Where We Be
|As we hiked lower it got warmer and we shed layers. While we had plenty of
company at Gornergrat, once we started hiking down we saw only a few people.
|Hiking down from Riffelberg Station we came across a
family of marmots making the most of the good weather
|View from Gornergrat looking to the right of the Matterhorn
|We tried to take at least a few pictures of mountains
other than the Matterhorn but it wasn't easy!
|When we arrived in Zermatt it was rainy and the Matterhorn was completey hidden.
But we knew we were in luck when we awoke the next morning to this awesome view.
|This little chapel is dedicated to all the climbers who
have lost their lives trying to summit the Matterhorn
|And the views only got better as the day went along. This is Gornergrat station
(3,089 m or 10,135 ft), second highest railway station in Europe after the Jungfrau.
|Prices in Zermatt are even worse than the rest of Switzerland. When sweet
and sour chicken runs you 29 francs (~$32 US) you know you're in trouble!
|Back in Zermatt, we stopped here and there for a look around, at the river, at the bell tower,
and at the cemetary for mountaineers whose lives were claimed climbing the Matterhorn
|We sat for a long time at Findeln and just soaked up
the views. This was my favorite part of the whole day.
|And eventually found ourselves looking down on the
village of Findeln, with the Matterhorn towering above
|When my friend Alan and I visited Switzerland in 1984, we had great fun taking
photos of the Swiss Alps with fruit in the foreground. This continues the tradition!
|The Matterhorn in all its glory. We lucked out
and got a rare perfect day for hiking in Zermatt.
|Gornergrat isn't cheap: we paid 78 francs for the two of us -- and that was with our Swiss half-fare cards!
But cog railways like this one mean much less uphill hiking than we would have expected in Switzerland.
|The Matterhorn -- Zermatt, Switzerland
Fantastic day! Couldn't ask for better -- nothing
but blue skies, cool sunny temperatures, and
the Matterhorn covered with a new dusting of
snow. Gornergrat cog railway isn't cheap but it's
THE thing to do in Zermatt. It makes five stops:
Findelbach, Riffelalp, Riffelberg, Rotenboden,
and Gornergrat. We rode all the way to the top
as did most people. Cameras clicked all the way
up! Like a diva that always has to be the center
of attention, the Matterhorn made its way into
virtually every picture.
At the top we disembarked and enjoyed a half
hour at Gornergrat -- Europe’s second highest
railway station. Surrounding us was a panorama
of 29 peaks taller than 4,000 meters (13,000 ft).
On the way back we got off at Riffelberg, walked
along the road down to Riffelalp, then hiked the
Naturweg trail to Findeln. This village was just
irresistible, perched on the side of a green
valley with the Matterhorn towering above it.
|But who cares when
the views are this good!
|Tiny forget-me-nots, big mountains
|Naturweg trail offers an abundance of delightful scenery
|Along the way we passed this mountain tarn
|We hiked steeply down from Findeln to Zermatt