Zermatt and the Matterhorn - day 11April 22, 2019 in Switzerland ⋅ ⛅ 5 °C
Shock horror, I set an alarm this morning. Only for 6.30am though so it wasn’t too traumatic. It always seems to take us a while to have showers, and get ready and then it was a bit of a walk to the train station, but we were on the train at 8.41 and arrived at Zermatt just over an hour later. The train ride was spectacular with the cutest wee houses, waterfalls, a river and boulders the size of houses. We found it interesting trying to work out how people could actually get to the houses with no roads. At the last 2 stops, people just got on with ski boots, masks and jackets already on carrying their skis. So we wondered how far they would have to go to get to the slopes once we got there. But no worries, people walked maybe a couple of kms from their hotels to the trains/shuttles etc with ski boots on. I had to take a video of the girls which went shopping in their boots. I used to find them really uncomfortable for walking, but that was over 30 years ago, so they might have improved a bit since then.
Our first stop was the info centre. There are several different points where you can go up the mountain and see the Matterhorn. The lady there advised us to go up to Rothorn which is meant to be the best view, and is from the Italy side. When we were up there I read the guide, and there were actually more things to do at the other peaks, but we were happy with how our day went, so that didn’t really matter. We had a bit of a walk to get to the funicular, and were a bit confused at which steps we needed to go up. The guard said it didn’t matter, and that’s when we realised that people just stood at the stairs on either side, and boarded the funicular from there when it arrived. It went very fast and up a very steep track in a tunnel, so we couldn’t see where we were going. Then we took a small gondalar carriage up to the next station, and then a really large gondala which fitted maybe 40 people with their skis to take us to the top.
Our first steps off the gondala were a bit hairy as it was quite icy, and we just had walking shoes on. We managed to find a wetter snow path to get to the building and restaurant. The Matterhorn was not on full display at any time that we were there with just the top poking out from time to time. There was another amazing peak that was in full sunlight the whole time – weird as they weren’t that far away from each other. We wanted to go down a wee hill to take some pics, but it was too slippery. Then I realised people were having lunch and not using their ski poles, so a very nice man lent us 2 sets. It was still a bit slippery, and I had my camera ready but Jody didn’t oblige me by falling on her bum. Never mind. It was just so peaceful up there looking around. Lots of skiiers came off the gondola and immediately hit the trails. We had lunch up there, and stayed for maybe a couple of hours just enjoying the view.
On our way down we stopped at the next station and had a look around. The beginners ski slope was great with a travellator for people to go up on. There were 4 different ones, on different gradients so it would be easy to advance. Once at the bottom we looked in a lot of shops. Bought some amazing sox with really soft inners. Oh, and the first shop we saw just might have been a chocolate shop – golly these ones were super amazing!
We were both feeling rather tired by this stage even though it was only around 3pm. We walked for a bit, then sat on the plentiful benches or steps, then walked for a bit more. We found these great wooden reclining seats in a park, and put our feet up for a while. I had been keen to try raclette, and cheese fondue while I was here, so looked at many restaurant menus to find one that did those. Finally managed it, and we had both. Well, I won’t be needing to try them again – just ok really, but lots of cheese. On our way to the train we saw these really cute stuffed toys in a window, so went in. They were very soft, and the guy told us they were made from the softest animal fibre from the south of france. I didn’t quite get what the fibre was but the price was incredible - about 700 euros! Then it was time for the train back again and a walk back to Nico. Got back around 7.30 which is good as we were both a bit knackered (and full of cheese!).Read more