Switzerland has always been on my list for one obvious reason; The Alps. I was always seeing cheap flights into Geneva so I decided to hop on over there for a weekend just to check it out. I had heard of the Matterhorn before but it seemed hard to get to so I was a little discouraged. After some quick research I found that Switzerland is very “user friendly,” their time tables, transportation, and customer service is very reliable and organised. It was easy to find a train to Zermatt. A three hour train ride from Geneva will transport you right into the snowy mountains, the scenery on the train ride alone is enough to persuade you to go.
We decided to stay in Randa (20 minutes outside of Zermatt) because it was a better price and only a 20 minute train ride away from Zermatt. The town of Randa was the definition of peaceful. Tiny and remote, perfect for a quaint trip to escape the city. My friends and I stayed in a small B&B and took the train into Zermatt each day. The Gornergrat Bahn train goes up the mountain next to the Matterhorn so you have a perfect view of the peak right next to you (sit on the right side of the train facing up). Once at the top you can dine at a cafeteria or an upscale restaurant, ski, sled, or even stay the night. We stayed until dark so we could watch the sunset over the mountains then took the train back down. The restaurants and bars are very cozy like a ski lodge. Fondue and fur chairs are everywhere. Since I was staying at a B&B that didn’t offer a pool, I bought a day pass to a hotel that had a pool and spa area (almost every hotel in the area sells day passes to their facilities). $16 got my friends and I access to the pools, steam rooms, and saunas for the day.
There are so many things to do in Zermatt, you can ski, sled, and relax all in font of one of the most stunning mountains in Europe. The train rides are something straight out of a Christmas tale. I would recommend going in the winter to see the snow, but if snow and cold (it gets very cold) isn't for you then the Summer will be just as good. Some things to note: Switzerland is impeccably clean, it is also very expensive, they use their own currency, and make sure you try the fondue and chocolate!
Oh yeah... don't forget to take a picture with your Toblerone.