Saturday, 27 September 2014

The Matterhorn at dawn

Over about 30 minutes from 7.15 am this morning we watched this unfold.

Simply stunning.

Fast forward a couple of days... Zermatt.

Last couple of days have been so awesome!

Briefly, however long ago it was that we left Stelvio Pass, possibly the most overrated road in the world, we rode to the town of Livigno, booked a tiny bnb and got upgraded to a 4 star hotel complete with pool and spa.  Oh yes! What a way to spend our last night in Italy.

Then 2 days ago rode across to Switzerland (check the vid below for the differences) and just kinda kept going till we actually ended up way up north in the Appenzell area. Found a really cute bnb and the lady who ran it told us about all these magic passes that we could ride back down again and avoid the main roads.  I've forgotten most of their names, but Susten and Grimsel I wont forget for a while. There's one big difference between an Italian mountain pass and everywhere else.  The hairpin bends.  Everywhere but Italy they're widened to make them a real corner.  The Italian ones (Stelvio for eg) rely on balance and luck.  Check the photos and vids below and you'll see what I mean. (We have actually filmed the ride down Stelvio, but it's still uploading. Yes, seriously).

Anyway, so yesterdays awesomeness was a ride from the top eastern corner of Switzerland to the lower middle, while avoiding main roads all the way. We arrived at he hamlet of Brig last night, and this morning made the short hop to Zermatt, where you have to park down in the valley and catch the train up.  No cars here, except these tiny electric things that the locals use.  The main claim to fame in this place it the towering Matterhorn, that actually fills our hotel window.

And if that wasn't enough, on one of those spur of the moment decisions we decided to fulfill a deal that Janelle had with her friend that we would go paragliding. So we did. Simple as that.  Hooked up with a local mob that does it, caught a crazy train to the top of the mountain, caught a cable car even further, wandered along a dirt road to the edge. Connected everything up and... well... just jumped off.  And soared across the valley for the next 10 minutes or so.

What can I say.  One of the most fantastic things we have ever done.  And, got it all on film!  I caught the whole flight on my GoPro, while Janelle's pilot used a second one and switched between stills and vids.

So, below we've gathered a collection of pics and vids from the last few days.  Switzerland is really awesome. Really!  But don't take my word for it....