Thursday, 3 September 2015

EN: Hiking with Children near Matterhorn (Zermatt, Switzerland)

Further Matterhorn photos at the end of the blog post.

Matterhorn is said to be the world's most photographed mountain and that is understandable for its unique shape. Since a few weeks back not only my wife, but also our boys and I have had the chance to experience it live - so far down south in Switzerland that you have Italy on the other side of the ridge.

At the time, my wife was in the middle of peak season at her job, but thanks to some re-planning we managed to get away on a weekend trip to a sunny Zermatt and for that we will be grateful for many years. Thirty kilometres of hiking over two days was what we achieved - undoubtedly a new family record. Our sons were walking at such a high pace that we repeatedly passed by groups exclusively made up of adult participants.

Our Hiking Routes 

The mountain restaurant at Sunegga came to serve as both starting-point and goal for us. On the first day we took the steep slope up to Blauherd and then walked back in a long loop via Tufteralp. On day two we went up to Blauherd with the lift and then followed the very varied "Five Lakes Walk" (5-Seenweg).

Our hikes offered some surprises like left-over snow, in which our sons played for a while but, afterwards, when we asked them what they liked best with Zermatt, they both replied: the photo opportunities! Just like my wife and me, they were excited to run around with smart-phones and i-pads in their hands, eager to capture beautiful views and reflections of the Matterhorn. And suddenly there were not any longer only two but four of us who helped out increasing the number of images of this mountain on social media...

Exercise in "Wallis-German"

Zermatt is located in the German-speaking part of the canton of Valais (Wallis in German) and that ought to have given me a unique opportunity for Schwyzerdütsch language practice, because according to the Swiss this is the most complicated of their dialects. Maybe we just happened to meet people who adapted when they spoke to us, but we did not experience that understanding them was a lot more difficult than at home in Zurich.

To wrap up, if our trip revealed something to improve for next time? Yes, we all managed to get burned in the strong sun in the Alps, and that we can certainly do without! ;)

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Further Tips if You Plan to Go to Zermatt

An important tip in case you are not bringing your own food is to plan your hikes with the mountain restaurants in mind, because just a few of them are open in the summer. For our children the lunches were in fact another highlight of the weekend: schnitzel with french fries, two days in a row. 

Go to Zermatt by Train. The journey from Zurich to Zermatt takes just over three hours by train and goes via Bern. We consider this to be the best option since you are not allowed to bring your car into this picturesque little town.

We had our Saturday dinner at the restaurant Chez Gaby and were all very content. Our accommodation was at the Hotel Alpina which is not fancy, but thanks to the familiar staff, comfortable beds and rich breakfast offer, we will gladly return, when the time comes for our next trip to the Matterhorn.

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Together with our children we have previously gone hiking at Engelberg, Flumserberg and Toggenburg.

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Please, check out my account on Instagram.

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Svensk version

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