Hey you there!
So here is half of the story about how my buddy and I went to see the Matterhorn. I will cut it in half, cause it’s too much to tell at once 😉 But, as promised – it will be super exciting story. This part is about how we got to Zermatt and our first day of hiking, which was called the 5 lakes. We, of course, took the map from the Zermatt touristic website and I had my internet device on at all times, but we also took a map. Just in case 😉 The route is 9.3 km with elevation of around 400 m and an estimate time of around 5 hours. So not so easy, but totally doable!
We took the train, of course, from Chur to Zermatt – lovely 5 hours, where we changed 3 different trains… I know, but that’s how it works here in Switzerland. And it is super cool! You get to see everything, it is always comfortable, nice and very relaxing. I love traveling with the train – always a good idea 😉
The moment we got there, I found the address for the hostel and started the navigation. A second later I looked to the right and there it was! The amazing Matterhorn! Just standing there… It was so sunny that I couldn’t believe my eyes. Just amazing! I can’t really describe it! You must see it for yourself. I was so excited that I started jumping around from happiness. My buddy was excited too.
We got to the hostel, which I am not going to describe for you. As a matter of fact I will skip this whole experience from this shitty hostel. I found it tolerant, but my buddy was super angry about it. So let’s skip it! My advice – go to a hotel! Much better 😉
So we left our luggage, put the hiking shoes on, grab the food and off we went to the most amazing lift/gondola experience ever! They actually call it funicular. I was both excited and terrified at the same time! 😀 I didn’t make a photo, but I found one online, so check out the Gallery. I will make free advertisement, just for the sake of telling where we actually went, because in Zermatt there are a lot of lifts, funiculars and gondolas that you can take. We took the one from Zermatt to Sunnegga and then Sunnegga to Blauherd.
But let me explain to you what it was … It was this small lovely train looking-like vehicle that goes up and down the mountain with speed of 12 m/sec and an inclination of 63%, plus a length of 1,5 km. It is actually inside the mountain! The tunnel is super small and you can’t really see the end of it. Funny thing is that the train looks like a caterpillar – super cute and funny. So obviously, we went to the very first part of it and an old couple with this lovely German-Shepard entered with us. I just melted when I saw the dog. Started petting it … So cute! But then the funicular started moving and I grabbed immediately the handle next to me, cause my self-preservation instincts kicked in. My buddy was both laughing and calming me down … Such a lovely person! (This is a test, to see if you are reading this :P)
Few minutes later there we were! And we actually managed to get lost for a moment … So we went out of the funicular and the lovely couple told us where to go, but being amazed and all, we went down to the first lake we saw. The view … OMG! I don’t like this phrase, but let’s be honest – I can’t describe it in another way. I took out my camera and started a photography session. My buddy remembered that we should get the next gondola to Blauherd. So we ran back to the station and got on the first available gondola. You are going to read this phrase a lot from now on: It was amazing! I know, but really it WAS AMAZING! And of course – you need to experience it yourself, just so you can fully understand what I am talking about. 😉
The photography session continued, now it was about having the best picture possible of the two of us with the Matterhorn, which was standing right behind us – on the other side of the valley in which Zermatt was situated, through the not so clear gondola window. Funny! I have only put my own pictures in the Gallery, so feel free to comment 😉 At some point I realized that I either need to make only pictures from one place or actually enjoy it all and take it all in. So naturally I did the second option, but my buddy and I made a pact to stop every once in a while, just for photo sessions. The other time, we reserved for memory preservation and absolute absorption of everything and everyone around us. In other words – we decided to enjoy it and remember it, rather than put it into a frame.
Anyways, we got to Blauherd, I put the camera in my bag and we started hiking. The path leads forwards from the gondola station – easy hiking and the terrain around is a bit rocky. So it’s good that we had good shoes … More or less. Don’t ask about that! 😀
First lake is called Stellisee. I know now why it’s called like this. It is because in a way it is kind of hidden and the ground around is elevated a bit, so it makes it look like a small crater. And the valley around is surrounded by a glacier. Small, but quite amazing. The valley was quite big, so it would have taken us at least an hour until we go to the glacier. In the distance there was this lovely house, right before the glacier and from that far away it looked like a hotel, rather than a mountain hut. We even saw a car driving towards it. The view with the house and the lake and Matterhorn just on the other side – let me say it again – just amazing! 😀 I know – I will stop writing it 😉 If there is something you need to remember from this story is that it WAS AMAZING! That’s it! I am done writing it! I promise!
Moving on … my buddy was brave enough to take her shoes off and go inside the lake. I wasn’t that brave, because the water was extremely cold to my taste. I mean, we were 2 537 m above sea level! Obviously, this small amount of water can never truly be warm, even though we were there in the middle of August. I just touched it and that was it for me. Quite refreshing, but cold …
So the next lake was down the hill and it is called Grindjisee. This in my opinion was the cutest one. Again – Matterhorn on one side and the other the valley. This lake is at 2 334 m above sea level, so in order to get to it, you need to hike downwards. There are two options – one on the road that connects both the funicular and the gondola station and many choose that one, because it is easier to walk on. But there is another path that you basically go towards Matterhorn and then you go down the mountain side and you actually approach the lake from the lower part. We made couple of picture from the top, as if you are jumping on it. There was this little rock that if you look down, you are right above the lake. However, jumping is not advisable, since it’s at least 100 m straight down and the lake is not really deep. 😀
Let me tell you why is this one the cutest one. Well, it’s because around it there are a bunch of trees – it feels like one of those Canadian lakes, where you have the forest around and this small lake right in the middle of it. Really nice. There were some people swimming in it. Crazy! No, no, no this one was actually not that cold. I wanted to take off my shoes, but this one was deeper than the previous one and I would have gotten my pants wet, if I had gone in it. So I said – in the next one I am swimming! If it is warm enough…
The next lake we saw it’s called Grünsee (the green lake). Now this one has a very suitable name, because it was all green! 😀 Very nice light green color. But here is how we got to it. This one is at 2 300 m, but you need to hike up a bit and then continue forward and you go a bit lower. So from Grindjisee we went up towards the Stellisee on the road I told you about and in about 20 m after Grindjisee is the sign to go right and still upwards towards Grünsee. It is another road, to be honest, just coming from the other side. In this part basically the two mountain ranges start on one side you have the peak called Unterhorn and on the other is Ritzengrat.
The lake is actually a bit above the road, so you take a path to the left and in 100 m you reach the green lake. In this one I put my feet and guess what?! There were these cute super small and tiny fishes that immediately came to eat me. Don’t worry! They only eat dead skin … so it’s actually super ticklish and weird. I have tried before this treatment with that kind of fish in Malta, where you put your feet in this large aquarium and they eat off your dead skin. Well, this is kind of the same. But since I don’t really like fish touching me, which is why I don’t really like lakes as well, so I had this weird feeling and I wanted to go out. Have to say that the temperature was quite ok. This one was not that cold and again there were swimmers in it.
The next lake is called Moosjisee and it lies at 2 140 m above sea level. So from Grünsee you go down and towards the Sunnegga funicular station. The path is quite nice. From the lakes above Moosjisee water comes down and it creates this concavity of the ranges and the path goes from one side to the other of the water. The water, by the way, has created these small waterfalls and you get to cross this lovely bridge that leads you to the other side. A few meters down and you are at the lake. Overall, the nature at this place is rather scares and there are a few trees, but many bushes and it’s rather rocky terrain, than a forest. After all, we are at 2 000 m above sea level.
The Moosjisee is super small, but you still can see the Matterhorn from it and obviously we stopped to take pictures. In this one though nobody can swim. This is where the two stations are being provided with water. It looked quite deep, but super clean. At one side it was even fenced.
The next lake and the final one is called Leisesee (the quiet lake). This one is at 2 232 m above sea level and it is the first lake we saw. Remember, the one that made us forget that we need to continue with the gondola to the next station. The path from Moosjisee to Leisesee is quite steep and since it was already late afternoon, we needed to hurry up a bit. My asthma activated itself, telling me that I should slow down, but I really didn’t want to go down the whole mountain afterwards from the Sunnegga station. So we really hurried up, but no chance. By the time we reached Leisesee, the last funicular downwards had already departed. Fun fact: there were campers at that lake.
The Quiet lake was actually really nice. We took our shoes off again and this time – no fish, but there were really weird algae in it. So again – pictures with the Matterhorn, a bit of a rest and we started our way down the mountain. As far as I remember it was already around 16:00, so we have missed the last funicular by 5 minutes or so. But anyway, my buddy and I love adventures, so we didn’t really have any problem going downwards.
Scratch that! The path downwards all the way to Zermatt was through a forest. The path itself became steep at times and that is always hard to hike downwards, so it took us a while. I think around 19:00 we were in Zermatt. We really hurried up, because we needed to check-in at the crappy hostel.
But anyways, this is what I can tell you about the first day of adventures in Zermatt, visiting the amazing Matterhorn! Ups, I wrote amazing … 😀
See you for the rest of the story! Perhaps tomorrow, perhaps some time this week! Have a good one folks!