There Are Mountains … And Then There Are MOUNTAINS!

 Let’s see where were we? Oh, yes I was reviewing some of the specifics for my upcoming trip to Europe and the last item mentioned was my ride on the Glacier Express in Switzerland from Chur to Brig.

I also noted that the Swiss Tourism folks have told me that the railroad will indeed permit me to ride up front with the engineer for a portion of the trip. I’m looking forward to that, of course, and will have photos and a full report here at some point along the way.

I’m not going to be riding the Glacier Express all the way to Zermatt, its western terminus. Instead, I’m going to spend a night in Brig, then go to Zermatt the following day, returning to Brig for a second night. Two reasons: first, because Zermatt is an extremely popular tourist destination and hotel rates there are shocking, and second, this way I can check out an ordinary Swiss train on my ride from Brig to Zermatt and back.

Zermatt’s became a tourist destination because it’s located almost literally in the shadow of the Matterhorn. At more than 14,000 feet, it’s one of the tallest mountains in the Swiss Alps. Also one of the deadliest. More that 500 alpinists have been killed on the mountain since a climber first reached its peak in 1865.  It’s easy to see how that could happen from the photo, isn’t it.

At any rate, my stay in Zermatt will be about five hours long … plenty of time to have a nice lunch, following which I visualize me sitting on an open-air patio, sipping a glass or two of wine, and absorbing the view of the Matterhorn until time for my train back to Brig.

From there, it’s back to France by train – Brig to Lausanne to Dijon to Beaune – for several days in the heart of the Burgundy wine country. I plan to do a lot of sampling.