, smothered in cheese and topped with a fried egg.  Yes.
After our extremely satisfying post-hike lunch we took the gondola back down to Zermatt for a well earned post-hike nap.
Mya not wanting the hike/most amazing day of her life to be over.   Don't worry puppy, we're hikers now.  We'll be back.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Lavaux How I Love Thee

About a month ago Kevin, Mya, & I went back to the Lavaux region of Switzerland for an overnight trip.  Lavaux is part of the French speaking region of Switzerland and boasts 830 hectares of terraced vineyards along Lake Geneva.  We had driven through it during our Easter road trip to Lyon when the vineyards were bare, so we were excited to see how this magical place transformed in the summer...
On the walk from the Chexbres-Village train station to our hotel Prealpina.
Having a lil' cappuccino on the hotel terrace before we start our hike. 
First photo-op of the hike.

It didn't take long for us to find our first stop - Constant Jomini winery...
Cute vine labels
If you have some extra cash lying around, you can purchase a vine and your name will be placed on the label. You'll also have exclusive rights to the bottles produced from those vines, and once a year you and your fellow ballers get a private tour of the vineyard, caves, and cellars. One day....

They have this incredible terrace right smack in the middle of their vineyard, and we of course had to check it out for some lunch and tastings.
The pizza oven
Our table
We were lucky to stumble upon the terrace as they only have it open 12 days of the year & by chance someone didn't show up for their reservation.  Score!  

The man himself - Constant Jomini.  He was awesome and chatted with us for a bit.  Turns out when he was a teenager his family went on vacation to Tobago and they stopped off in Orlando on the way.  As Kev is from sweet T&T and lived in Orlando before starting college he felt a connection. Bromance aside, we had an amazing time in his vineyard and ended up staying a couple of hours enjoying the views and tasty wines.  Of course we ordered some bottles to be shipped back to Zurich.  We also bought a to-go bottle for our hike.  Being the great guy that he is, Constant gave us a wine key and two tasting glasses for our journey.
Walking out of the terrace.
About 10 min into our "hike" we found a spot to crack her open.
Can you blame us?
Onward to the next glass.

I could totally live here.

This looks like a good spot for round 2.
Yeah, it'll do.
Glass #2
See the people in the back with the white convertible?  Small world again, they were blasting Alison Hind's "Roll it Girl".  We chatted with them for a bit, they were Brits living in Zurich who happened to love soca.  Needless to say they were shocked to meet a white boy from Trinidad.

Second Tasting
This little hut is set up as a stop for the Lavaux Express - a tourist train that takes you around the vineyards. I forget the name of the winery, but it was very cool sampling wines from the very vineyard you're standing in.  
Surprise, surprise we bought another to-go bottle.
Where we opened to-go bottle #2 ...
Glass #??

Last stop so Mya could frolic in the vineyards...
Mya Flip Book

Mya loves it here

After our hike and many tastings, we hung out on our balcony to watch the sunset...

One day was not enough!