Friday, 7 September 2018
'Summer in the Alps' - Day 44 - Zermatt - Lunch at Zum See
The day started badly with the news of the sudden death yesterday of Mike Collier, a UMIST contemporary of mine with whom many happy times were enjoyed. Very sad news indeed, and we send our condolences to Linda and the rest of the family. This has played on our minds all day.
A rainy morning encouraged us to rest indoors. My current book, Raymond Chandler's 'The Long Good-bye' continues to enthrall with its wonderful prose and gripping plot.
By 12.30 the sun had returned, so we strolled up to Zum See for lunch, as prescribed by Richard, who knows Zermatt quite well. John had also eaten there the other day and had extolled its virtues.
On the way we passed the Old Presbytery, which apparently dates from 1742. It's part of 'Project 1949' and today's top two pictures illustrate the 'Then and Now' nature of the project. This is one location that (with Josef's help) we got right. Others have been more difficult.
Whilst the mountains held onto their clouds all day, it was a warm and sunny day in the valley once the rain had stopped. A pleasant 3 km stroll up to the restaurant at Zum See. We enjoyed an excellent lunch that obviated the need for a large evening meal. Sadly the house Petit Arvene wine recommended by Richard wasn't on the list and a brief scrutiny of that list resulted in an order for a thirst quenching beer.
The other customers included ancient and well heeled visitors who arrived on foot, and three workmen who arrived by helicopter.
Richard had suggested that we book the restaurant, but there was no need. Whilst it was busy, there was no question of anyone being turned away. Richard's visits have been in winter, when we are told that the takings in the town for a day are equivalent to a month's taking in the summer.
After our meal we continued up the south side of the valley to around 2100 metres, before descending and crossing the torrent to reach the pretty hamlet of Zmutt, with its Walliser style buildings. Beyond that we took a lovely 'middle path' back to Zermatt. There were hardly any people around. So few in fact that I nearly trod on a 70 cm adder that was sunning itself in the middle of the path. Then I nearly trod on a red squirrel as it ambled across the path just where I happened to be passing at the time. There were lots of birds about, from warblers to finches, nuthatches and thrushes, not to mention the ubiquitous nutcrackers.
Back at the apartment, we had time for a game of Boggle before settling down with a beer and a snack and a good book.
We strolled about 10 km with 500 metres ascent.
The Old Presbytery (2)
Lunch at Zum See
A helicopter drops in for lunch
Old buildings in the Walliser style in Zmutt