- Lyndell Daniel
SWITZERLAND - Zermatt
We started our road trip to Zermatt, planning on a recommended stop at Blausee Lake (literally meaning Blue Lake). The drive was an easy 3-hour trip to Zermatt, but it took us a bit longer with the stop at the lake. Blausee Lake, in the Bern region of Switzerland, hosts beautiful clear blue water filled with trout. Entry is 7 francs, which includes a ride on the rowboat.
Even though we had read about the car trains, we were surprised when we reached a section of the road with a toll, and then realised we had to enter the car train. At a cost of 57 francs we drove our car onto the train and rode through the black tunnel for about 30 minutes. A total first for us!!!
Zermatt is also a car free town, so we left our car at the Matterhorn carpark, which is attached to the train station in Täsch. After a 20-minute ride up the mountain we had arrived in an extremely busy Zermatt. I was shocked with how many people were wandering the streets when we arrived. We had a 5-minute walk downhill to our lovely accommodation at Solebad Arca Hotel. Again, we experienced fantastic hospitality, lovely rooms and superb breakfast. Whilst Zermatt is car free, there are heaps of electric cars/taxis from the accommodation places buzzing around.
We decided to have an early morning Paraglide from the Matterhorn - there are no words to describe the magic of running, leaving the mountain and soaring around the mountains. We were lucky with the winds and we managed to stay gliding for about 30 minutes before our descent into Zermatt. Because there’s no fun in making a nice easy landing, we made sure we did a few roller coaster turns above Zermatt before landing. Due to the winds, we ended up having to do a “legs up, sliding bum landing”.
The same afternoon, we hired some downhill mountain bikes (not cheap 80 francs each) and road down from the top of the Rothorn. This is not a ride for everyone, in fact you need experience. The top is open but very rocky with loose gravel; about ¼ way into your descent, this changes to a 30cm wide track with loose gravel and rocks (some very tricky parts to negotiate). Unfortunately, I did come off on one of the lower sections, somersaulted down the side of the hill, picked my wounded pride back up and rode down further for a lovely late afternoon lunch stop at the restaurant half way down the hill, with spectacular views of the Matterhorn.
Zermatt has a great shopping area, many restaurants and a coop (supermarket). There are heaps of things to do, including biking and hiking. We ran out of time, so couldn’t get to the Gornergrat – next time :) Our next stop St. Moritz.
Blausee Lake in the Bern region of Switzerland. The water is so crystal clear and a lovely shade of blue
The trout in the lake. You see many of the children feeding the trout around the lake.
The rowboat ride that is free with admission
This little guy stayed around for ages - seemed to know I wanted a photo of him.
Our arrival into Zermatt - the main street through town.
Zermatt from the base of the Rothorn.
One of the views on our way down the Rothorn.
We encountered some sheep at the first stage of our downhill descent of the Rothorn.
Fantastic views all the way down the Rothorn.
The view from the restaurant that is located towards the bottom of the Rothorn. Wonderful views and delicious food.
The Matterhorn as seen from our window.