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Zermatt: The Matterhorn

Posted by daveb on October 1st, 2007

We only gave ourselves a day to conquer Zermatt, and the famous Matterhorn mountain, on which Toblerone chocolate is fabled to be shaped. In truth, there is quite a lot going on here that [with more money] one could spend a week here, even if not an all-year round skiier. The town itself is a car-free zone, so we stayed at the nearby village of Tasch, which struggles to present itself as more than just a car-park for Zermatt.

Zermatt itself is touristy and beautifully kept. We were beginning to get a little complacent with the continual bombardment of view-after-view that Switzerland provides and a busy tourist spot provided a bit of light relief for us. Of the two must-see experiences–the Gornergrat railway which winds through the mountains, promising exceptional panorama and the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise cable-car extravaganza–we chose the cable-car which would take us a distance of about 3,600 metres (11,808 feet) on three separate gondolas to the 3,883 metres (12,736 feet) summit of the Klein Matterhorn (‘Small Matterhorn’), the highest spot in Europe accessible in a skirt.

On the way up, we stopped-off to acclimatise with a cake at an ‘Animal Festival’ that the local mountain folk were throwing. The woolly sheep spent a lot of time looking overing their shoulders as they were not sure whether they were about to be celebrated or eaten. Once the last gondola had climbed its final near-vertical wall, a lift and a staircase provided us with easy access to the well-trodden, but still jaw-dropping summit of the Klein Matterhorn. We lucked-in with a few snaps of the Matterhorn and the neighbouring range before the winds picked up, the clouds closed-in and the temperature dropped further (it was -5 degrees celsius when we started our ascent). A disappointed coach load of Japanese tourists, clad in their customary golf-clubhouse smart attire and high-heels appeared and took some all-white pictures of cloud. One lady was so underdressed that I would swear she turned blue.

Comments

Comment from Mark
Time: October 2, 2007, 2:03 pm

Picture 3 – (10.jpg?) – stunning, absolutely stunning. What a fantastic view!

Comment from daveb
Time: October 4, 2007, 4:28 pm

Thanks Mark — I’d love to claim to be the photographer of this epic shot, but alas, it was Squiffy.

We were above the clouds man, that was weird…

Comment from Noura
Time: December 21, 2014, 8:49 pm

That’s gorgeous. My cogllee roommate’s family is from Switzerland so she had a huge poster of Zermatt which hung on our dining room wall — what a view! I hope you will be selling prints of this (or something very similar?).

Comment from Teguh
Time: March 24, 2015, 1:40 am

That’s gorgeous. My coglele roommate’s family is from Switzerland so she had a huge poster of Zermatt which hung on our dining room wall — what a view! I hope you will be selling prints of this (or something very similar?).

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