Alps log: day 14

I have about four days here in zermatt, and on hiking some of the better day trails around the Matterhorn. Today: Trift gorge and Höhbalmen viewpoint.

I’m taking my sweet time today. Nice walk into the Trift gorge, a view of the Triftgleischer. At the lip of the gorge, the restaurant Edelweiss. The view across is lovely, but my peace is soon crowded by stout Austrians. Continue onward. Reach the pretty in pink Hotel du Trift. Lunch. Nap. Two hours on a single stone.

Two hours later, continue upwards to the viewpoint Höhbalmen. It’s a lovely viewpoint, one recommended to me by Bald Canadian. Matterhorn is visible, though backlit. I’m surprisingly taciturn about this thing. A bench here. I sit on it, and read Senator Ted Kennedy’s obituary, cached. 1. Linger. Linger. Descend back to town. Pass a few curious herds of sheep. I almost get into a fight with one, but we resolve our differences.

On the street, I bump into Frankie and margerette, the speedy Dutch. They’re carrying souvenir bags and look rested. We swap trail gossip, then run out of things to say. We say our farewells casually.

Wifi intel in Zermatt: free and open in front of the fancy Walliserkanner restaurant, free and open near the train station, source unknown, free at mcdonalds with mobile registration. free with credentials at Grampi’s and countless others.

Dinner: rösti (that glorious Swiss hash brown dish) at Restaurant Weisshorn. Alone. The rösti at cabane de Dix was still the best I’ve had. It was crispy and fresh; this is a soggy afterthought. The dining couple seated across from me rock in laughter. They catch my eye and strike up a conversation. My geo data is quickly ascertained, and the husband offers that they had been to Shanghai, glorious city, so modern, and brags he can name 18 other cities in China, all so modern. Yeah, I’m sure you remember your bus tour itinerary too. “so modern”. I love your country, too, buddy. It’s not the shithole I was expecting either.

Wander the streets. I consider going into a pub for a drink, but think the better of it after a glance inside. Scores of men, downing pint after pint, the taint of camaraderie, slaps on the back, god, I hate them all. I hate the stench of people, the thick smothering love-me filth, the smiles stretched like pig skin canvases across a frame, the insipid laughter rolling like a bowling ball down an alley, roaring into a crescendo of crashing amusement.

  1. I should hope he made something of his life (he did), Senator Kennedy had more opportunity than any American I can think of. []

2 Comments

  • eskimom Says:

    you & ishmael, a couple of landlocked dudes.

    “Call me Ishmael. Some years ago–never mind how long
    precisely–having little or no money in my purse, and nothing
    particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a
    little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of
    driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation. Whenever I
    find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp,
    drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily
    pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every
    funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper
    hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me
    from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking
    people’s hats off–then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon
    as I can. This is my substitute for pistol and ball. With a
    philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly
    take to the ship. There is nothing surprising in this. If they but
    knew it, almost all men in their degree, some time or other, cherish
    very nearly the same feelings towards the ocean with me.”

  • michelle Says:

    when are u back sir. miss ur online presence

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