An afternoon at Gornergrat… land of the glaciers and a good Matterhorn vantage point…

This must be why they called it the Monday blues … when you have a wet and grey start to another week … after a lovely and sunny weekend at the parents’! Haizzz … what a damper, huh?

Anyway, I was hoping to finish the entry on Gornergrat before we left for our weekend stay at the parents but just could not find the time to do so … so for those of you who have been waiting to see the pictures … my sincere apology for this late posting!  Hope the beautiful pictures that I will be sharing below will make up for my tardiness.

Just like yesterday at the parents … it was beautifully sunny up at Gornergrat on the first Sunday of December … despite the mist and the greyness down in Zermatt. The hubby and I have come to realise that here in Switzerland one can often escape the miserable greyness of winter down in the valleys by going up the mountains … well above the clouds. So we spent a very pleasant afternoon on that mountain top … chatting, having a small picnic and taking photos, of course! The kids for their part were enjoying themselves thoroughly playing with the snow … until their toes dropped off … oh dear!! Well … of course their toes were still firmly attached to their feet lah … but that was the claim the youngest of the four siblings made when the cold got a little too much for him!! hehehe … so cute! 🙂

We stayed at Gornergrat until it got nearly dark … before making our way down the mountain to Zermatt on the train. Since it was such a clear day … we managed to have a very good view of the surrounding mountains and glaciers! And the words I use cannot describe how splendid the scenery was up there … probably, snapshots will do a better at job at this!!! 

The beautiful view of the Matterhorn from the railway station at Gornegrat. The same train that we took to get up … seen here making its way down back to Zermatt. That Sunday was really a splendid day to be spending the afternoon on Gornergrat!!

The hubby helping to keep an eye on the little ones playing with the snow … so that I could have a nice chat with their mommy lah! hehehe …  This area is just beside the exit/entry of the railway station. Plenty of snow that afternoon for the little ones to play with!

The small café cum souvenir shop … where you can also find big lockers to leave your luggage and stuff (if you remember the photo of Gornergrat that I took with my family last June) … just next to where the train dropped off and picked up passengers. Since there were skiers and snow boarders coming down the slope, it was safer for the little ones to play nearer to it rather than in the middle of the slope.

Another view of the same building. Since there were benches at the side of the building … we sat there for our picnic!

A snapshot with my long lost uni friend … against gorgeous background!!

A beautiful view of mist covering the lower region … just after the protective railings erected to prevent visitors from approaching too close to the edge of the mountain slope.

Gornergletscher on the left … and the much smaller Monte Rosa Glacier flowing from Switzerland’s highest peak, that of Dufourspitze on the right (not the peak in the middle, called Nordend in German and some 33 metres lower, but the one immediately to its right). Monte Rosa, which is the name of the mountain, is the second highest mountain range in the Alps after Mont-Blanc (France).

The slumping mass of Grenzgletscher to the right of Monte Rosa is clearly visible on this photograph.There are several glaciers that could be seen from here … if one cares to look and read the display board which shows a picture of the mountains and the glaciers  found in the area!

A place we would like to stay at … if we manage to reach it! This alpine shelter, called Mont Rose CAS, belongs to the Swiss Alpine Club (CAS, in French). As you can see from the photos, it is not small (it can accommodate 120 mountain climbers) … but I would challenge anybody to spot it on the picture of Grenzgletscher above. The hubby had to use his zoom to the maximum and take several snapshots before getting a decent result (owing to the lack of a tripod) … so this should give you an idea of the scale!  The picture on the right is that of the display board explaining the recent building of this new, high-tech shelter, which replaced a shelter initially built in 1894-95 and then replaced in 1939-40.

Once the little ones had played enough in the snow, we decided to make our way up to 3100 Kulmhotel and observatory so that my friend and her family could check out the view from there.

The view of Gornergletscher on the right … as we walked up the slope to take the lift up to the hotel and observatory … with a beautiful moon making its present on the blue sky in the late afternoon.

Close up of the moon high above the glaciers.

The café cum souvenir shop next to the train station … as  seen from above. The Matterhorn unfortunately was covered by clouds at this time.

A little chapel at the top of Gornergrat, next to the hotel and observatory.

Having our group shot taken by the hubby just outside of the entrance to the hotel and observatory (which also houses several souvenir shops).  Unfortunately, since it was a Sunday … all the shops in the hotel were closed … much to our dismay!!  So … we decided to do the next best thing …

… we went to the self-service restaurant on the first floor to have something hot to drink, instead! However, playing at such a high altitude and in the cold had taken its toll on the children … who were left exhausted. So, after having hot chocolate and croissants … they were ready for a nap! But they did not protest when we woke them up when its time to go back down! The hubby and I were very impressed with how well-behaved they were!!

Another group shot in the evening before making our way down to the train station. One can choose to either walk down the slope to the train station … or … take the lift (right picture).  We, of course, chose the lift! hehehe … 🙂

It was time to go back … because as you can see … besides us and a few other visitors, there was hardly anybody left on that peak by the time we were ready to go back down to Zermatt!!

What a pity … errr … for those who had left early lah! Because the view from Gornergrat … of the mountains and the glaciers that surround it … was simply breathtaking at sunset!

The glacier flowing beside the slope of Gornergrat as seen from near the hotel … as we made our way down.

And the moon rising above the glaciers of Gorner, Monte Rosa and Grenz … as the sun was setting.

The beautiful colours of the evening sky at sunset in Gornergrat.

The little ones decided to enjoy the snow for one last time under the watchful eye of the hubby … while waiting for the train to arrive … even though the temperature had dropped to the minus by this time!

But … unknown to them … a pleasant surprise awaited the little ones in Zermatt the next morning. It started snowing in Zermatt and they got to play with snow for one last time … on the balcony of their rented flat!!! Yeayyyy … lucky them!! 🙂

The Gornergrat Bahn finally arrived to bring us down back to Zermatt.

But before leaving … I could not resist taking this last shot of the beautiful and scenic view of sunset on Gornergrat. Ahhh … hope to come again  … err … maybe for sunrise, next! hehehe …

The hubby told me that he had been wanting to do so for quite sometime now … to catch the sunrise while up on the mountain top … so maybe … we should put this as one of our new year resolutions for our holiday plan next year, what do you think??? 😉

Other entries related to Gornergrat on this blog:

Other entries related to glaciers:

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5 thoughts on “An afternoon at Gornergrat… land of the glaciers and a good Matterhorn vantage point…

  1. Pingback: Saddened by the inexorable death of these Alpine giants « à la mode de chez nous

  2. Hello, nice to hear from Vienna. Thanks for writing and letting me know that you love the photos! Much appreciate!!

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  3. You are most welcome my dear … and it was our pleasure to spend the lovely afternoon with you and your lovely family. We also hope that you’ll be back!! 😉

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  4. Wow!!! What can I say except wow! Thanks for the update…Very nice indeed to have our trip immortalised by U…Hope to be back up there again in the near future…Thanks CT & Hubby for the memories… :)))

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