Today is Day 3 of the Write Tribe Festival of Words and the prompt today is to Feature a map and write about a place either real or virtual.
Snuggled up in the snow, at the foot of the Matterhorn – one of the deadliest peaks in the Alps and the most photographed mountain in the world, lies a cozy little mountain village that is a dream destination for many, myself included— one that I had the good fortune to visit, many years ago! Zermatt is famed as a mountaineering and ski resort of the Swiss Alps. Its’ location at the foot of the Matterhorn and in the middle of an enormous hiking and ski region makes it one of the world’s most attractive vacation villages in the world.
The region is legendary amongst mountaineers: There are several challenging international routes meant for serious trekkers and climbers that take several days to complete. But, non-climbers need not despair. There are plenty of walking trails that can guide them on climbing through the mountainscape of Zermatt and enjoy the experience of spending some very memorable moments in one of the most picturesque places on this planet!
Apart from exceptional and awe-inspiring natural beauty of the region, Zermatt also stands out for being a car-free zone, as only electric cars have been allowed here since 1947! So, walking, cycling, mountaineering and high-Alpine tours are some of the popular activities that can be undertaken in this region. The cog railway operates between Zermatt and the 3089-metre-high Gornergrat (pic below), which offers some of the most spectacular views of the Matterhorn, the glaciers and the Monte Rosa masiff.
If you fancy a ride of a lifetime, then do not miss the highly recommended train ride aboard the Glacier Express— a train that goes through the Alps and connects Zermatt with St. Moritz, revealing some of the most breathtaking views any tourist could wish for!
The cableway, at a height of 12,000 feet, also offers a fascinating panoramic vista of the Matterhorn and the summits of the Swiss, Italian and French Alps. The Glacier Palace can be admired 15 meters beneath the ice surface. Tourists throng Zermatt from all over the world in an attempt to not only to ski, but also to walk the mountains during summer and fall. Young and old, they reach for the sky and the highest peak possible.
Zermatt bears a mix of old history and modern tourism. A visit to Matterhorn Museum under the glass dome of the former casino opens the world of old Zermatt — of the poor farmer’s village. It houses the items of equipment used during the first ascent of the Matterhorn in 1865 which ended tragically. The Mountaineer’s Cemetery is a moving reminder of the accidents that have occurred in the mountains around Zermatt—a tranquil site and a memorial to all climbers who have lost their lives here!
The Gorner gorge seemed to me more like a hair-raising but unique experience, where a footpath across narrow bridges and steps and a fixed rope route guides visitors through a steep gorge.
I must confess I was happy to give this one a miss and instead settled for a walk through the village of Findeln – which is an original Valais settlement with a small chapel that shows you some of the most quaint houses of the region, complete with bright flowers hanging from their windows – a scene almost straight out of a picture postcard!
A trip to Zermatt can best be summed up as a dream,— one that needs to be experienced. I can assure you no travel brochure can ever do justice to what you see and experience with your naked eyes.
Fortunately, throughout our stay, we had glorious weather, as we enjoyed the sun and breathed the crystal-clear air, against the backdrop of a breathtaking mountain panorama. It was an amazing experience to treat ourselves to the culinary highlights in some of the finest mountain restaurants and experience an idyll at the heart of nature, leaving us with memories to cherish forever.
Every amazing trip helps us to relive our moments multiple times over. For me, this was one of those. Which was that one memorable trip YOU had last time, that you cherish forever?And what did you cherish most about the trip? Do share your thoughts in the comments below.
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