Zermatt and Gornergrat Bahn

July 22 ~ Zermatt, Switzerland

At Gonergrat, above Zermatt

On our way up to Gornergrat, above Zermatt

Today we explored the quaint haunt of the rich and famous – Zermatt! Primarily known as a ski resort and mountaineering base for those wanting to challenge the infamous Matterhorn. 

“The Matterhorn was one of the last alpine mountains to be conquered (in 1865),and the first expedition that reached the top ended dramatically with only 3 of the 7 climbers surviving the descent. The story is related in the Matterhorn Museum.” ~ Wikipedia

Matterhorn Museum with the blue roof

Matterhorn Museum with the blue roof

The Matterhorn Museum was right around the corner from our hotel, but sadly we ran out of time and did not get to visit it.

The town itself is quite manageable on foot with the only motorized vehicles allowed on the roads being the small hotel shuttle vans. We saw numerous backpackers with their walking sticks and a few on bicycles.

The main street through Zermatt that leads to the train station

The main street through Zermatt that leads to the train station

Most of the windows are adorned with flower boxes overflowing with multicolored thriving flowers. Many in the geranium family.

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But our big excursion today was to take the cogwheel train up to the top of Gornergrat.

Entrance to the Gornergrat Bahn

Entrance to the Gornergrat Bahn

Map showing the route to the top and surrounding area we would see

Map showing the route to the top and surrounding area we would see

The scenery along the climb to the top improved around each corner.

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One of the optional stops along the way to the top

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Tim and Joanne with the Gornergrat Bahn train

Tim and Joanne with the Gornergrat Bahn train

The air was a bit thinner at the top with an elevation of 10,132 feet (3089 m), but I took my time climbing the steps up past the visitors station to get to the upper viewing platform.

A bit further to reach the top viewing platform

A bit further to reach the top viewing platform

And what an amazing place to simply take it all in!

And what an amazing place to simply take it all in!

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After a relaxing lunch at the restaurant on top of the world, we got back on the train and then got off at the first stop, Rotenboden (9235 ft) to start our hike to Riffelsee to try to get  a reflection picture of the Matterhorn. From there we would continue down to Riffelberg (8471 feet) where we would rejoin the train back to Zermatt.

A hike with the snow covered Alps ahead

A hike with the snow-covered Alps ahead

Time for a rest and to catch my breath

Time for a rest and to catch my breath. That is the Matterhorn behind us.

Tim

Tim

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There was a breeze which ruffled the water on the lake, so the reflection shots did not workout very well, but the hike itself was another huge hit for us.

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We also enjoyed the numerous but miniature alpine flowers along the way. They were small but so mighty to survive at this elevation and in this extreme climate.

Alpine flowers

Alpine flowers

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Upon returning to Zermatt, we walked through the cemetery next to the church where a special section was devoted to those who had lost their lives while mountain climbing in the area, including a tomb of the unknown climber.

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The gravesite of the unknown climber

GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am once again awed by just how powerful Mother Nature is. To be surrounded by this much beauty is both over whelming and humbling.

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About Tim and Joanne Joseph

Hi and welcome! We are Tim and Joanne Joseph and we have just embarked on our "next chapter". At a stage in life where traveling the world, taking pictures, and sharing our adventures with friends and family will be our dream come true.
This entry was posted in Europe, Switzerland and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Zermatt and Gornergrat Bahn

  1. thegirlthatdreamsawake says:

    I absolutely loved Zermatt. We went closer to christmas time and it was magical! You both look so happy in the photos! Where to next?

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    • I can only imagine how incredible Zermatt must have been during the Christmas holidays! I would love to experience that some day. We just departed on a Uniworld river cruise that will take us from Basel to Amsterdam. Plus I still have a couple more days to write about from our time in Switzerland including Lousanne and Murren.

      Liked by 1 person

      • thegirlthatdreamsawake says:

        My mum lives in lausanne 🙂 and Murren I am yet to visit! Hopefully soon :)Safe journey to Amesterdam and I look forward to see more about your travels 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You have had an amazing time in Switzerland!

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  3. I was there a few years ago, and loved almost everything, just the prices could be slightly lower. 😉

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  4. Such beauty and such cold (at least it looked that way!)

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  5. Trish Hatcher says:

    Gorgeous!!! Love it all. And such cute photos of you two!

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  6. Wow! Thanks for sharing your photos!

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  7. Terry says:

    Just beautiful. A must place to visit, wish I could have made it there when I was in the area in the past.

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  8. Love your smiling faces. What spectacular pictures. When I see row after row of flowers spilling out of window boxes, it seems unreal. Lovely, Lovely!

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  9. Only got to spend a short time in Zermatt so the Gornergrat Bahn is still on my wish list – your photos are wonderful such amazing scenery! The window boxes are so pretty 🙂

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  10. Wingclipped says:

    Hi Tim and Joanne – how strange to think that after reading your blog for a couple of years now we inadvertently followed in your footsteps to Zermatt. We were there a week after you! We also ran out of time to visit the Matterhorn Museum (all the more reason to return). We also didn’t go to Gornergrat (again we ran out of time). We visited the Aletsch Glacier, Klein Matterhorn, and hiked up the Path to Freedom and reached the summit of Oberrothorn.

    Our photo experiences of the Matterhorn seem to have matched yours – a lot of the time it was covered in cloud. However, on the day we left it graced us with its full presence in a morning of glaring sun.

    We are determined to return to Zermatt. Wow. What an incredible place!

    Nic

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    • Nic, How fortunate you were to see the Matterhorn in all her glory! Lucky you!!! Sounds like you got to see and do some fabulous things while there. Too bad our time did not overlap as it is always great to meet up with fellow travelers, even if only for a few moments to say hello in person. And we agree – Zermatt is incredible and well worth a return visit. Thank you for following us for so long. We sincerely appreciate it!

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