europe trip 04: high altitude

We set the alarm early to try to catch the sunrise. She was indeed up and about (in a pleasantly unexpected reversal of our usual roles), but I was really tired. But I also managed to get up around 7.30am to be greeted with a cloudless view, with the morning sunshine gradually bringing more in from the darkness.

Breakfast was typical fare of cheese, bread, boiled eggs and cold meat, but even these tasted better cos of our great mood.

There were so many alternatives to choose from and so little time, at the end we decided to go up to Klein Matterhorn. A couple of cable car rides later we were there, and it was great. The first venture out to the viewing platform was a bit of a shock, it was cold. Couldn’t move too far too fast without being out of breath, and a little dizzy too. Of course, we were at high altitudes, so not as much oxygen.

Most of the other passengers in the cable car were there for skiing or boarding, I was so jealous. The run from the cable car was a long straight one down the glacier and it looked like so much fun. Sigh.

We made our slow way back down the valley, by the time we reached the middle station the shortness had all but disappeared, and we took even more photos. 3 cheers for digital cameras I say. A last walk through the village, a short wait for the train and we were back in our car.

I’d suggested we went back to Zurich via another route, through Ticino, looking at the map it seemed manageable, albeit a bit far, I was determined to try it. It was a long way, up and down some very steep inclines. Plus we drove through Italy, literally, we didn’t stop. The border checkpoints were almost invisible, and all of a sudden I was driving on an autostrada! Then shortly after, we were back in Switzerland.

I’d initially wanted to aim for Bellinzona or Lugano, but it was getting late and we ended up in Locarno. No big, it was still very nice. The difference in temperature was fairly pronounced, we enjoyed a short walk around the lake, had an outdoor dinner of pizza and risotto, then headed back to Zurich.