Zermatt, Switzerland in the heart of the Alps
http://tourvideos.com/ We’re heading for Zermatt, Switzerland one of the most beautiful towns in the Alps, surrounded by mountain peaks up to 15,000 feet high. Most famous for the dramatic Matterhorn, there are many other majestic sites to enjoy in this remote mountain area. So remote that you can’t drive or fly there, the Alpine resort village of Zermatt is surrounded by some of Europe’s highest mountains that shelter it from the outside world. Like mythical Shangri-La in the Himalayas, this is a magical wonderland. The quaint little village of Zermatt is situated in the midst of woods and pastures, in a mountain-girded valley, nearly 5,500 feet above the level of the sea.
The town of Zermatt, while dense, is geographically small. There are three main streets which run along the banks of the river Matter Vispa, and numerous cross-streets, especially around the station and the church which forms the centrer of Zermatt. In general anything is at most a thirty-minute walk away. Streets are narrow and lined with shops, restaurants, hotels and inns near the rail station. Homes and houses are throughout, some perched on the lower edge of the mountains, and a mixture of very old wood-hewn beamed walls 100s of years old with newer buildings and homes (probably only a century old!) Most buildings and homes are chalet style, some very historic, others more modern, but all blended in with the “Old World” charm and Alpine architecture.
Swiss watch shops, clothing boutiques, and souvenir shops with everything from Swiss brass bell key chains to lacy handkerchiefs for sale, Swarovski Crystal figurines and jewelry, cuckoo clocks, Goebel Hummels, Reuge Music boxes, fine porcelain dolls. Bakeries abound as do gourmet food stores. We discovered that the best buy on chocolate bars were in the grocery stores.
Of course there are many shops that sell clothing and accessories for hiking and skiing. Most of these stores also rent skiing equipment and the people who work at the stores can help anyone choose the best equipment to rent for a successful day on the slopes. In the old village, beside the Grand Hotel Zermatterhof, about 30 ancient buildings show the traditional building style of the original Walser residents. The barns and grain stores, up to 500 years old, are a piece of living history and reveal how the mountain farmers of Zermatt once lived. Their sun-beaten wooden walls are made of larch wood and stand on stilts with round stone slabs on top to prevent rodents and insects from entering. The roofs of these typically Valais-style buildings are covered with shingles made of flat stone slabs.
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