Appartement St.Pauli ★★★★
Suisse, Valais, Zermatt
We travelled from England to Zermatt via Geneva, where we stayed overnight near the airport. As expected, the train around Lake Geneva and to Visp worked .. err .. like clockwork. We arived at lunchtime to blazing sunshine in Zermatt. The Interhome office is a very short walk from the station and certainly not worth taking the CHF20 taxi. The staff were unfailingly helpful, knowledgeable and spoke excellent English. It was necessary to take a cab from the station with all our baggage, although it's really only 10 minutes from the centre. The apartment was excellent: well equipped with good views of the Matterhorn. There are two large double bedrooms and a smaller bedroom which served our married daughter very comfortably. It's obvious that St Pauli is used by the owner: lots of personal touches all over the place. For skiing the bus service was first rate, we only ever waited 5 minutes for a bus once. The town is unlike French high level resorts: a lot of wealthy middle-aged Swiss and Germans, some Brits and Americans, but hardly any Italian or French on view. Similarly the ski areas were empty compared with France. Almost no ski schools, and hardly any Boarders. In fact it was predominently small middle aged groups taking it pretty slowly. The ski area brakes into three areas: all quite different and really intermediate by French standards. With the exception of the off piste area it was all pretty easy skiing with most runs being at least a grade easier than in France. However we ski quickly and still had enough to last the week, even without Italy which was the only disappointment since the Cable car ws badly wind-affected and was frequently shut or in danger of being shut, which made it risky to go into Italy without being sure we could get back, The Sunnega mountain funi and Matterhorn train made the resort unique and since we had a lot of snow during the week it was preferable to sitting on chairlifts! We ate very well: the food in the restaurants was really good - uniformly better quality than French mountain resorts and always served with a smile. Chez Heini (lamb!) and Wallisterstube (beef fondu and schnitzle) both deserve a mention. So 10/10 for the accomodation; 12/10 for the views; 10/10 for the snow; 7/10 for the ski area; 10/10 for the people of Zermatt. Thank you.