Reaching Zermatt, Switzerland

Angelo and our gear

Though living in Europe brings certain famous ski resorts a little closer, proximity doesn’t minimize the arduous drive through the mountains!

Reaching Zermatt from our home in Luxembourg was a two-part, eight-hour trip. First, we drove five hours to Geneva, stayed the night, then drove three hours to Täsch, the closest point to car-free Zermatt. The roads through Switzerland were unbelievably congested with skiers heading to the many Alpine ski resorts. Luckily, the highway around Lake Geneva offers incredible views, but that’s a small consolation when traffic is crawling.

The train’s handy luggage car

We were relieved to finally pull into Täsch, six km from Zermatt and the end destination for cars. We parked in one of the large garages, piled our belongings on a luggage cart and boarded the train for the steep 12-minute climb through the Alps.

We were dreading the train ride, thinking we’d have to juggle our heavy bags, but of course (this is Switzerland, after all) it’s designed to be as efficient and easy as possible. We rolled our cart directly onto the train, where it was secured in the luggage area, and took a seat in the passenger section.

Some hotels have a horse-buggy-luggage cart option.

Loaded electric taxi

The train station in Zermatt village was a bit more chaotic. We emerged with hoards of other eager tourists, all of our carts loaded with luggage and ski gear, and jockeyed for an electric taxi. The taxi drivers hustle more than any New York cabbie I’ve ever seen, shuttling the maximum number of people into the cars and hurling luggage onto the roofs, then driving away at a breakneck speed. Inside the car, we bounced around and cringed as the luggage atop the roof thudded. The drivers know what they’re doing, though, since not a bag was lost and everyone arrived in one piece. Phew!

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