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Friday, August 6, 2010

Matterhorn Scenic Walk

The sky began to look lovely in the afternoon time. Fantastic !

With its sunny viewing platform that can be reached throughout the year, the Gornergrat, at an altitude of 3089 m above sea level, has been the top tourist destination in Switzerland for the last 111 years.

St. Bernard dog to greet the tourists. This is a very large breed of working dog from the Swiss Apls, originally bred for rescue. The breed has become famous through tales of alpine rescues, as well as for its large size. The average weight of the breed is between 64 -120 kg or more and the approximate height is 70 to 90 cm.

The panorama is spectacular. The Monte Rosa Massif with the highest Swiss mountain (Dufourspitze at 4634 m), and a view over the second-largest glacier in the Alps, the Gornergletscher, as well as 29 peaks higher than 4000 metres

The blue color jacket which Vincent was wearing is actually my jacket. He kept saying that he felt cold, so I let him take mine too. Surprisingly, he can fit in it. Then I realized he had almost become my size lo.

Zermatt offers some of the World's most stunning mountain walks amongst classic high-alpine scenery. We started the walk from here...

Husband said we would walk to Riffelalp station. Then we would descend to Zermatt by train. The walk shall take 1.5 hr, and we foresee we only need 2 hr (maximum) but no any longer cause we would walk downhill all the way to Riffelalp. So, it shouldn't be physically very challenging.

We started the walk from here....

The 3 most important men in my life.

Everything in far look so closed that I can touch them when I walk nearer.

The footpath at the beginning is quite steep, so have watch out our steps a bit.

Most of the people walk, but some will slide down.

View of glaciers. Dirty stripe formed where the glaciers combined.

When I checked the photos after the trip, I was shocked to see the image of an animal face instead of the snowy mountain of this. But when I was standing in front of it, I didn't see what I saw from the photo. I think probably it's too huge for my eyes to perceive it in the way I can perceive it via photo.

Like going for a mission impossible.

The edge of the stone is quite sharp, can use it to cut the fruits.

To them, 'toys' are everywhere can be found.

They remind me of Michael Scofield and Lincoln Burrow in my favourite TV series "Prison Break".

Yo, let's go...

If not because of the many hikers around, walking into the midst would be so mysteriously thrilled.

They don't see the world in the way we see it...To us, we see the breathtaking mountains, glaciers etc. To the boys, they see the things that they can use to play with, like snow, stones, flowers etc.

I like this picture a lot...

We were glad to see the little one handled himself well on this ramble. A big boy now...

From here, we walked towards the Matterhorn, which was still covered by the thick clouds.
The Matterhorn and Switzerland are inseparably linked to each other. The four faces of the Matterhorn face the four cardinal directions - north, east, south, west. Its pyramid shaped colossus make it one of the most difficult mountain to be climbed.

About his hat, it was knitted by me some years ago.

We didn't change the plan, still headed to Riffelalp.

Sometimes we could still get to see part of the Matterhorn...

Sometimes, abosolutely zero...

This train is the highest cog railway in Europe, it runs every 24 minutes from Zermatt up to the Gornergrat all year round.

Weird thing, the shape of the clound looks exactly the shape of Matterhorn. This phenomenon is not a coincidence but a scientific reason behind it....

Yeah, we all waited for that moment to come...

The Matterhorn is an isolated mountain. Because of its position on the main Alpine watershed and its great height, the Matterhorn is exposed to rapid weather changes. In addition the steep faces of the mountain and its isolated location make it prone to banner clouds formation with the air flowing around and creating vortices, conducting condensation of the air on the lee side.

Another weird thing...we would see more of Matterhorn from the reflection in the lake than actual. After some while, I reckoned that in order to look better, we should go down to the lake instead of standing at the top of the hill in front of it.

Me and Matterhorn...

The Matterhorn (4478 m) became an iconic emblem of the Swiss Alps and the Alps in general. Since the end of the nineteenth century, when railways were built, it attracted more and more visitors and climbers.

The first group of climbers (8 people) to scale the peak was led by a British alpinist Edward Whymper in July 1865. Three men died during the decent. , changed the region (which had been isolated until then) forever. The Matterhorn became world-famous, and ambitious mountaineers aspired to climb it.
Even today the ascent of the Matterhorn is very challenging and can only be achieved by expert mountaineers with excellent equipment and a competent guide.

The way he pointed to Matterhorn, he copied me....

Tiny fishes that lives in the pond.

Looking back to the place where we came down from....

We continue the walk.

The sky was getting clearer by then, we could see 80% of the Matterhorn.

The Matterhorn is the 10th highest mountain in Switzerland, and one of the 48 Swiss peaks above 4000 m in height.

Over 500 people have died climbing the Matterhorn since 1865's tragic accident, many on the descent. Deaths average is about 12 annually now, and is usually due to falls, inexperience, underestimating the mountain, bad weather, and falling rocks.

No no, we won't be one of the 12 people that would die in climbing this mountain.

Aha...they have found something to play with again. This time, the cotton-look flowers.

He said he was looking for the best-of-the-best.

Ok, this one is the best-of-the-best

They just got their hair cut before we departed, and the style look so coconut to me. I said to myself that I would get their fringe all gel-up tomorrow.

Matterhorn is said to be the most-photgraphed mountain in the world. I think it's very true. I myself had snapped more than 100 pictures of it lo

Ok, I shall say this is the 90% of the Matterhorn that I saw in that day.
Husband said he saw the full picture when he visited here last time. Lucky him. Anyway, he and his colleagues didn't make any hiking last time because of poor preparation. Basically, they just took the train to go up to Gornegrat, stayed for a while, then left the place.

We waited here for some time, but the banner clouds just won't disappear. So, we decided to left and go to the station.

On the way back...

cactus-look plant on the ground.

mei-hua look flowers...like our Chinese-New-Year flower.

Good bye, Matterhorn.

Ok, back to the pond now.

He was ok with this walk, still could-walk-could-run like nobody business.

Aha...saw this flowers in Chamonix-Mont Blanc 2 days ago too.

Anyway, we took a little break here.

The boys like to eat this cup-cake a lot...in fact, they always asked for it the whole trip.

Husband asked me to stop clicking...well, I don't see why I need to stop lo.

So, I sat there, and still snapping the photos around.

That's why I shot more than 100 pictures of Matterhorn.

We had had some nice pictures taken here, I love them all.

My little one took this photo for me, so I got to post it.

Oh yes, this would be the best-of-the-best Matterhorn we get to see in that day.

95% of Matterhorn had revealed itself.

Ok, we got to go now...

One last look....

Another last look...

Another last look....simply because I so wish I could see it for 100%

So, I guess I just got to live with this minor imperfection for a while lah...

The clounds simply won't want to go away....ok, bygone la

Reached Riffelalp train station.

Ok, the time was 2.20 pm by then. This is truly an easy trail yet one of the most beautiful we had had so far.

In summary, this place is soooo...beautiful

Waiting for the train to come...

Here it comes...

Matterhorn as seen from the Zermatt village.

Since the time was still early, we decided to walk into the town again.

Restaurants are everywhere along the streets, but a bit too crowded at that time.

Rolex watch, too classic for my liking.

Giant sausage, too unhealthy for my liking too.

We were too tired to go into the Matterhorn Museum though...

One of the very expensive hotel in Zermatt center, can easily cost HKD 5K-6K per night.

This horse carriage probably was carrying the guests to one of the sumptuous hotels.

Really too many tourists in this small town...

Finally, we settled down at McDonald restaurant. Forever, they boys are so happy to munch the french fries and sip the coke, like these are the best food they had ever eaten

A souvenir he picked, paid by daddy. It's a key chain, with 2 crystal dices. He certainly had inherited my gene.

Vincent's souvenir. He picked this one because he can use it to store whatever that he wanted to bring home, for example, the ice of the glacier, the water from pond, the fresh air here....

While we were lazing in MD restaurant, suddenly, we saw the mountain goat on parade out there.

What a scene on this busy street. We have no idea what's the purpose for? Maybe just for demonstration.
Feeling tired but contented, we left Zermat at around 5 pm. We reached the hotel at Leukerbad somewhere around 6.30 pm, and instant noddle was our dinner that night. As expected, the boys welcome it whole heartedly.

Post Card -1

Post Card - 2

Post Card - 3

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Gargles said...

I didn't tell you these pics are so breathtakingly beautiful??!! I think I would faint if I were to see the place with my own eyes, as it's so unbelievable amazing by these pics only.

And yes, I love the pic that you liked, among all the rest which are oh so nice as well.

And you look very sweet in the pink jacket. Look stunning with the backdrop. These pics are priceless.

jessylee said...

yes, i can't believe my eyes too when I first saw this place, so so beautiful....

thx, i think the beautiful background had made me look stunning too.

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