Sunday 28th January
In the morning we were greeted by Marion, who dutifully showed us the ins and outs of the apartment. From the log fire (with a huge pile of wood for us to use) to the central heating, heated bathroom floors, Jacuzzi bath, flat screen tv (the list really does go on). The apartment is decorated very tastefully, with interesting original artworks, one of which is floor to ceiling, the kitchen is fully stainless steel and the floors are a beautiful dark hard wood. The modern style of the place was offset by rustic features such as the 6 seater wooden dining table and of course, the roaring fire.
The living space is equipped with a big comfy couch, 5 or 6 seater, and a chaise longue which is perched in frontof the fire, something that we all rushed to sit on each time we returned to the apartment! Being on the ground floor, we also had a patio, which was regularly cleared of snow by a friendly local man. There is a table and chairs outside with an electric canopy, to keep the snow from getting n your beer, as you watch ramblers walk through the woods next to the building and skiers zip by (there is an intermediate blue run that comes past the chalet!!).
We proceeded to head into town and rent our skis and poles and we were ready to head to the ski lift, again a matter of minutes away but we decided to take the free bus as we had our hands full and well, it’s free!
We purchased our 5 day lift pass, hopped on the Zermatt express ski lift, which gives you an arial view of the town and mountains. The view is indescribable, it’s like a Christmas card, chalets perched from high in the mountains get bigger as the town becomes a miniature. It’s the first time any of us had done this and for a few moments nobody spoke, we all just looked around and occasionally pointed at the sights around us, not enough to capture the attention of anybody else in the group as their eyes were fixed either on our destination high in the mountain or on the ever shrinking town we had just left. We reached our first change over, Furi, which has a bar and restaurant and also a red ski run back down into Zermatt, along the crystal clear river and past at least 1 busy looking bar.
We hopped off and then walked to the other side of the lift station and jumped on the Riffleberg lift, as we headed higher into the mountain you could feel the excitement. We hopped off at Riffleberg, where there are 2 or three blue runs and a red run back down to Furi, where you can then ski on back to Zermatt. Something we were not ready for as novices but we have our eyes set on that by the end of the week. We made our way to the first run, via the sit on ski lift, another new experience for all of us! As we stood at the top of the slope nodded to each other and started to ski, slowly, down the run. It wasn’t long before we were falling over, accidentally skiing backwards and bumping into each other! By the time we reached the bottom we had worked out a few of the kinks and jumped back on the lift to do it all again!
We tired ourselves out on the slopes and headed back down feeling good but tired. We decided to hit the sauna in the basement of the chalet before the steam room and then back up to the room. We headed back into Zermatt for a quick bite before our introduction to the après ski!