Mont Cervin Palace, Zermatt

Zermatt is where I first fell in love with Switzerland. You can't believe it exists - high in the mountains, no cars, stunningly gorgeous scenery and crisp air. I visited last week with my sister and it made me fall in love all over again. We stayed in the most gorgeous hotel, the Mont Cervin Palace.

It feels like a family-run B&B--the general managers are a funny, charming husband-and-wife team, Karin & Kevin--yet has all the amenities of a five-star resort. Many of the rooms have Matterhorn views, when the mighty mountain chooses to appear from behind the clouds. Here are a few photos, if you're interested. We loved being picked up from the train station for the super short ride to the hotel by horse-and-buggy!

Fondue With Unbeatable Views: Restaurant Blatten in Switzerland

Yes, I actually took this photo. 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.

Looking back at Zermatt while hiking to Blatten