Saturday, 26 August 2017

Zermatt and the Matterhorn

Wednesday 7 June

The morning after our cloudy arrival in Zermatt, the weather Gods decided to be generous and we woke not only to a glorious blue sky, but also to the Matterhorn, a dazzling white in the bright sunlight.

But first, to recap on our wanderings of the previous afternoon.
My preconception of a sophisticated, upmarket Zermatt, that would leave me feeling out of place were quite unjustified. Perhaps that is the case in the height of the ski season, but as we explored, I delighted in the relaxed atmosphere, cobbled streets, heritage buildings, and the stunning mountains surrounding us.

There are very few lawns in Switzerland. They are either left as a 'meadow' of wildflowers or made useful, by growing vegetables.

And so to Wednesday..............
At 9.30, we took the cog rail up to Gornergrat Station - 3089m. As the train slowly climbed, the full spectacle of the Matterhorn was revealed to us - grand, dominating, magnificent, spectacular...............   !!
I had to keep pinching myself, to make sure it wasn't all a dream.

At the highest point above the station, I sat slowly turning, taking in the breath taking 360 degree panorama of mountain peaks.

Just a little lower.

Eventually we had to make a move to return to our friend Nic who, because of breathing issues, wasn't able to join us on the mountain. Thankfully we had enough time to hike the couple of kilometres down to the next station of Rotenboden, a variety of steep, rocky, muddy and snowy terrain.

The breeze was ruffling the surface of Riffelsee, so I wasn't able to capture a reflection of the Matterhorn, as I had hoped.

We finally met up with Nic about 3pm and relaxed with a beer in the warm sunshine of the terrace of an Italian Restaurant.

Thursday 8 August.

 Sadly we were only able to stay 2 nights here, so 8.30 saw us pulling our suitcases back to the station. Zermatt is a car free town, but they have small electric vehicles that whizz around as taxi's and delivery vans

I had been very disappointed with the views on the train journey up to Zermatt, but as we descended on this day, I realised that the weather conditions had hidden the valley's beauty.

A lawn seen from the train.

Hay making.

The journey took us back down to Visp and continued onto Brig, where we had to make a dash for our connection to Domodossola in Italy. We thought that allowing 10 mins to change platforms would be sufficient, but we were unaware that the platform we arrived on from Zermatt was actually well outside the main station. Nothing like a bit of drama to brighten up ones travels. By lunchtime we were relaxing in the lovely town of Stresa on Lake Maggiore.

I would love to read your comment.


  1. Wow - you had great weather! And your shots are so majestic!

  2. You go to such interesting places!

  3. Wow - how beautiful! I'd love to ski at Zermatt! Glad you got a sunny day to see the mountain in her full glory.

  4. Gorgeous photos, Helen!
    This post made me smile, not only because of your wonderful photos, but also because I read the name Matterhorn for the first time in a Donald Duck story, when I was a child, and hearing the name makes me always remember the fun, well-drawn stories of those times.
    Looking forward to seeing your photos from Italy! :)

  5. Wow, you finally got lucky with a clear blue sky, a snow dusted Matterhorn (unusual in summer) for one of the world's most fabulous train rides to Gornergrat. I must go back to Zermatt and take my son hiking in the mountains. Amazing photos and the walk to Rotenboden is a real classic