Switzerland - Zermatt

Zermatt is located at the foot of the Matterhorn which is one of the highest Swiss peaks.  To get to Zermatt, Kingsley and I drove to Tasch and left our car parked at the station. The Tasch train station had a specific “shuttle” train that only runs from Tasch to Zermatt and back so the journey is very quick, only 15 minutes.

The train stops right in the town center which is full of quaint little boutiques and more luxury watch shops than one can possibly imagine. It’s easy to walk around the town as nothing is very far.  It was rainy and overcast when we visited Zermatt so we didn't have high hopes of actually catching a glimpse of the Matterhorn but at one point the clouds parted for a few minutes and we were able to see the peak which was awesome.

I also got to meet Buddy and learned a bit more about the history of St Bernard dogs. They were first bred by monks at the Hospice of St Bernard high in the Swiss Alps to help them rescue pilgrims who got trapped trying to make their way from France into Italy. The dogs were bred to be ideally suited to the weather and rescue work – huge, energetic and loyal with thick fur and keen smell and hearing.

I was also interested to learn that the barrels we see around the dogs' necks in paintings and cartoons is the invention of a kid named Edwin Landseer. 

In 1820, Landseer, a 17-year-old painter from England, produced a work titled Alpine Mastiffs Reanimating a Distressed Traveler. The painting portrays two Saint Bernards standing over a fallen traveler, one dog barking in alarm, the other attempting to revive the traveler by licking his hand. The dog doing the licking has a barrel strapped around its neck, which Landseer claimed contains brandy.

Overall we had a nice little day trip to Zermatt. Again, if we had more time it would have been nice to spend a few days exploring the village I also think it would be amazing to see the village covered in snow in the winter time. 

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