the Alps

On my way back from India I made a pit-stop in Zurich, Switerland. I have always wanted to visit or rather see the Alps. There is of course a world-wide aura around the Swiss Alps, Swiss banks and Swiss chocolate. In fact, the legendery Toblerone chocolate was shaped after the infamous Matterhorn; a beautiful part of the Alps. Matterhorn stands at 4, 478 meters (approximately 14, 000 feet) and lies between the Swizterland and Italy border.

In the ski town of Zermatt, Matterhorn is the center-piece no matter what direction you are moving. Zermatt is filled with beautiful chalets, hotels, lots of restaurants, cafes and shopping. It can be difficult to find food for a vegan, but ´Grand-Pi´s Pizzeria´ had a great green pasta dish with wild mountain mushrooms.

Although Matterhorn is the last Alpine peak, and a part of the Pennine Alps lying motherly to the side, it is definitely a mountain onto itself. Known as one of the deadliest mountains many people have died during their ascent. There is a cemetery honouring all those who have fallen for their passion; some of the grave stones even include the climber´s ax. The interesting part is most of the deaths occured on their descent and not on the way up. I would have thought getting there is the hardest part, but perhaps it is the way down that is much more dangerous and when the climber is tired.

Getting to Zermatt is first by car, then a train-car (you drive onto a train in single file) and again followed by train, but a passengar one. Around Zermatt are electrically driven cars so indeed the air is cleaner and better than probably most places in the world. We were fortunate to have dry, sunny days with good views of the mountain region. There was this wonderful feeling of being smothered by the mountains and such freah clean air; a welcome encounter after India.

Outside of skiing there is hiking, shopping and eating (don´t mind if I do all three). At the end of these stressful days most hotels offer evening sauna and solarium time (don´t mind if I try both)....And it would not have been right to have skipped practising Yogasanas with Matterhorn as the perfect backdrop.


Steve Finnell said...

you are invited to follow my blog

The Journey So Far

Life is an adventure and yoga is the greatest one of all. Here I share my love of Yoga, travel, practice and becoming a part-time cook. My life adventures have taken me from growing up in Toronto to living and working in South Korea to studying in India, marriage and finally closing my Yoga school of 15 years.

What I can say so far is that I truly believe that it is necessary in life to let go of one dream in order for another to be born. This might be painful to do so but it is the only way to move forward. We often believe that if our original plan does not succeed it is the recipe for failure. But what if it is the door to something new and great? The horizon is wide and life is not a straight line. This is the way I see it and my journey so far. Having also recently given birth to my first child and at 43, it is another new beginning.


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Heather Morton
is a perennial teacher and devoted student of yoga. Having made 18 extended trips to India she studies with her teachers annually. In 1997 she founded and directed The Yoga Way (TYW), Toronto's only school for 6-week yoga programs and not drop-in classes. For 15 years, TYW was a part of the growing Toronto yoga community and supported many charities by offering karma classes. As a teacher she holds many academic degrees including a BFA (Fine Arts in Theatre) and a Masters of Education. With a published thesis on Yoga for Children in School, her post-graduate work was a 2-year ethnographic project in the Indian school system. Heather has produced 2 dvds, meditation cds, a backbending manual and podcasts. Freedom of the Body DVD is the first of its kind as an instructional practice to the backbends of yoga. Heather has been featured in the Toronto Life magazine, The Globe & Mail, Yoga4Everybody and other on-line sources. She contributes to MindBodyGreen, Hello Yoga in Japan and Elephant Journal. She writes to inspire and share her experiences with others on yoga as a life's practice.
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