Switzerland
Visp District

Here you’ll find travel reports about Visp District. Discover travel destinations in Switzerland of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

45 travelers at this place:

  • Day8

    The Matterhorn

    September 11 in Switzerland

    Today has been another busy day. I’m currently sitting in the garden on the Alpenrose Hotel in Wengen writing this. It’s 6:30pm and the sun is just disappearing behind a mountain. I can hear cowbells.

    Today was purely set aside for travel from Zermatt to Wengen but when I looked at the travel time (3 hours) and the checkin time (4-7) I realised I had time to look around the Zermatt area. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to do both Gornergrat and Kleine Matterhorn. Gornergrat offered better views but Kleine Matterhorn offered snow to touch (and a different, some say disappointing view of the Matterhorn). I went with the experts on TripAdvisor and took the cog railway to Gornergrat. My cabin on the train was filled with Americans on a National Geographic tour. Fortunately they had a very loud and informative tour guide so I got the info as well.

    It took about half an hour to get up to the top. It’s 3135m at the top and for the first time I notice the thinness of the air. My walking poles came in very handy for the short walks I did at the top. My knees have been giving me a lot of trouble the whole trip but the poles definitely make it easier on my knees.

    The views were spectacular. I can see why the Matterhorn was a challenge to be conquered but (from a distance anyway) it looks like sheer rock. I had a 360 degree view and the photos I took will not do the views justice. I did however finally learn how to take a panoramic photo on my phone. I’ve only had my phone for 2 years.

    On the way back to the hotel I came across the Zermatt graveyard. One section is for graves and memorials to those who have died while climbing in the region. Apparently a group of 7 where the first to get to the top of the Matterhornin 1865. One member slipped on the way down and took three others with him. The rope broke or all would have been killed. The graveyard was quite poignant.

    I had stored my luggage at the hotel while I did this so I returned to the hotel to pick it up and got a lift to the station. Apparently they are only allowed to pick up/drop you off at the station when you check in or out. The station was only a 15 min walk so easy without luggage. As I was waiting for the driver a man came to the desk and was wanting a lift to the station. When it was explained they weren’t allowed to give him one he asked for a taxi. The receptionist said by the time it arrived he could walk there plus it would cost 15-18 Swiss francs. I told him I had just walked it no trouble so he grudgingly decided to walk. I left him demanding instructions on how to get there. Google maps is great!

    I had just over half an hour before my train so I had lunch at an Italian place at the railway station. The wait staff seemed to be speaking Italian so I ordered Gorgonzola gnocchi. It was very nice.

    The trip from Zermatt to Wengen was mainly uneventful. It was quite hot. I’d worn my jacket up to Gornergrat but as soon as I did some walking I took it off and didn’t put it back on again. It was apparently zero degrees at Gornergrat. As I’ve said before the cold is very different to the cold at home.

    I spent most of the trip trying to undo the padlock on my suitcase. I’m travelling with a suitcase, backpack and handbag. To carry my walking sticks I use my backpack to I emptied it and only put in the things I would need today. As I was checking out I put my handbag in my suitcase. Absentmindedly I put my purse with the key for the suitcase lock in my handbag which I only realised once I’d locked my case. The owner of the hotel managed to open the lock with a pair of pliers which made me wonder about the effectiveness of the lock. All good? Yeah it would have been but I tested the lock and it seemed to work so I put it back on my suitcase. I used it again at the train station with no problems. Once on the train I tried to open the lock to get my iPad out and realised it was broken. Of course I did what most people do, kept trying and trying and trying, getting more frustrated in the process. I debated trying to find someone in Interlaken to remove it but I was hot, tired and frustrated so I left it until I got to to the hotel.
    The porter had no problem using his hacksaw to remove the lock. He’s done it before.

    On the train from Lauterbrunnen to Wengen I sat next to a Canadian woman. She heard me call the hotel to ask them to pick me up from the train station and did the same. She is staying at the same hotel as me. We had a lovely chat on the way up. She’s visiting her nephew who lives in Zurich and is just staying two nights.
    We are going to have dinner together shortly as we both have half board (breakfast and dinner). Half board is great. I had it last night in Zermatt and you get a 4 or 5 course meal with only two choices. Last night I was so tired it was lovely to not to have to think too hard about what I wanted to eat. I even chose the tomato soup of the beef carpaccio which normally I would have because it is something different. One of the courses is also salad. Last night they called it a rich salad buffet. I rolled my eyes. It it was rich. They had a prawn salad as well as 7 or 8 other creamy salads plus plain salad veg. I would have been just happy with the salad course.

    Time to go inside as it’s starting to get cold. I’m just waiting for Irene to come down so we can have dinner.

    All the photos except the last are of the Matterhorn.
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  • Day38

    The Most Amazing Day of All

    October 25 in Switzerland

    I seem to have been repeating myself lately. Perhaps it is a sign of extreme old age, or maybe it's because I am running out of superlatives when trying to describe the scenery we have been enjoying every day. There is only a limited number of times you can use words like "amazing", "spectacular" or "breathtaking", before they become depreciated.

    What I will say is that today has been one of the most memorable days of my entire life. Allan and I began early with a trip on the cog railway from Zermatt to Gornergrat. This is a famous scenic location that offers 360 degree views of the surrounding mountain peaks.

    Although the Matterhorn is the most famous, and certainly the most recognisable of these peaks, it is actually not the highest. There are several others in this region that are considerably taller. Allan and I climbed to the highest point we could find and were thrilled that we had the place to ourselves. We spent the next 30 minutes just taking in the surroundings and pinching ourselves to make sure we weren't dreaming.

    Once again the weather was absolutely perfect, with blue skies, warm sunshine and no wind whatsoever. It was such a peaceful location to just sit and be thankful that we had this opportunity witness such beauty in such ideal conditions. Apparently this run of fine weather is coming to a dramatic halt this weekend. Plunging temperatures and snow is predicted for this region, but today you would not believe it.

    I found a lovely narrow alpine track along a ridge line and decided to follow it for some distance. On either side there were steep slopes disappearing down into the values below. I guess that is why the signs warned that the path was not suitable for anyone with vertigo. In the shady patches there was still a lot of hard ice, which made the walking a little treacherous. Fortunately I only came to grief once, and that didn't really count as I only fell onto one knee and not my backside.

    I found another isolated and elevated position and just sat and admired what was all around me. There is nothing like this in Australia and I was so glad that we had made the decision to spend this time in Switzerland. As I sat I could hear distant sounds from way down in the valley below me. Overhead white vapour trails marked the paths followed by numerous aircraft crisscrossing their flights across Europe.

    I could also hear something else. I think it was the sound of crackling forming on the top of my head and face. I had somehow stupidly left my hat in the hotel and I could feel the powerful rays of the sun burning their way into my exposed skin. It was time to head back.

    After a celebratory coffee and strudel at the summit restaurant we caught the train back as far as the first station. From there we walked to the Rippelsee, a lake that provides beautiful reflections of the Matterhorn. We then decided to continue our walk past another lake which had frozen solid and then down the hill to Rippleberg Station. The steep descent really tested my legs, but I could not help but feel that we were so privileged to have been able to share a day like this together.

    Tomorrow we catch the train to Geneva for our final night in this country, then it will be time to begin the long journey home. It has been a trip full of diverse experiences and I feel almost overwhelmed with the huge storehouse of memories I will be carrying home with me. That is the main reason that I have kept this blog.I hope also that those who are reading this have been sharing some of the trip with us.
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  • Day2

    Walk from Sunegga to Zermatt

    October 4 in Switzerland

    Can not get enough of the view to Matterhorn. Amazing view and a great walk from Sunegga to Zermatt. Very proud of our little sunshine who walked the complete 2, 5 hours on his own 😘 went to Chez Vroni Restaurant which is an amazing address and a must Stopover the way down.. Looking forward to the next walk tomorrow 🤗

  • Day6

    Anreise Zermatt

    August 13 in Switzerland

    Heute legen wir einen kleinen Reisetag ein und es geht vom schönen Ötztal über ein paar Pässe und Tunnel nach Täsch. Da müssen wir das Auto dann stehen lassen und die letzten 10km mit der Bahn fahren, da Zermatt eine komplett autofreie Stadt ist. Da darf nicht einmal unser Tesla rein (er würde aber eh nicht durch die engen Gassen passen und wahrscheinlich stecken bleiben 😂).

  • Day10

    Im Rausch der 4.000er

    August 17 in Switzerland

    Wir stehen heute schon um 4 Uhr auf, damit wir rechtzeitig aus der Hütte loskommen, wenn das Eis noch schön hart ist und die kleinen Schneebrücken über die Gletscherspalten gut halten. Das frühe Aufstehen lohnt sich heute auch wieder, da wir einen wunderschönen Sonnenaufgang über der Vincent-Pyramide und dem Balmenhorn erleben.

    Die ersten Stunden sind heute nur aufsteigen, aufsteigen, aufsteigen. Und wir merken jetzt doch die Anstrengung der letzten Tage und quälen uns etwas hoch. Es geht erst einmal den gleichen Weg zurück zum Balmenhorn und dann auf die Höhe des Schwarzhorn. Dort nimmt uns Stefan wieder an die kurze Leine und es geht steil über einen schmalen Grad auf die Ludwigshöhe auf 4.341m. Leider ist die Sicht Null und so bleiben wir nicht.

    Von dort geht es ein kurzes Stück den gleichen Firngrat zurück und dann gehen wir weiter und beginnen den Aufstieg zur Parrotspitze auf 4.432m. Auch hier haben wir wieder einen sehr schmalen Firngrat und haben oben das Glück, dass die Wolken mal kurz etwas aufmachen und zumindest ein bisl Sicht freigeben. Da es sehr schmal oben ist, überschreiten wir ohne lange Pause die Parrotspitze und steigen ab zum Grenzgletscher, der unterhalb unserer heutigen Hütte liegt. Dort müssen wir einen großen Bogen um ein paar ziemlich unberechenbare Seracs machen bevor wir dann wieder zum Col Gnifetti (4.452m) aufsteigen. Dort deponieren wir unsere Rucksäcke und besteigen noch kurz die Zumsteinspitze auf 4.563m. Der Aufstieg geht über einen kurzen Firngrat und ein wenig Felskletterei und schon sind wir da. Die Sicht auf die Signalkuppe, Parrotspitze und Ludwigshöhe ist komplett frei und wir geniessen ein wenig Sonne bevor wir wieder absteigen und unsere Rucksäcke einsammeln. Dann kommt unserer letzter Aufstieg über 4.500m für diese Woche. Es geht auf die Signalkuppe, wo die Margherita-Hütte ziemlich ausgesetzt steht. Sie ist die höchst gelegene Hütte im gesamten Alpenraum. Da schlechtes Wetter für den Nachmittag angesagt ist, sind wie super stolz, dass wir kurz nach 11 Uhr schon im der Hütte eintrudeln. Und was gibt es zum Mittagessen? Pizza Margherita natürlich!!!
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  • Day13

    Zermatt

    June 20, 2017 in Switzerland

    Our last day in this glorious place, we check out tomorrow to head to our next stop - Lake Como for a week. The weather continues it's stellar performance of European Summer. Today was a carbon copy of yesterday - perfect blue skies, 30 degrees. We headed up into the mountains today on a fernicular cog train (I'm certain that'll mean something to someone). It was quite a trip. Beautiful alpine scenery the whole way - meadows to conifer forest to above the snow line rock and scree slopes. The views from the top were certainly impressive judging by the number of selfie sticks in operation.

    I'm sitting in our room typing this and have the door open to our balcony ....this is not a lie....someone is playing a piano accordion. Could anything say "Swiss mountains" more than that? Maybe an encore performance by Julie Andrews in her apron eating chocolate. The tourist shops here are a heady combination of walking boots, chocolate and red cows bells. We used our hotel's lift to its short-cut underground tunnel to the village today. I'm glad I'm mostly desensitised to tunnels now.

    Spent the afternoon wandering around the old town of Zermatt waiting to go to my doctors appointment - feeling sicker by the day. The old town is quite interesting - buildings preserved that were built in the 1600's. Getting sick in Switzerland puts a really hard hit on the wallet. Have just spent over $200 seeing a doctor and getting drugs to fix my sinus and chest infection. I think Roger is secretly enjoying it - I can barely talk.

    About to go to our hotels outdoor terrace bar for drinks while savouring the views of the Matterhorn. Am looking forward to the change of scenery tomorrow - Swiss mountains and lake to Italian mountains and lake......I'm sure the gin'll be the same. Won't miss the knee slappin' sound of that accordion.
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  • Day12

    Zermatt

    June 19, 2017 in Switzerland

    Well, now I really feel like I'm on holiday...I am sitting on a hotel terrace in the Swiss Alps, its 35 degrees, I'm looking across at the Matterhorn while I'm waiting for my G&T. Seriously, does it get any better? We arrived by train from Tasch, having left the car there, as there are no cars in Zermatt. Zermatt is predominately an alpine ski village sitting at about 1700 metres. It is really very spectacular country. While I'm sitting here there are hang gliders all around us. Our hotel is one of the highest in the village and has an underground lift to get to the village, avoiding a pretty steep climb. This is where our day ended. It started in Geneva with us picking up the car up at the airport, a fairly trouble free process. We were collected by the Peugeot rep and taken to there depot to get the car and along the way there was a minor road range incident between our driver another who decided to just stop driving. There was much aggressive shouting in French ending with our driver uttering the only words we could understand...fucking idiot. I feel I am pretty well accustomed to this European driving now. It took all of about 5 minutes to get the brain switch happening from left to right. It was however a reasonably "big" first day of driving...about 230k's. We stopped for lunch at Martigny and had a quick look at some roman ruins before driving on.
    Dinner tonight at the hotel restaurant was interesting. We were shown to our table and told that the kitchen stove wasn't working and that we could have chicken or chicken, or anything else on the menu that was cold. We had chicken.
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  • Day1

    Törbel

    July 10, 2017 in Switzerland

    Wie jede Reise beginnt auch diese in Törbel. Mir wird das hier fehlen aber bin dankbar und freue mich diese Reise in Angriff nehmen zu können. Die Idee nach Argentinien zu gehen enstand übrigens am diesjährigen Guggenmusiktreffen als eze und joaco neu in der Schweiz waren. Eze kontaktierte seine Eltern ob das ginge und sie antworteten sofort mit ja. Jetz liegt es an Eze mir die Argentinische Lebensweise ein bisschen näher zu bringen obwohl wir in einem altbekannten Walliserdort wohnen werden.Read more

  • Day35

    Lyon to Zermatt

    July 2, 2017 in Switzerland

    Spent most of the day taking 3 trains -Lyon to Geneve, Geneve to Visp, and Visp to Zermatt which is a cog railway. On the stretch from Martigny to Visp we could see from the trees that there was a howling westerly wind blowing. We plan to ride back that way, but if that wind is still blowing we will be on the train!
    Arrived at Zermatt, around 5pm. The crowded streets were unbelievable, especially the large groups of Asian tourists. Our Hotel Garni,Tannenhof, is central and comfy.
    Walking around town, we absorbed the thought - the word on the street was that the Matt was visible - that now was the time to head up to the terrace at the top end of town. The Matterhorn was in full sun! And there it was, looking magnificent. Apparently, it is often shrouded in cloud.
    We still needed to replace a few things that were stolen, most urgently a small reasonably packable backpack. Zermatt has lots of very expensive outdoor shops, but we found one with a very suitable Salomon Trail 10 in the sale basket for half price.
    Minestrone soup at Hotel Monte Rosa for dinner rounded out the evening.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Visp District, Bezirk Visp

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