Wednesday, June 8, 2011

8 Jun 11 – Day 6 (Glacier 3000)

Today we departed at 8am to travel 1 hour 45 minutes to reach Glacier 3000. The weather wasn’t good and it was raining. Cecilia told us to bring ponchos along and I didn’t have mine with me. Wore only my Timberland fleece jacket and while the rest put on their ponchos, I put on my windbreaker. Mag was layered with two cardigans, a windbreaker, a scarf and a poncho while Kim wore a cardigan, an Adidas sport jacket and a poncho. The rest of the people were better prepared, they had thick jackets, winter hat, gloves, scarves, etc.

Took two gondola rides up and we couldn’t see much view coz the glasses were stained with water and when we were up on higher altitudes, stained with ice and also the surrounding was very, very foggy. We could only see white and white everywhere. It was cold like winter and to the extent that it was snowing when we reached the top. I was practically shivering and tried to slow my breathing so that I could get used to the temperature. It seemed that we were the only group up there.

The gondola

Group members in ponchos

Took some photos and then we were told to take the ski lifts down to another area where the alpine coaster was. Kim tried to take photos of ourselves on the ski lift and my bag and I was wet from the snow, my sneakers were damp and I could feel the cold sipping through my socks. Wished I had brought my Timberland outer jacket or cashmere pullover with gloves.

Ski lifts

Tracks of the Alpine Coaster

Due to the snowing condition, the alpine coaster was not in operation and so was the husky sledge. Thus, all we could do was to play with the snow and took more photos. The snow was thick and I could feel the cold sipping through my jeans, sneakers and jackets. One of the members suggested a group photo in front of the tractor parked in the snow. Quickly got the man in charge of the ski lift to help with the photo taking and then we made our way back up. Got off the ski lift and walked towards the shelter. Looked at the digital indicator and saw that the temperature was about zero degrees celsius.

Lunch was supposed to be 12 noon but we ended up having early lunch at 11:45am. The hot soup was great and they even decorated the soup with dried flower petals. Overall, we had a very good lunch and then we had to brave the cold again to take the cable car ride down at 1:10pm to embark on a two hours journey to Zermatt.

My lunch :

Unfortunately, the coach stalled shortly after leaving the Glacier 3000 venue along the countryside. The driver tried to fix the problem but in vain. Some of the members were high tide and though there were some houses in sight, they were vacant. So in the end, they had to brave the rain to settle in the grass behind the houses. One uncle walked quite a distance with his son and found an occupied house and the female owner let him use the toilet.

We were trapped in the coach for a few hours and I could almost die. Tried to sleep and couldn’t coz of the non-stop talking from the older members. The younger ones either played card games or played with their gadgets. Most of them relief themselves in the grass except the three of us and I could hear them commenting on this fact. The mechanics finally came about 4+pm and those in front were told to move to the back so that the mechanics could open the cover from inside the coach. So I sat beside Kim and Mag moved to my seat while the rest rearranged themselves to the available seats.

Finally the coach managed to move by 5:40pm and we had to scrape the plan to go Zermatt to see the Matterhorn. Got to the hotel at 6:30pm, settled down and went for dinner in the hotel restaurant. It was like a function room with a few round tables. There was another Caucasian tour group in the room with us. Sat with a family of four (mother with two sons and a niece) and we chatted. The niece who just graduated as a physiotherapist was interested in Mag’s work as Mag works in KK hospital. The mother chatted with Kim and I only chipped in when I like. They were going to extend their stay in Paris to meet up with the husband and the mother asked Kim about getting around in Paris.

Dinner menu

Done with dinner by 8pm and we went back to our room. Drank a lot of water at night coz I was having sharp pain on the right side of my head and pain in the right ear due to the chocolaty dinner the night before.

Thoughts: Fortunately I had the sense to bring a fleece jacket and windbreaker instead of the cotton jacket which I thought to bring initially. I was disappointed by the bad weather that cost me the alpine coaster ride and husky sledging. To make matter worse, the coach broke down for so many hours and cost me Zermatt and Matterhorn.

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