The photos from our stay in Zermatt are ready. Unfortunately, the Glacier Paradise lifts were closed for maintenance while we were there, but we did take the Gornergrat train, and photos from that journey are included. Click the image below to see the full album.
Breakfast at the Youth Hostel surpassed the low expectations set by the previous day’s unappetizing dinner. Descending into town, Raul procured nourishment from the budget-friendly grocery store, Coop, while Lauren set forth to purchase their train tickets to Gornergrat.
From the 10,270 ft viewpoint, they enjoyed a sweeping Alpine panorama, including the Matterhorn, a half-dozen glaciers, and many more peaks as high or higher than they were. It was immediately apparent that the air was much thinner at this altitude, so they took things slowly. Also immediately apparent as they stepped off the train were two giant dogs. They were St. Bernards complete with brandy barrels around their necks. Raul did not ask if he could have a taste. Evidently Lauren had no idea what the barrels were for and did not believe Raul’s precise explanation.
Before oxygen deprivation could take its toll, they boarded a train bound for Zermatt and got off at the penultimate stop. From here, Raul and Lauren hiked a couple hours downhill into town.
Back at the hostel, a break was in order, after which they explored three of Zermatt’s grocery stores. They still haven’t found a good selection of bar soap. It seems likely that the Swiss prefer liquid soap. Similar to Pontresina, a number of Zermatt’s restaurants are closed until June, including two recommended by their guidebook. They walked along the main drag and dined on fondue at a quieter establishment just off the road.
In contrast to the planned itinerary below, Raul and Lauren are leaving for Lausanne in the morning.
|Day 14||Tuesday 29 May||Lausanne|
Hiking routes PDF map
Underground funicular from Zermatt to Sunnegga, S₣12 round-trip, every 10-20 minutes
|08:38||Hike to Blauherd and back, eat along the way if possible|
|12:30||Descend from Sunnegga to Zermatt|
Train to Gornergrat, S₣20, sit on the right side, every hour
Depart Gornergrat to Rotenboden, ~S₣4,50
|15:36||Hike to Riffelberg|
Depart Riffleberg to Zermatt, S₣14,50
Depart Zermatt platform 3 on R 264 to Visp
Total duration: 3h 02m
|19:23||Arrive Visp, transfer to platform 4/5 on IR 1438|
Check in at Lausanne Guesthouse, S₣106/night double, or S₣76,80/night dorm (3 nights), no breakfast, free Wi-Fi
Tel: +41 021-601-8000
Don Quixote and Sancho sallied forth this morning to St. Moritz from Samedan, intent upon finding adventure and honor on the Glacier Express bound for Zermatt. The trip would take a long eight hours and would deposit them in the town nearest the Matterhorn, that famous craggy peak.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The adventurers surely could not depart on an empty stomach. They enjoyed a delicious breakfast of cereals, yogurt, cold cuts, cheese, jams, and breads–typical of what they normally partake of and of excellent quality. This was yet another way in which Hotel Palazzo Mysanus exceeded all others so far.
Raul and Lauren’s railway journey was long but immensely more comfortable than by plane. The travellers opted to upgrade from second to first class due to the length of the trip. Also for the first time, they had a proper meal on a train.
The Glacier Express slowly (sometimes, at 20 m.p.h.) carried its passengers over countless bridges and viaducts, through dozens of tunnels, often perched on the edge of gorges and canyons, and over high mountain passes using a rack and pinion engine and track to overcome 12.5% grades. The terrain varied from the green, Alpine meadows of the Engadine valleys to the barren tundra above the tree line to boulder-lined landscapes reminiscent of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The views were fantastic and endless. Lauren took a nap after lunch, not because she wanted to but because the Dramamine and the gentle rocking of the train made her drowsy.
Once in Zermatt, they checked into their room at the Youth Hostel and dined on the included dinner, which was barely mediocre. They do not plan to partake tomorrow.
A stroll through the traffic-free lanes of Zermatt was all they had time for before calling it a night.
|Day 13||Monday 28 May||Zermatt|
Depart Pontresina on R 4624 to St. Moritz
|08:08||Arrive St. Moritz|
Depart St. Moritz on D 905, S₣33 seat reservation – Glacier Express, upgrade to 1st class, S₣96
Duration: 7h 45m
|12:30||Three-course lunch on Glacier Express, S₣43, 11:00-13:30|
Check in at Zermatt Youth Hostel, S₣114,20/night (1-2 nights), includes breakfast & dinner
Tel: +41 027-967-2320
|17:30||▲Wander the Town or ▲▲Matterhorn Museum, closes at 18:00|