I’ve been resident in Zermatt now for seven years, seven very happy years. It’s true what they say, that the environment you live in has a marked effect on your well-being. There are so many positive things to say about living in this mountain paradise and very few negatives. I’ll start with the negatives, erm!!? Right, and now the positives. I love the way that Zermatt is situated at the head of a valley, flanked by mountains on both sides with the Matterhorn placed in such a way that it’s almost always visible. God has played chess, and placed the King on the winning square, check mate! The mountains seem to embrace you and subconsciously you feel protected and cosy. The huge picture window in my office affords such a wonderful view of this stage set that every time I look up from my work and cast a glance at the wonderful scenery outside I smile inwardly, that’s better than any medicine and a stress-buster to boot.
The great and the good of Zermatt decided to ban traffic and that simple decision has had such an impact on the feel of the village. No choking fumes, no cars clogging up the narrow streets and no revving engines to puncture the calm. If you were blindfolded and dropped into Zermatt, you might not even notice the absence of vehicles at first but you would be aware of the quiet calm and the sound of footfall and birdsong. Zermatt is so compact that it doesn’t really cause any inconvenience but if you did happen to feel lazy you could always use the almost silent electric taxis that buzz around the village. The banning of motor vehicles forces many visitors to arrive in Zermatt via the railway that snakes its way up the valley from Visp. A magical journey that must add mystique and kudos to an already stunningly pretty village. I’m proud of this beautiful place. I don’t want to appear self-satisfied, I’m merely appreciating the beauty of the mountains and the village, I sincerely hope I never take it for granted.
It didn’t take long to be welcomed with open arms and I’ve made many friends since I’ve been here. I appreciate the change of seasons, the summer months give me the chance to slow down from the frenetic pace of the ski season and catch up with and spend more time with friends and acquaintances. We walk up through the pines, into the mountains and avail ourselves of the wonderful mountain restaurants that stay open the year round. There’s nothing finer than chewing the fat with good friends, sharing a bottle or two and eating delicious food in the open air. Sitting on the terrace and taking in the magnificent scenery makes the food taste better and the wine more heady.
The mountains that were once awash with skiers wearing all the colours of the rainbow are now populated by a different breed altogether. It’s the hikers, mountain bikers and para-gliders turn to play in this beautiful and breathtaking playground. I get to be both animals and I’m hard pressed to say which I prefer. I feel lucky and privileged that I can partake in both winter and summer sports.
As the nights draw in and the ski season approaches I’m refreshed and ready to go again for five months of full on activity. I look forward to welcoming new guests and showing them all that’s good about this wonderful location. Many guests turn into friends and return season after season. They too have been seduced by the allure of Zermatt. It gets under your skin and becomes irresistible, as I’ve found in my time here. Zermatt has become my home and the wanderlust of my earlier years has been sated. I’m ready to settle down here and I can’t ever see me wanting to be any where else.