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17 bis 18 September 2021

Updated: Sep 22, 2021

17 bis 18 September 2021

Yesterday we left Lausanne for Zermatt with a change in trains at Visp

The first half of the trip took us through the countryside dominated with vineyards. This was through a broad valley, but it is not at all flat. The hillsides have been terraced and are intensively farmed. We changed trains in Visp and headed North and deep into the Alps.

First a note on the trains. All the ones we have taken with the exception of the one to Rothorn are electric. The long distance trains are generally quite long, heavily used, and a joy to ride. They move along at a high speed and are comfortable. In contrast, the trains that have taken us to high elevations with steep inclines are still electric, but much smaller in length. These excursion trains are narrow gauge trains and, as an assist to navigate the steep inclines, have a cogwheel drive. These are a slower and the ride is noticeably different. When we transferred to the train in Visp, this was one of the longer long distant trains, but was a narrow gauge and had the cogwheel drive. As we went through the countryside, we were going at a high speed and with a lot more side to side motion. As we got deeper into the Alps and the incline increased, we would slow down, feel the cog wheel engage,then accelerate.

Zermatt is an alpine town at the foot of the Matterhorn. It felt like a mixture of Vail, Whistler, and Aspen all rolled into one. While our hotel was nice, but not particularly upscale, we did have a heated swimming pool - under ground and lined with stainless steel, no less. One other unusual thing-no gas powered vehicles are allowed. Everything is electric. All the taxis and hotel courtesy vehicles are all built on the same chassis-significantly larger than a golf cart in the US

It didn’t take us long to settle in and start out sightseeing. It was a nice afternoon and we caught several glimpses of the iconic Matterhorn.

Next morning we woke up expecting another day of good weather for our trip to the Matterhorn. Imagine our disappointment when we were greeted with an overcast sky and heavy clouds. Incredibly, after breakfast, all cleared up and we had blue sky for our next leg to the Matterhorn

The view from up there was breathtaking-partly because we were at 10,000 feet

While we took the train up, we could have come by gondola. Also there were several hiking or riding mountain bikes.

Hope you enjoyed our visit to the Mat terhorn-tomorrow we are off to St. Moritz


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