When dreams turn into reality, you’re living right. I was able to watch this happen for my husband right before my eyes. Our day at the Matterhorn was his childhood fascination come true. I have to admit, I never understood how a child could be so enthralled with a mountain. I mean, it’s just a mountain. That is… until I saw it for myself. It’s jagged peak plunging into the clouds as if it can’t get there fast enough is a memorial to the majesty and beauty of the Swiss Alps.
From mountaineers to locals, the Matterhorn captivates audiences around the globe. My husband, Jonny, was one of those held captive. As a little boy he could not get enough of it. The closest thing he had ever seen to the real thing was the ride at Disneyland. His father lived in Switzerland for a time so Jonny was raised enjoying Jarlsberg, sauerbraten, and of course, tales of the Matterhorn. He actually attempted to build the Matterhorn in his backyard as a little boy. I can just see the little blue eyed, toe head scooping shovel after shovel of dirt into a heap just certain he could build his very own backyard Matterhorn.
Fast forward 30 years, we were invited by our good friend Ed to accompany him on a trip to Switzerland and Austria. Ed had lived in Switzerland for a couple of years in his 20’s and was an excellent tour guide. It was the trip of a lifetime. He schooled us in proper train travel via Euro-rail and what type of pass suited our needs and budget best. When he asked what our priorities were for the trip the answer was, “Whatever you recommend. But we MUST see the Matterhorn.”
On a cloudy July morning we set out for a Swiss adventure in the alps. The weather was unusually rainy and had been for days. We took the train from Bern, where we were staying to Zermatt. (BTW I will definitely stay at the same darling bnb next time we go.) The trains in Switzerland live up to their reputation 100%. They are shockingly punctual, clean, and efficient. I love being able to sip my coffee and indulge in some Swiss chocolate while taking in the views of the countryside. Or if need be, catch up on some sleep. Be sure to try a Ragusa bar. I’ve never seen them in the US and they’re so, so, yummy. Zermatt, the little town at the bottom of the Matterhorn, was charming and very lovely albeit touristy. But what do you expect from the most photographed mountain peak on the world.
The Matterhorn is huge, but the sky was an overcast sea of grey. I didn’t realize the clouds were hiding the peak from us as we wound our way through the streets of Zermatt. I was enjoying a little shopping but Jonny was growing more antsy by the minute.
Childhood Dreams Do Come True
“Where is it? We should be able to see it by now.” The little blue eyed boy from 30 years before was getting nervous. We found our way through the city to the base of the trails that led alpinists toward the mountain. Ed gestured ahead of us and said, “there it is. It’s almost always covered by clouds like that.” Wait… what?
All we could see was the base of a mountain – the peak was completely shrouded by clouds. This can’t possibly be “THE” Matterhorn. The disappointment on Jonny’s face was heartbreaking. Then, almost as if mother earth had been waiting for the perfect moment to lift the curtain on her crowned jewel, the clouds parted. Literally parted to reveal the most breathtaking piece of landscape imaginable. That little blue eyed boy couldn’t be contained any longer. He was ecstatic.
The sights, sounds, and crisp mountain air were perfect. I sat down to enjoy a little cheese and wine I had brought in my pack while Jonny breathed in as much of the peak as possible. It wasn’t long before the curtain fell and peak was hidden once again by clouds. The moment we shared with the Matterhorn was a beautiful blessing we will always be grateful for.
Our trip to the Matterhorn was magical. More than the beauty of the peak, and the way the clouds parted just for us, a childhood dream came true that day. Being able to witness both of those, for me, is something I’ll never forget.
What is your childhood dream? It’s time to make it come true. Unless your dream, like mine, was to be a unicorn. Maybe just leave that one alone.