August 9 – 16, 2014

Amanda and Andy were finishing up their trek along the Haute Route all the way from Chamonix, so we decided to meet them at their final destination – Zermatt, Switzerland! We took the easy way there and drove the scenic route through the mountains to one of the most famous ski resorts in the Swiss Alps!

The village of Zermatt is a car free zone, so we parked at the station 10 kms from town and took the train in to meet Amanda and Andy. We checked into our cute little hotel, and opened our room window to this spectacular view!

It was our first peek at the amazing Matterhorn - standing 4,478 meters tall, it is one of the highest peaks in the Alps.

The next day Amanda and Andy took us on a day hike they had done on a previous visit and were eager to show us, and we were not disappointed! The trail wound its way up along the often steep mountainside to a quaint little establishment called the Hotel du Trift.

Here we were treated to delicious peach iced tea and homemade apple pie, served with a side of wow. Well worth the climb! We could see why Amanda and Andy wanted to return...

After enjoying a little break, we continued onwards and upwards, and the view just kept getting better!

As we came up the path, the peak of the Matterhorn appeared in all it’s awesomeness. We took in the sights from this peaceful meadow, with the sounds of sheep bells in the distance. This was the payoff for a long and tiring hike (well for Amanda and Andy this was just a short walk compared to the previous week of trekking they'd done). It was the perfect setting for catching up with my sis and bro-in-law.

We made our way back down and spent the rest of our time in Zermatt wandering the narrow streets, checking out the little shops and eating delicious food. On Sunday it was Andy’s birthday, so on our way back to Grenoble we stopped near Annecy to treat Andy and Paul to a round of birthday golf at the club Golf du Lac D’Annecy.

Amanda and Andy visited with us in Grenoble for the week, where we showed them the Grenoble sights, including a bike ride along the Isère River and several trips to the market. We wanted to get into the mountains again, and I had heard of a spot with a Via Ferrata that also had a beautiful hike - l’Aiguillette du Lauzet. My friend Christophe and I tackled the Via, while Amanda and Andy hiked around and met us at the peak. We had a picnic lunch overlooking another incredible mountain view, thinking sympathetically of Paul who was trapped back at home slaving away on the interweb.

It was a memorable (and mountainous) visit with Amanda and Andy in both Zermatt and Grenoble, and a great way to lead into my parents arrival and an upcoming visit to the Italian countryside.

Check out the rest of the photos here!  

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