Visiting the Matterhorn & Zermatt video in 4K (click on the picture to play)
On the train from Interlaken Ost (West) to Zermatt via Spiez, the Glacier Express route, it features nice and spacious carriages and great window views for all that gorgeous scenery on the way - all in all its about a three hour journey to Zermatt by train [oacsspl]
After arriving in Zermatt I board the legendary 'Gornergrat Bahn' the Matterhorn railway, just after departing Zermatt I snapped this view from the train window, Zermatt town below and the magnificent Matterhorn in the background!
Part of the mountain rack railway line that is The Gornergrat Bahn or 'The Matterhorn Railway', the railway takes passengers up to the summit of the Gornergrat which has amazing views of the Matterhorn and the Gorner Glacier as well as hotel and observatory
As the train climbs higher this part of the track is covered by a wooden shelter which gets covered in snowfall in the winter - as you can see this truck is built for all seasons
Arrival at summit and Gornergrat station. The Gornegrat Railway was the highest railway in Europe until the opening of the Jungfrau Railway in 1912 (which I have also travelled on in early 2000) and is now the second highest in Europe, this particular rolling stock was introduced in 1993
The impressive summit of Gornergrat, the Gornergrat railway station in the background and the Kulm Hotel (c.1897) - a hotel and twin observatory. When I first arrived up here I definitely felt a shortness of breath but you are at 3,120 metres above sea level so no surprise there! I soon adjusted to it though
The Gorner Glacier - 7.7 miles long!
After all that travelling you are rewarded with this constant view of the Matterhorn from the summit of Gornergrat! hikers and the curving train line of the Gornergrat Bahn in the bottom of this picture
Using my trusty and heavy zoom lens to capture this detail of the Matterhorn and its pyramidal peak, the four steep faces are some of the hardest to climb in the World and the hardest, the west face, was only completely climbed in 1962.
Hiking is well sign posted in the Monte Rosa, the eastern part of the Pennine Alps, of which I did some in the following photos
The triangular shape of the Matterhorn is said to have given Theodor Tobler his inspiration for the shape of Toblerone although his sons believe it came from a pyramid shape of some dancers in a show that Theodor once saw, nevertheless a silhouette of the Matterhorn does appear on the packaging (and this is probably the best advert I've ever seen for a chocolate bar!)
Monte Rosa Hut is a mountian hut located near Zermatt on the on the Monte Rosa massif, the eastern part of the Pennine Alps between Italy and Switzerland, there's been a stone hut at this spot since 1895, owned by the Swiss Alpine Club and this new new hi-tech environmentally friendly hut has replaced it in 2009
Starting my hike from Rotenboden railway station (one stop down from the summit station of Gornergrat at 2757m) I arrive at this beautiful spot with the Riffelsee alpine lake sitting at the bottom of the Riffelhorn mountain on the left and the Matterhorn in the distance!
The reflection of the Matterhorn in the Riffelsee alpine lake
Now which way am I going to go? the route to the left is about 30 mins longer then the one on the right to get to my destination of Riffelberg railway station... which one would you choose?
A Northern wheatear enjoying the Swiss mountainside
A Stemless Carline Thistle enjoying the sun in the mountains
On the hiking path and I pause for a photo of the Riffelhorn mountain and the Gorner Glacier in the background - lush!
Bruder Klaus (Riffelberg Chapel) c.1961, 2,590m
Saw this happy guy outside Hotel Riffelberg which is located right outside Riffelberg railway station which at 2,582m is not only the third highest station in Switzerland but Europe as well!
The Riffelberg Express mountain lifts which can take you all the way up from Zermatt to Gornergrat
Walking through the alpine town of Zermatt, just above the Raiffeisen bank is the charming classical alpine Swiss wooden facade of the Hotel Restaurant Derby
The Parish church of St. Mauritius c.1916, the glass building is the underground 'Matterhorn Museum' which contains a reconstituted mountain village consisting of 14 houses (church, hotel, huts and granaries) and exhibits the regional history & the mountaineers who climbed the Matterhorn
A Swiss barn constructed in the traditional style of larch timber spotted in the Old Village part of Zermatt
A book about the popular Swiss Marmots available in various languages - approx. 1,000 marmots live in the vicinity of the Matterhorn village alone!
The Swiss are up there with the Austrians when it comes to impressive window box flower displays!
The Alpenblick Hotel c.1928 is famous in town for being family run for more than 80 years
Information cabinet about the history of Alpenblick Hotel
Disused ski gondola within the grounds of the Alpenblick Hotel
Zermatt is a car-free zone and locals use these electric vehicles to get around
The crisp waters of the river Vispa runs right through town of Zermatt and in this photo of it you can see the Matterhorn in the distance
A last photo before I head off to take the train back to Interlaken - the river Vispa and Zermatt town