Switzerland - Gornergrat in Zermatt
Updated: Aug 31, 2020
We have travelled around the world - but we have not travelled to some places where the whole world travels to. One of these places is the Gornergrat in Zermatt. Nearly all travellers say that one has to visit this special place once. It was somehow on our bucket list, but definitely not in summer when you probably tramp on the tourists. We wanted to go there in off season when it is less crowded and cheaper.
When Markus had to work on a project at the entrance of the Mattertal, the valley that leads to Zermatt, by the end of october, we checked the weatherforecast and it was a quick decision. We could organise the work on a friday, we booked a hotel room for a night and I (Nina) came with Markus. Basically, it is not a really long drive from our home. It took us about 40 minutes to reach Kandersteg by car. There, you drive with you vehicle on the train and in 12 minutes you reach Goppenstein through the Lötschberg Tunnel. There, you can
leave the train again. It was another 40 minutes drive to Stalden, the village where 2 famous valleys start: one reaching Saas Fee, the other one reaching Zermatt. Markus stayed there for work and I quickly jumped on a local bus which went up the hill to Törbel. This is a typical valesian village pleasantly situated on a sunny mountain terrasse with perfect views. It is definitely off the beaten pass. And as it was the last weekend of october, there was literally no-one. In the morning thick clouds were still sticking on the mountain slopes. But the weather forecast was good and it was supposed to be sunny by midday. So I started my easy hike up through some beautiful autumn forest. To be honest, it was a bit spooky. The clouds covering the trees, a forest path, no people and I just could hear my own breath. Beautiful, mysterious, wonderful and spooky. After 2 hours hiking a reached a nice lake. Another 40 minutes later I was on Moosalp, a small ski ressort in winter and a hiking destination in summer. It was still cloudy a really windy. I sat down to enjoy the peace but I was frozen after a while. Luckily, the restaurant had opened. I was one of 5 guests. The tea warmed me up and by the time I had finished my little break, the sun was out offering be superbe views - a some much needed warmth. So I slowly started my descend back to
Stalden on a different route. It was wonderful - nice views over the coulourful mountains. Autumns are not my favourite time of the year - too humid, too foggy. But like this, it is wonderful. By the time I was back in Stalden I could wear a T-Shirt only. Markus finished his work and in the late afternoon we drove to our accomodation in Saas Grund. The reason we stayed there was simply that it was a cheap accomodation with a clean, pleasant room and a nice pizza restaurant nearby. Perfect for one night.
Next morning we got up early, enjoyed our self made breakfast in the room and drove up to Täsch. There we had to leave the car an hop and a shuttle train to Zermatt. No cars are allowed in Zermatt. The weather was at its best: cold, but crystal clear air, sunshine and blue skies. And it was off season. No better timing possible for our trip to one of the most popular tourist places in Switzerland. The train up to Gornergrat was full - but it was ok. No big groups, just individual tourists from all over the world. It is a nice and quick drive up to Gornergrat. In 30 minutes you reach the top. And what a view! .......... Just look at the pictures. We have no words to descrobe this view. Even the pictures just cannot do it any justice. It is pure mountain beauty at its best. Ah well, and I forgot, there is the Matterhorn as well! But the mountains around are at least equally beautiful!!!!
We stayed 2 hours up on the Gornergrat. We enjoyed a nice hot coffee (we had brought picnic, as vegan options are simply not existing in swiss mountain restaurants) and just took in the scenery. Well, sometimes it is for a reason why a lot of people travel to a place. We have to admit that the Gornergrat is something one must see ince in a life.
To safe some money and to enjoy more of this perfect mountain range, we decided to walk back to Zermatt all the way. It is about 1500 metres of altitude going down. So, it is quite a bit. We took it slowly, taking many pictures. Especially this famous pic at Riffelsee. Who has not seen one on Instagram yet? It was a super nice hike passing by Planalp. By sunset we finally reached Zermatt. From there it was time to head back home. What a short break and what a perfect day!