Our wonderful train ride up the mountain on the Gornergrat Bahn, followed by a relaxing afternoon tea with the most spectacular views from the sun-drenched terrace, was memorable enough (see here and here for previous posts). However the icing on the cake was the breathtaking views that greeted us from the summit viewing platform a little further up the hill from the Kulm Hotel.
The signs tell you in great detail what the various landmarks are, though it was a bit difficult to work out which mountain was which – snow capped peaks in all directions, blue skies and hardly a cloud in sight. As well as the Matterhorn, you gaze out towards Italy and the Dufourspitze (the Swiss side of Monte Rosa, the 2nd highest peak in the Alps after Mont Blanc), look across to the Weisshorn that towers above Randa and see the Gorner Glacier at close quarters.
The viewing area was quite crowded when we first got up there but it gradually cleared and for a while we had the place to ourselves. The air is so crisp and pure up here – it truly was a surreal experience.
We stopped to look at the pretty little chapel on the way back down to the station – no doubt used by intrepid climbers saying a last prayer before setting out to conquer another mountain!
Another option from Zermatt is to take the series of cable cars that transport you up to the Klein Matterhorn (at 3883 metres the highest cable car station in Europe). From here all sorts of adventurous options await – the area is dubbed the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise. With Monsieur being no fan of cable cars and Mlle not feeling too well up at altitude, this wasn’t an option for us. The trip on the Gornergrat train though is highly recommended especially on a clear day!
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