Gornergrat, a viewing point at 3089m above sea level, is famous for its view of The Matterhorn, which is a mountain in the Pennine Alps on the border between Switzerland and Italy. The Matterhorn (in German) is also known as Mont Cervin in French and Mont Cervino in Italian.
To have a better view of Matterhorn, we were arranged to take the Gornergratbahn, or Gornergrat train, up to Gornergrat station from Zermatt, a charming car-free village with a lot of wooden old chalets. I will blog about Zermatt in a separate post ok?
We departed at 2pm and the train ride took about 30 minutes. The journey to Gornergrat was simply unforgettable and astonishing as we got to see different breathtaking scenery when the train ascended. There are several stops en route where visitors and skiers can get on and off along the way to explore. Each station has hotels and restaurants for visitors too.
I took many postcard-like photos during the train ride. Scroll down for more!
View of The Matterhorn and Zermatt town as the train ascend uphill.
To catch the Matterhorn view along the journey, please remember to get a seat on the right!
Alps still in green
As the train ascended, we noticed the change in the alps' leave color. Instead of pure green, we observed yellow and golden leave color, which had better contrast against the snowy mountain.
The view of Matterhorn was simply stunning! We were super lucky because it was a clear sunny day
Entering the tunnel and as you can see in the photos, snow was everywhere!
The beautiful Matterhorn! Couldn't believe that I was so near to it!
Riffelberg station, the second station, offers the nearest view of Matterhorn, right after the exit of the train station. Wow!
Getting up to higher level. Besides "SNOWY", "SURREAL" was another word to describe the scenery!
Matterhorn was getting smaller as we ascended
It disappeared for a while
And suddenly appeared, just like playing "Peek-a-boo"!
I was astounded at the scenic panoramas along the journey!
Looking at all the magnificent snow mountain, I felt that myself was just as small as a dust!
Being a popular ski resort in winter, many state of the art facilities such as ski cables are also available
Oh this beautiful white white world!
Rotenboden, the second last station. Approaching to our destination OMG! So excited to jump out from the train!
A lake on the snow mountains. It was beyond what BEAUTIFUL could describe
On the left was the train station and observatory building
This building comprises the observatory and the 3100 Kulmhotel
The train ticket. Matterhorn was finally a dream-come-true and no longer just the admiration on web photos ♪＼(*＾▽＾*)／
We were all well prepared (I wore two pairs of leggings and four layers of clothing) for the negative degrees but due to the direct sunshine, we totally felt like taking off the winter coat.
It was super difficult to snap a proper photo because the sun light was too bright and we couldn't even see the camera screen.
Super like this photo!
I just couldn't believe that I was stepping on a piece of unpolluted land on this earth!
Every corner had its own beauty
Close up of the snow mountain and can you see that there was a lake?
We were at 3093m sea level
Matterhorn and Gornergrat family photos!
Gornergrat not only offered gorgeous panoramic view of the surrounding mountains and Matterhorn, but also Gorner glacier
A small chapel with the snow mountain as backdrop.
Everyone was was rushing back to the train station but Wei Ying and I decided to take the lift and go to higher level. And our decision was RIGHT! The photos below will do the justice!
A restaurant that offered alfresco dining was also located within the Observatory building. I loved the wooden hut beside the restaurant.
Several mountains and glaciers also could be observed here!
Can you see Wei Ying in my sunglass?
Snow-capped mountains AAAALL around
The air up here was so clear and clean
Super thick and soft snow!
Climbing up further for greater view
We could see for miles because the sun was shining so brightly.
Behind me was another viewing point that looks directly at The Matterhorn and in the other direction to Monte Rosa.
Admiring the gorgeous Gorner Glacier
We were at the highest hotel in the Swiss Alps, The Kulm Hotel Gornergrat! Matterhorn became so small here!
Blue sky and pure white snow mountain was the best combination ever!
The Matterhorn (see the reflection on the glass), Gornergratbahn and myself in one photo.
Can you spot Wei Ying and me in this photo? Between, do you know that Gornergratbahn is the highest open-air cogwheel railway in Europe?
We were given free time to enjoy the great view or do chocolates and watches shopping in Zermatt until 7pm. All of us followed the tour manager to take the return train at 3.20pm but I decided to explore the scenery at another station, Riffelalp, instead of returning to Zermatt for shopping.
Beside Wei Ying, I also successfully convinced another two adventurous tour mates to go along ヽ(＾▽＾)人(＾▽＾)人(＾▽＾)人(＾▽＾)ﾉ
The railway track
Everyone was enjoying the scenic panoramas
Arriving at Riffelalp station and spotted a train coming up!
Riffelalp is lower at 2211 metres and is a good place for alpine meadow views. Actually my intention was to visit the lake which was famous for Matterhorn reflection. I read about this from a blog when I searched on Matterhorn, but I forgot which station to get off.
We asked the officer at the train station for direction to the lake but he told us that the bigger lake was at higher station. However, there was a smaller lake which was 10 minutes walk from the station. Without further hesitation, we fastened our pace to look for the lake.
But unfortunately we couldn't find the mentioned lake and after checking back the map, I confirmed that I read wrongly. The correct station to get off for the lake for Matterhorn reflection was Rotenboden. *Slap myself 100 times
Without the lake, I had Matterhorn with alps. Different kind of feeling compared to the white white snow world
Four adventurous explorers!
We had not enough time to return to Rotenboden station as we had our shopping to be done at Zermatt before the shop closed at 6.30pm.
Okay, to show you how beautiful the Riffelsee is, I goggled a photo for your reference.
This is the perfect Matterhorn reflection (Photo source from Wikipedia)
I just can't forgive myself for not reading properly! Okay, I may not be able to capture a photo like this as it does really depend on the weather. Too cloudy and I won't see the Matterhorn, very windy and I won't see reflections! Okay, this is the only way to comfort myself (∩︵∩)
The last photo taken on the train
Finally back to Zermatt and I was walking out from the Gornergratbahn station.
The Matterhorn is one of the most famous peaks in the world and is the best known landmark in Switzerland.
Even the famous chocolate TOBLERONE uses the mountain as its brand logo.
I would like to rate this Gornergrat excursion as a FIVE STAR attraction in Switzerland. It's a must-visit site for astounding view of snowy mountains and glaciers. Honestly, I have never had views like this in my life! It was the most heavenly experience!
Even the tour manager, who has visited Gornergrat for more than 20 times, also told us that he never get bored with this place as each visit had its own beauty depending on the season and weather.
If I were given a chance to revisit Switzerland, I will definitely revisit Gornergrat and stop by Riffelsee to admire the spectacular composition of the lake and Matterhorn.