09/16 Zermatt, Switzerland

16 Sep 1985, Posted by Scott An Chora in Travelogue, No Comments.

09/16 Zermatt, Switzerland


I was up before the sun and headed out to get an early start.  At the beginning of my trek I crossed paths with the boyfriend from the night before.  Apparently they didn’t make it back before curfew and ended up spending half the night locating another room.  To compound that inconvenience he explained that the room they found had a cement floor and had been just too cold to sleep comfortably.  I suggested we meet up again that evening for dinner and started off along the river’s edge making my own trails and capturing a few nice pictures.  It all seemed so peaceful and it was obvious that this was a special place.  The hills were beautiful blankets of green stretching in both directions spotted with wandering white sheep that made it look as if they moved with the wind.  The jiggling of sheep bells created an almost surreal mood and there stood the Matterhorn overlooking the valley as if it were its king.  When I hiked in the Alps I mostly passed older German couples, that would smile and say “Gus cot” or something like that and when they were a little short of breath it sounded to me like “Hey Scott”.

To my surprise a small restaurant presented itself in a clearing apparently built as the destination for hikers.  For me that was the ideal place to rest and since they sold cold beer, even better.  After a few beers I continued up the mountain.  The higher I climbed the more the more the landscape started to resemble the moon.  Trees began to disappear in the distance and the ground change form vegetation to rocks.  When I reached the snow line my steps began to slow.  I knew the oxygen was getting thin.  I could only take a few steps and then needed to rest to catch my breath and then there was this humming like sensation in my head.  I didn’t hear anything; it was something I felt between my ears.  I knew something was wrong.  I rested, climbed a bit higher but after about another ten minutes or so the humming sensation returned.  I figured that I wasn’t getting enough oxygen and that something was definitely wrong.  Then it happened again.  I must be too high I thought so I began to head back down.  I sat down to absorb the view of the valley below enjoying that special spot.  It was like being outside myself, having a religious self identification.  The sun’s light was then dancing with each blade of grass creating a symphony of notes I could see.

Emerging from her hiding place, she seek from me a warm embrace,
honest approach that held no lies, seeking love but applies no ties,
standing naked in both our shame, removed away by passion’s flame
captured me in this morning tide, golden beauty of a new sunrise,
this need inside she could see, touched my heart and setting me free

I paid more attention to the changes in color and vegetation as I trekked up the mountain than keeping track of how much unused film I had left.  I should have better rationed my picture taking on the way up so I could have taken pictures on the way down.  It took a couple hours to reach another beer.  When I approached the restaurant a group of older Germans were waving and gesturing that they had been watching me climb through their binoculars.  They offered me a beer and suggested I join them at their table.  One member of the group was on vacation from New York and spoke the best English.  During our conversation I explained the head trauma I experienced while up on the mountain as the reason why I didn’t climb higher.  One of them laughed and responded in German.  I think he asked if you were part dog, the New Yorker commented.  They explained that what I was experiencing was the sonar.  Every so often they aimed it at the glacier to break it up slowly.  The sonar helps reduce the chances of large avalanches.  That was a relief.  During my life I was never provided a guide book to the human experience that explained things, in most case it’s always a surprise.  I took advantage of that location and did a bit of writing.  Who could not inspired by all this beauty?

Love took this blind eye and thrilled it, emerged me in natures stream
played round my mind and filled it, with the songs of butterfly wings

Beauty entangled me into the moment, I found myself staring at her hair
lost in the sea of her sent, the fragrance of roses filled the air

Over her body with thoughts of caress, looking back into these penetrating eyes
while I just stood there speechless, as her white gown she unties

Our fingers danced between us, in search of a broken line
fallen in the trance that lust will provide, between the walls of her design

A palm tree in my desert and thy glance, like the stares above
after the death of the sun in its glory, a canopy of youthful love

That was one long day and my legs had taken a beating.  I would admit they had never been as strong as they are right now.  In the last few months I’ve done a lot of walking, some real walking.  My mind was quickly shifting to the enjoyment of a shower and soft bed.  When I finally made it back the couple from the night before were waiting out front of the hostel door.  They were both exhausted and as soon as they saw me they began sharing every element of the day’s adventure.  “You should come with us tomorrow, oh come on”.  I explained that I have never skied before and perhaps a glacier wasn’t the best place to learn how.  In the back of my mind I was also concerned with what that might cost me, a small fortune?  They kept on me and eventually we ended up at a local ski shop.  I was surprised at how inexpensive it actually was.  The cost totaled about eighteen dollars for all the gear and lift tickets for the day, everything I needed.  “What was I doing? She said please and I said yes”.  That was about the size of it.  I’m not even too sure after today’s hiking if these legs of mine wouldn’t wake up cramped.  That evening I picked out a music box and sent it home to my mother with love.  My mom’s an angel, really she is an angel.  I like to believe that sinners like me only get brought into Heaven by angels like my mom.  I pray that’s true.  With the darkness we decided to hang around and drink beer on the same hill as the night before.  I agree, every time I see the Matterhorn its face takes on a different expression. Tonight it was smiling.

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    Usually behind a cup of coffee waiting for the world around me to wake up I entered today’s thoughts about yesterday’s activities into my travel journal. I’m not a writer, so I’ll apologize in advance if I jump around or seem confused. These are just the thoughts of a young man who left his possessions behind and who believes that getting lost is how one finds oneself.

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