Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Zermatt September 2015 - Day 5

Sunnegga 2 Ways: A Gourmet Feast

1) 8.75km / 159m Ascent / 779m Descent
2) 7.61km / 178m Ascent / 731m Descent

It was another wet and windy morning, and we were debating what to do when we heard that the higher level lifts were all closed because of the winds (the same, I think, as yesterday).

A bit of quick thinking ensued: why not go up to Sunnegga, walk down one way, go up again and walk back another way? So that's what we did, and threw in one of our "must do’s" as well - a gourmet meal at Chez Vrony.

Blue skies, sunlight, rain & snow - a mixed bag of weather

Alighting at Sunnegga for the first time, it was immediately clear that although there were spits of rain in the air, we had picked the right bit of the valley in which to walk - everywhere else looked terrible!

First off, we picked up a contour path towards Tufteren. Part of the Blumenweg - the flower trail - this was, last time we were here, also the route of the Europaweg, but it appears a recent rockslide has obliterated the path and closed it off. Much work might be needed for restoration, if indeed it is safe to restore it - this area is known for being a bit geologically unstable.


The section we walked was easy going, with beautiful views across the valley and interesting plaques about the various flower species. Some were already over, but others, like the harebells, were still flowering, and the crowberries were still wreathed in oodles of berries for the birds.


At Tufteren, we began to descend on a track swinging back and forth across the hillside as far as Patrullarve, then picked up a track down to Reid, where we stopped at Ottmar's to avoid the sharp shower that squalled across the valley, and where we were forced to purchase coffee and apricot cake to take advantage of the shelter (perfect timing, you might say).

Wild raspberries

Continuing, we followed a very enjoyable path through woods and across meadows back to Zermatt and the bottom station of the Rothornbahn, ready to ascend to Sunnegga once again.

Eggen in the rain - a frontier feel

Exiting the lift for the second time that day, we were again greeted with a rain filled atmosphere, which this time turned to proper precipitation. We headed down past the man made Leisee, passed through Eggen, and dropped into the area of Findeln known as Ze Gassen, where Chez Vrony is located.

Veal in herb cream sauce, potato rosti & vegetables

Unusually empty, we took the opportunity to eat at this popular and renowned restaurant. It may or may not be the best restaurant in the area, but it certainly good - especially if, like us, you like proper food with a bit of extra refinement (none of this Cordon Bleu or Nouvelle Cuisine malarky).

Bacon-wrapped meatloaf, fig compote, crushed potatoes & vegetables

We had a caviar pannacotta amuse-bouche (on the house) to begin with, main courses, a glass of wine and coffee and liqueurs afterwards. We had promised ourselves this treat, again for our anniversary, and enjoyed it thoroughly.

Ze Gassen beneath clearing skies

Then it was back on the trail – time to walk off these excesses! From Ze Gassen, we crossed the river and descended to Zermatt on the south side of the Findelbach.

During our early evening stroll (3.70km) we went to the pictures - just like our first date! The local cinema shows a couple of films every week about the history and stories surrounding the Matterhorn - this one, filmed in 1955, follows the ascent by a young American woman and her local guide - very much of its time, but very interesting and entertaining too. 

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