Day 1 of 1 at the Matterhorn

Zermatt Travel Blog

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The Matterhorn from Zermatt

I took an impromptu trip to the Matterhorn yesterday (thanks Kathleen for the invite). Got an early start - first leg of the trip was a 5:47am train from Schaffhausen to Zurich HB to meet up with the crew (Kathleen and her friends Abbey and Sabrina) under the giant clock at 6:45am. After a quick attempt at grabbing some coffee, we hopped on the 7am to Zermatt via Visp. The 2 hr ride to Visp was nice. We were on a double-decker with some room to spread out.

More Matterhorn...
And the view of Switzerland through the window was nothing to complain about! We switched trains at Visp - not so lucky on this leg of the trip. The views were still excellent, but the train was packed, and I was lucky enough to sit by BO guy. Oh well! It was only an hour of suffering. On arrival in Zermatt (the town at the foot of the Matterhorn), we spent an hour wandering around hopelessly looking for a Starbucks. No dice on that. I guess coffee wasn't in the stars for us. On the plus side, we did find some fabulous bakeries and filled up on sandwiches and pastries before the next leg of the trip. After stuffing ourselves and meeting up with a couple of Abbey's friends, we headed up to the Klein Matterhorn via gigantor gondola (the Klein Matterhorn is the "other" Matterhorn - there are good views of the real Matterhorn from the Klein).
Squishing the Matterhorn
The views from the gondola of the Matterhorn, Zermatt, and the surrounding mountains were incredible and oh the weather... it was perfect.  The pics will verify this statement. After maybe 45 minutes on the gondola with some stops and changes in between, we finally made it to the Klein Matterhorn. Some observations:

1.   People were skiing up there - it's almost July.

2.   Woah, we're up high.

3.   Woah, my lungs are under a little bit of strain.

4.   Views views views views views!!!

5.   Apparently the "in" thing to do is to bring your lunch up to the view point and have a little picnic.

So of course we took a million pics - "we" being everyone but me since my camera battery died on the way up. Then we did some slipping and sliding down to the glacier walkway (FYI - snow boots recommended for this little adventure.

Zermatt from the gondola up to Klein Matterhorn
Kathleen took a nice spill and landed on her chin =(. Our ballet flats didn't have much in the way of traction). We wandered into the glacier. It was cool (literally, har har). It looked like an ice palace/hotel/something was being constructed inside the glacier. We even managed to find a bar carved out of ice, but we unfortuntately weren't able to find the alcohol. After our fun in the glacier and some more slipping and sliding, we grabbed a lovely hot chocolate, then headed back down to Zermatt the same way we came. When we hit the ground in Zermatt, we decided that we were starving and in need of some beers, so we stopped at the first restaurant with outdoor seating that we stumbled upon. It turned out to be a good find. The food was "sehr gut" as was the beer and the view of the Matterhorn.
Shrinking Zermatt...
An excellent cap to a nice day. After a pit stop for some ice cream, we headed back to the train station and back to Zurich (Schaffhausen for me).

Recommendations for this trip in addition to snow boots:

1.  Check the weather before going - you don't want to get stuck taking pictures in the middle of clouds.

2.  Bring a jacket, preferably windproof with some kind of lining. It's cold and windy at the top no matter how hot it is down in Zermatt.

3.  Re: train travel - look into a Swiss Day Pass or a Matterhorn package deal that includes the cable car ride. For some perspective, the regular roundtrip fare from Zurich HB to Zermatt is CHF 226 pp (which is basically equivalent to USD 226). If you get a day pass which allows you unlimited travel on Swiss trains all day long on a weekend (after 9am M-F), the roundtrip fare is only CHF 64. Big difference!

4.  Leave the car behind. Zermatt is a carless town. In fact, you will get fined if caught driving a car in town (unless you have a mini electric-powered vehicle). If you have a rental car, you'll have to leave it outside of town and train or electric taxi in.

5.  Make sure to charge your camera battery! In my defense, I didn't know I would be going on this trip, so I left my battery charger in Belgium. I'm lucky that I even had my camera!

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The Matterhorn from Zermatt
The Matterhorn from Zermatt
More Matterhorn...
More Matterhorn...
Squishing the Matterhorn
Squishing the Matterhorn
Zermatt from the gondola up to Kle…
Zermatt from the gondola up to Kl…
Shrinking Zermatt...
Shrinking Zermatt...
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photo by: Stevie_Wes