We are on the bus after leaving Zermatt, it is almost too cold to type so please excuse any typos! There was one last opportunity this morning to view the elusive Matterhorn – we had been told it was nearby but still hadn’t seen it. Lance and I were ready early so we headed down to take a short walk in hopes of seeing the Matterhorn. In the lobby we saw our driver, Jergen, and he said to be sure to go outside, there was a spectacular view this morning. Excitedly, we hurried outside and turned for our first look of the mountain. Clouds, just clouds! The Matterhorn was nowhere to be seen.
Returning to the hotel for breakfast, we had one more hope for seeing the mountain before boarding busses for today’s trip to the Italian lakes. Hopefully, we ventured outside one more time and turned to face the direction of the Matterhorn. HOORAY! There it was! The sun was shining brightly and it was magnificent! I think we took at least 100 pictures in the 5 minutes we had before leaving town! In fact, one of the small electric taxis with some of our tour members passed us while we were taking pictures and we knew that it was time to go. although we didn’t get to go all the way to the top of the Matterhorn yesterday, we were very happy to get the spectacular views of the morning sun shining brightly on the famous summit.
Our morning drive took us away from the Alps and Switzerland to the northern portion of Italy. Although we could still see mountains, they were changing – now the mountains were completely covered with green trees, not like the snow-covered, jagged peaks in Switzerland.
Our coach stopped in the town of Stresa located on Lake Maggiore for a brief visit. Stresa was once a resort for the very wealthy and is still a resort town for Italians. The weather was beautiful, about 80 degrees and sunny – very pleasant! Located in the middle of the lake is Isola Bella, the summer palace home for the Borromeo family for hundreds of years. After a short boat ride to the island we had time to tour the place and the gardens before leaving Stresa for the remainder of the day’s journey. One note about the gardens, they are incredibly ornate and well-groomed, leading to Lance’s comment that it made him want to do some mowing!
The rest of the afternoon was spent making our way to St Moritz in the Swiss Alps passing by the northern edge of Milan and along Lake Como. The approach to St Moritz was almost as hairy as ascending to Zermatt. There is a series of “switchbacks” that bring you up the mountain to the town (I tried to get a picture from the bus but it only shows a short section of this area), I would not want to have been our bus driver trying to maneuver all of those tight turns!
St Moritz, like Zermatt, is a ski resort but they are quite different. St Moritz is very quiet and the buildings aren’t in the chalet-style we saw last night. There are three lakes here and they are all large and peaceful looking. After dinner we took a walk to the lake we could see from our hotel room, the first thing we saw was a couple of young men surfing upon the wake caused by the glaciers melting into the lake – it had to be very cold as the air temperature was only 45 degrees! We took a walk around the lake before returning to the hotel for the evening.
Tomorrow we begin our journey into Austria with our arrival into Innsbruck….