The Matterhorn in Switzerland is one of the most photographed mountain in the world. At 4,478m tall, the Matterhorn is a massive, near symmetrical and triangular mountain in the Alps.
This top sight definitely warranted an in-depth exploration, rather than just a cursory and perfunctory visit. Travel guide books will tell you that there are a variety of ways to enjoy the beauty of the Matterhorn.
So in 2017, we went to check it out from a few locations: Rothorn Paradise, Stellisee Lake and the Gornergrat summit.
We arrived at the Swiss town of Zermatt late in the evening. This was the place from where we explored the mountain. Our hotel offered a good view of the Matterhorn and we very clearly saw the mountain in the morning.
We also went all the way to the peak of Rothorn Paradise to catch the enchanting view of the Matterhorn. We saw some very impressive glaciers.
Later, we went down to Blauherd station and trekked our way up 2,537m to Stellisee Lake. The journey took about 20 minutes. We were lucky enough to see the mountain reflected on the lake’s still surface.
Our way back from Stellisee to Blauherd was arduous. It took us almost 40 minutes and my wife suffered from high altitude sickness. She was gasping for air and had a headache.
After her condition improved, we went to Gornergrat. The train service between the base and the summit stations were frequent, so we knew we could make a quick descent if she was unwell again. We had Swiss travel passes so we were entitled to a 50% discount on the fare.
The train travelled from Zermatt (1,620m) to Gornergrat (3,089m) in about 30 minutes. There are several stations in-between like Rotenboden (2,815m), where you can walk to the Riffelsee Lake.
The Gornergrat summit offers an unparalleled panoramic vista. We were surrounded by mountains and there are about 29 in total, all above 4,000m. Looming on the horizon was, of course, the Matterhorn.
There’s also a chapel on the Gornergrat called the Bernhard von Aosta, so we went in to light a candle. Then we went for tea and enjoyed the serenity and tranquillity of the surroundings. We spent a few hours there and were quite content that we had made the journey.
The next day, we boarded the Glacier Express from Zermatt to St Moritz, one of the world’s most panoramic train journeys. It was time to say goodbye to the Matterhorn.
Have we seen enough of the mountain? The Swiss say that’s not possible. We also learned that many trekkers take the multi-day trek circuit around the Matterhorn. It would be great to try but we need to build our physical fitness (and finance) first before we embark on that adventure.