Previous: Day 4 – Wengen and the Jungfrau Glacier
That trip to the Top of Europe (Jungfrau glacier) was the best experience so far since we arrived in Switzerland four days ago! Now we have to do another high altitude experience, the 4,478 meters high and world famous Matterhorn! No, we are not climbing to the top, we will merely attempt to get as close as we can to see it and that’s where our next destination will be – Zermatt. From Wengen to Zermatt, it takes 3 hours and 4 changes of trains…holy cow! But no panic, the Swiss train network is as perfect as can be so getting on and off trains will just be a breeze. And in order to reduce the possibility of missing our trains, we asked everyone, even if the answer is right infront of our eyes, we asked! Imagine, if we didn’t do that, it would be horrendous running around and getting lost with our heavy luggages!
From Wengen going down to Lauterbrunnen were we caught our train to Interlaken, the scenery is a sight to behold. Waterfalls, lovely church spires, mountains and picturesque villages.
On the trains, we got seated on the same cars as these passionate backpackers who take mountain/ice climbing seriously.
This is the church-spire of St Niklaus seen on the Visp-Zermatt leg of our train journey.
Our train arriving in Zermatt station
Omega clock on the train station! This is where we bought our tickets for a cogwheel train ride up to Gornergrat, 3,089 m in altitude
On our way up, we see ski lift and cable car stations such as this one.
..and hikers, too! That’s the Matterhorn covered in the clouds!
Such pristine beauty!
I couldn’t stop clicking my camera for all these awesome view!
After some 45 minutes of continuous climbing, we got off the station in Gornergrat. You can see the same train going back down.
Getting out of the train, we have to feed our tickets to these barriers so we could get in. It’s the same when going out.
Some of the passengers went off in their hiking gears as soon as we got out of the train.
The map showing Zermatt below and where we are now (top, encircled)
The train station seen from our viewing deck.
I wanted so much to pose like them but I have fear of heights!
Sleep tight, monsieur!
Time to sit for a drink…and for the camera!
and a Gornergrat vendor. She’s selling watercolour paintings of this beautiful scenery!
The majestic Matterhorn!
A family of hikers
On our train trip down, we had to stop few times to pick some passengers. This is a mirror on one of the the train stops reflecting the passengers getting on the train
A better view of the Matterhorn. Does it remind you of something? The “Summit” mineral water bottle of course!
Hop, we are going down…
Back in Zermatt, it’s like there is a hotel facade beauty competition!
or a flower display contest…
Zermatt, like Wengen, is a carless town. Only electric vehicles ply the streets. Our taxi driver tells us that only ambulances, police cars and fire trucks are allowed to run on diesel. A fully charged electric vehicle runs only up to 7 hours, hence, their cars are fitted with two electric engines so that one acts as a reserve for the other.
Notice the small size of their vehicles. They run smoothly and very efficient for heavy luggages.
After our Gornergrat cog train trip, it’s time to hit the cable-car express!
And by “Express”, it means you don’t even have time to stifle a cry as you will be very busy holding on to the rails!
The cable car station stopping midway, in Schwarzsee
Unfortunately, we went on too late, at 4pm, they close at 5pm. The ticket seller says we need at least 3 hours to enjoy the Glacier Paradise which is the highest stop of the the Cable-Car express. “It doesn’t matter”, we told her, “we just want to experience the cable car!”. She says we have 45 minutes remaining and that includes the ride going up and back down. It’s okay, we thought. We have been to the Jungfrau Glacier and the experience is probably the same.
This is the Schwarzsee stop. Getting hungry is no problem as there are restaurant signs placed on strategic spots.
Here it is. We found it, hurray! But we can’t eat, there’s no time, argghhh!
Neat! this must be for mountain bikes (there’s a lot of them who go up there!) needing some screws tightened. You see this facility just outside the cable car station.
A quick information before you set out to hike
The Matterhorn again, seen from the cable car going down
It’s like Switzerland in miniature!
The big town of Zermatt in the valley below
Back on flat land, we saw these strange things. Ahh, it’s for storing your skis but you have to insert 2CHF to unlock and lock the thing.
Time to do some serious sightseeing now. This is the old part of Zermatt where we got to see ancient chalets.
An outdoor museum!
The cross with its typically-alpine roofing, to protect it from snow
This one too..
Young shephers suddenly arrived with their flock of goats, great opportunity for picture taking!
The next morning, before we checked out of the hotel to catch our train to Geneva, I woke up early to do some photography. This is taken from the bridge just outside of our hotel. A cloudless view of the Summit…errr..Matterhorn mountain.
And the cemetery which is in the center of the town, just next to the church. There is a big space dedicated for mountaineers around the world who died trying to climb the Matterhorn.
The Parish Church of St Mauritius built in 1913
The Police Station
An alpine mailbox
Next: Day 7 – Geneva