You haven’t seen or heard much from me in the past half week. The reason is that I checked off another item on my bucket list.. Beause of Gary’s Swiss Sunday posts, the desire to see the Matterhorn grew and grew. On Thursday the time had come.
We booked seats on the panoramic train Glacier Express for a 6-hour trip through the Swiss Alps with the destination Zermatt. Periodically, we received information about the areas we passed through and historical and other interesting facts. I took lots of pictures during the ride but had to delete about 70% due to the reflections that occurred when taking pictures through the window. Click on the image below to learn more about the Glacier Express tour.
Here is a selection of photos from the train ride. Not only the view was great, but also the food. I had a fantastic lentil curry dish, and later we ordered homemade apricot and chocolate cake:
I could read in a little booklet that you can only get a first short glimpse of the Matterhorn just before you enter the train station in Zermatt. I couldn’t wait to see it. I was so excited to finally see this amazing construct created by nature. I had that brief first glimpse, and it brought tears to my eyes. The first thing we did when we left the station was not to look for the hotel, but to get another glimpse of the impressive mountain. No problem, you can see it from almost anywhere in Zermatt. But more about the Matterhorn later. First, a few facts about Zermatt, from where you can reach 29 four-thousand-meter peaks:
Zermatt is a municipality in the district of Visp in the German-speaking section of the canton of Valais in Switzerland. It has a population of about 5,800 inhabitants and is classified as a town by the Swiss Federal Statistical Office (FSO).
It lies at the upper end of Mattertal at an elevation of 1,620 m (5,310 ft), at the foot of Switzerland’s highest peaks. It lies about 10 km (6.2 mi) from the over 3,292 m (10,801 ft) high Theodul Pass bordering Italy.
Zermatt is famed as a mountaineering and ski resort of the Swiss Alps. Until the mid-19th century, it was predominantly an agricultural community; the first and tragic ascent of the Matterhorn in 1865 was followed by a rush on the mountains surrounding the village, leading to the construction of many tourist facilities. The year-round population (as of December 2019) is 5,765, though there may be several times as many tourists in Zermatt at any one time. Much of the local economy is based on tourism, with about half of the jobs in town in hotels or restaurants and just under half of all apartments are vacation apartments. Just over one-third of the permanent population was born in the town, while another third moved to Zermatt from outside Switzerland.
Here are some photos of this picturesque “village”. I took a part of them right in the evening, but also the next morning. This is just for your information because of the different daylight in the pictures.
And now (drum rolls, please) the object of desire: The world famous Matterhorn.
The triangular shape of the Matterhorn in the Italian Alps/Swiss Alps is commonly believed to have given Theodor Tobler his inspiration for the shape of Toblerone. However, according to Theodor’s sons, the triangular shape originates from a pyramid shape that dancers at the Folies Bergères created as the finale of a show that Theodor saw. Nevertheless, a silhouette of the Matterhorn appears on the modern Toblerone packaging, as seen in the photo above right.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time to go up the Gornergrat, where you get a closer and spectacular view of the Matterhorn. The Gornergrat train passes by a lake in which the Matterhorn is reflected. So there is still something left on my bucket list and a reason to come back soon.
This was the view from our hotel room. On the left side of the third photo, you can see the Gornergrat, which seems to lead directly to the Matterhorn:
In the evening, the weather was beautiful. Still, there were always some clouds around the mountain that looked like flags.
The next day we had clear blue skies, and again, I took tons of photos. I just couldn’t get enough of this majestic mountain.
For me, it has been a dream come true, and as I said, I will certainly be back. I cannot put into words the energy and power I felt in the presence of this giant peacefully towering over Zermatt.
Next week, I am back with my regular posts. Have a great Monday!
In Love and Light