"Whatchya got there pop? Two train tickets for peeps and two train tickets for pups to Zermatt, the best husky hiking in all of Switzerland? Oh please say it's true!"
The village of Zermatt is located at the feet of Switzerland's highest peaks, including the famous Matterhorn, and just 10 km (6.2 miles) from the 10,800-foot high Theodul Pass that borders Italy. It's name is derived from the Matterhorn itself, as well as the German word for meadows "matten." The village is surrounded almost completely by the Pennine Alps: Monte Rosa (15,203 feet), the Dom (14,911 feet), the Lyskamm (14,852) and the Matterhorn (14, 692 feet).
I've been wanting to take the dogs here since I came to Switzerland and Juno was excited to go. We've been "training" for a weekend like this for a while, with some days of 2-4 hour hikes and some days of short jogs. I knew Juno was not only fit physically but mentally ready for it.
The cracker on the other hand...
"There's no place like home. There's no place like home. Darn Juno! She ate my damn ruby slippers!"
"We're going to take a WHAT? Train rides go against every fiber of my Formosan protection protocol! I refuse to let you put our lives in jeopardy!"
"Ah big boy! Think of the adventures we'll have high above the world. And all the alpine critters we can snuff out!"
"Princess, aventures go against the core philosophy of a German Shepherd Formosan dog!"
Zermatt is a car-free village, to prevent air pollution which could obscure views of the Matterhorn. It's times like this, I really love the Swiss. Then again, all vehicles are battery-powered and the drivers don't slow down for anything, which makes walking it tricky when it's crowded.
In order to get to Zermatt from the rest of Switzerland, you have to take a train ride from Tasch. The whole thing seems intimidating but like all the trains in Switzerland, they run on time and are so easy, a monkey could figure it out. I worried about having too much luggage but the trains are huge and you could bring all sorts of ski and bike equipment. Hell, you could have a team of huskies easily in just half a train compartment.
"Ah big boy, don't worry. This will be fun."
"Princess, I hereby do not accept any responsibility for the danger this family will be facing coming from all these crazy ideas of trains and adventures. I'm washing my paws of all protection duty this weekend."
Internet, one could only wish Loki would wash his paws of that duty. Meanwhile, here's a little video leading into this week's posts about our adventures.