We spent a good chunk of July in Switzerland and re-entry back to New York City has been harder than normal. I keep scrolling through photos like this one and my heart keeps constricting and spasm-ing a little bit.
I can't really tell you how to get to Restaurant Blatten, in the mountains beyond Zermatt. Go beyond the chair lift in town, and just keep going up the hill. I kept hiking, hearing only distant bells in the wind and sheep "baa-ing." I was the only one on the trail. Behind me, the valley of Zermatt kept getting smaller.
I first ate at Blatten on a day before the snow fell and the winter crowds came to this tiny, car-free town to zig-zag down the slopes. On the trail, you find the the essence of why you come to Switzerland. I was surrounded by sheep wandering in meadows, 17th-century log cabins on stilts and the snow-capped peaks of the Alps.
As I hiked, I came across a tiny church amongst the old, wooden houses that had turned black from the weather. I couldn’t stop thinking about the Johanna Spyri's book “Heidi,” (written in 1880!), one I read 1,000 times when I was little. I felt like the "high jagged peaks of the mountains looked down on [me] like old friends” as they did to Heidi in the book.
My love for Blatten is not about the food. I've been back five times and the only thing I’ve ever eaten was cheese fondue, appropriate for the breathtaking Swiss location, the regal Matterhorn watching you as you dip your bread into the pot. People spoke French, Italian, and German but invited me into their conversations in fluent English. But with this view, I didn’t really want to talk.