BootsnAll Travel Network

Josh and Jenny’s European Adventure 2009 – Day 12 Sugiez to Zermatt to Naters, Switzerland

Yesterday Linda had arranged with Sarah for us to go to the mountains to see her and what they had to offer. Since the weather was going to be absolutely superb in the south of Switzerland in the canton of Valais where Sarah lives, we decided to take a trip there. After breakfast we got into Linda’s mini cooper but it wouldn’t start. The battery had died again, just like the last time I was in Sugiez. After some discussion with her parents, her Dad decided that she should take her mother’s BMW station wagon for the night. This was much to her mother’s dismay as she needed the car by 12PM the next day. This meant that we would have to leave Sarah’s home in Naters by 930AM at the latest. Time was of the essence and Linda’s mom was not happy about the situation.

Linda and I made great time to the town of Visp where we would be meeting Sarah. Sarah was taking the train 10 minutes from Brig to Visp. We found Sarah, each gave her a hug and then got back into the car to head to Zermatt. To get to Zermatt though we needed to take the train from Tausch. Since Zermatt is a car-free village at the base of the Matterhorn, the only way up is by train. Once up in Zermatt after taking a very nice train we got tickets to take a rack railway built in 1898 up to a place on the mountain where you could see the Matterhorn very well. The weather was looking as good as advertised maybe even better. It was sunny, warm (at least 20 C at the top) and the Matterhorn was looking great. After this second train ride which was scenic to say the least (went up along the mountain with the snow around and everything), 40 minutes later we arrived. Linda, Sarah and I walked around and up to the tippy top where skiers were taking off down the mountain.

We popped a bottle of champagne that Sarah had brought for us and sat on a ledge facing the Matterhorn just taking it all in. We snapped a few photos, got some sun and chatted for awhile until we decided to head back down the mountain and return to Zermatt. Once at the bottom we had a drink at one of the many restaurants in the village and took the second train back to Tausch. I had thoroughly enjoyed my time in Zermatt and up on the mountain. I was dying to ski though as the weather was so warm, the snow looked pretty good and the mountain was not full at all. This was one of the last weeks you could see the entire mountain and I was jealous of those who were.

From Tausch we began our fairly short ride to Naters. Once arriving at Sarah’s we were greeted warmly by her mother (as usual) and her father (who I really didn’t get to meet the last time we were at Sarah’s). By the time we arrived it was time for dinner and Sarah’s mom was cooking. We all sat down for some pre-dinner snacks until the main course was ready. When it was ready the five of us sat down for a lovely dinner. Since Sarah’s dad doesn’t speak a lot of English, there was some translating going on and at times I was at the table just listening to the Swiss-German and French being spoken but occasionally I was brought into the conversation and English was spoken.

After a rather interesting discussion about the Jewish religion, the rules of Kashrut and the practices of the Jewish religion it was time for the after dinner schnapps. Now throughout the entire dinner I had been drinking rather red wine. Now it was time for the real stuff. Sarah’s dad had offered me two types of Schnapps and basically wanted me to have them both. I was ready to rock and roll. The first one he handed me gave me a bottle shaped like the Matterhorn. It was an orange looking schnapps with gold flakes in it. Now when Sarah’s dad handed me the glass, I asked him if it was strong. He replied “it isn’t strong, it is sweet.” After getting a glance at Sarah’s face after her dad had told me that I knew I was in for a treat. I took a sip and immediately felt the voracity that was this schnapps. Not only was it sweet it was pretty strong. But I hung in there like a champ, finished the glass and then was given a glass of the other schnapps.

I again asked if it was strong and got a similar response except this time was told that it was cherry flavored. I again sipped this one but was taken aback a little. This schnapps was significantly stronger than the last. I was then told that it was homemade by a patient of Sarah’s father. Oh and I did not taste any cherry at all! After another round of this rather strong cherry schnapps, the three of us said goodbye to her father and her mother was nice enough to take us to our final destination of the night; an apartment Sarah shares with four of her friends. They call it the “party apartment.” When we arrived in this apartment, it basically looked like the inside of a frat house. Homemade bar, lights everywhere, couches, television, huge speakers.

Sarah also called one of the fearsome five some to come over and hang out with us. His name was Yanick and he was at least 6” 3′ and just a massive individual who could drink. He arrived and wasted no time pouring us all drinks. This would be the theme of the night. After sitting at the bar for a while we moved into the other room to play something called Sing Star. This was a video game that Sarah and the gang had on play station 2. Basically this was a karaoke type game where the better you sang the more points you accumulated.

Well 4AM rolled around and we were still singing! The game was so addicting but since we had to leave Naters by 930AM and the walk back to Sarah’s house would take at least twenty minutes it was time to leave. Linda and I wanted to stay and sing more but we were basically pulled out by Yanick and Sarah.

The walk home was far. At one point in an attempt to take a shortcut, we hopped a fence into a small vineyard, other another fence and up a pretty steep hill. Even though it did cut sometime off of our journey home, I did not enjoy the little hike. Eventually we made it back to Sarah’s home. It was about 430AM and I went to sleep.

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