Zercatts

246Back in Zermatt, I start the morning with one of the cans of Mountain Dew I brought back with me from Lucerne. This made-in-Germany Dew is not quite the same as what I’m used to. The ingredient list looks different, and not just because it’s in German. Sugar and not high fructose corn syrup. No Yellow 5. That last one is very noticeable as I pour the contents of the can into a glass, and it looks more the color of brandy, and less the color of radioactive urine. Though very similar in taste, I guess I’m particular, and I’d rank this around the same as most other sodas I might enjoy – Dr Pepper or Cherry Coke – but not the precise acquired taste I have for Mtn Dew.

Saturday morning was the last time the post office was going to be open while I’m here, so I shipped my ski accessories (winter coat, gloves, etc) back to Minnesota. It has been pretty poor weather in Zermatt the last few days, so I do not mind that I won’t have what I would need to ski today or tomorrow. While shipping this, and dropping off my laundry to be washed, I snap a couple photos of two businesses that make me wonder if Robert Jordan was here.248-merged

By the laundry, I meet a new friend. He’s very friendly, comes right up to me, and when I sit down he is happily content to hop up on my lap with his wet paws, get pet and keep me company for a while.

For lunch I go to a corner shop near my hotel, “Wilde Hilde’s”, run by what seems like a slightly cranky woman (maybe because she doesn’t know much English and people keep coming in and speaking English…), which only serves chicken, though she would make it into a sandwich if asked, so I have one of those. The odd atmosphere of the place is completely made up for by the sweet 18 year old cat sleeping in the window. For dinner I try a slightly weird (asparagus and mushrooms and eggs) salad at the Brown Cow Pub.

There are lots of shops selling Swiss Army Knives, which were totally the coolest thing ever back in Cub Scouts, and I’m constantly tempted to buy one as a souvenir… until I pull out my phone, check Amazon, and I can get one for notably cheaper online. I even verify the ones Amazon sells are manufactured in Switzerland, no difference, just cheaper than at a tourist place, which isn’t surprising. Since I already have a nice knife along on this journey, I manage to resist buying one, though later when I am in need of a bottle opener in Venice, I will slightly regret it.

Though it wasn’t a Wednesday night, I decide to watch some anime. Not surprisingly, my go-to anime site, crunchyroll.com, has only a very limited selection in Europe, so tunnel through my Azure web server (if http://www.splody.com is going slow, it might be because I’m watching anime… but I think my WiFi here is more limited than my cloud hosted servers’ bandwidth), and am able to watch some of Your Lie in April.

Sunday morning I am greeted with 15 minutes of bells ringing from the church in the center of town, which I deduce is the sign that mass is about to begin, which I attend. There is a choir of around 70 people, half behind the altar and half up in the choir loft, singing counter to each other for a wonderful musical experience only dampened slightly by the fact that I do not understand a word of German. After what I am sure was the final blessing and the end of mass, almost no one leaves and there is a bit of milling around and suddenly a choir concert starts. I gather that this must be a visiting choir or group of choirs (the congregation was only around 80 people, by comparison), and three groups perform a couple songs each. The acoustics, as in most giant stone churches, are wonderful.

For lunch I try a hole-in-the-wall place noted as the oldest restaurant in Zermatt, a cafe which is in a half basement level. Inside it smells… well… old. Perhaps a bit of sausages. I have salad, bread, sausages and potatoes meal which is pretty good, but not one of the best I’ve had here.

I leave my skis, poles, and boots out by the dumpsters with a Free – Frei – Gratuito sign on them, and sometime between lunch and dinner they disappear, hopefully someone will put them to good use. Now I can look forward to a year of renting demo skis from pro shops which was fun the last time I did that (these skis I bought used from a demo shop at the end of a season when on a ski trip with Bruce, so that was quite a long time ago).

This afternoon I have some down time between planning more of my trip, running errands, being a tourist, and finally spend some time working on Splody. Some of that I do in the aforementioned cafe, and some on the rooftop terrace of my hotel. For dinner I have the meal I’ve been delaying until my last night in Switzerland – cheese fondue. I had to shop around a bit to find a restaurant which would serve it for one, most had a minimum of two people, but this one was great. Can’t see in the picture but there is a pear chopped up inside the cheese as well.  Probably my favorite meal in Switzerland, but as it’s primarily melted cheese, how can you go wrong?

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