Toblerone Mountain Hike

Just got back from our Italy trip and it’s time to catch up with our blog (sounds almost like work ;)) – so let’s turn the time back a few days and read about our mountain adventure.

After a warm-up-hike on the mountain (actually hill is the better word) just “in front” of Kevin’s parent’s house, it was time to explore the real mountains. At the same time we wanted to use a hiking weekend to catch up with Kevin’s close friends again.

A train brought us thru Bern and Visp to Zermatt (altitude 1610 Meters) from there, the plan was to hike up about 800 meters to the Trift-Hut (2520 Meters ), stay there overnight and hike down again the next morning (have a look at http://goo.gl/maps/7ySpQ in google maps – scroll to the left for the Matterhorn). The weather was perfect for our journey which is never a given in autumn for Switzerland.

Zermatt seemed super touristy and the main road reminded us of Orchard road on a busy Saturday afternoon. Soon our climb started and the terrain became steep quite immediately. The highest “mountain” in Singapore is Bukit Timah (with a mind blowing height of 164 meters) the climb was something near to a Himalaya expedition for our Singaporean friend.

The first part led us mainly through a forest with limited view of the scenery. After a while we stopped at the Pension Edelweiss (http://www.edelweiss-zermatt.ch/) which offered a first clear view of Zermatt and the surrounding mountains. After refreshments we continued our hike up the valley along a small river for another two hours or so. The hike was very nice and it felt good to be in the nature and to feel the sun and windtouch your skin (okay, Hazel’s comments might be slightly different).

Hazel: I started off in high spirits, clean and fresh, long beautiful hair let loose. After the first 30 mins, I was panting and huffing on the steep slopes. Kevin’s friends were very patient with this slow coach. Halfway through to Edelweiss, I ditched my pants and changed into more practical shorts, tied my hair up, gave all the water, the camera and extra jackets to Kevin to carry. (Thanks Dear!) Slowly but surely we made it! The view was breathtaking! Looking down on Zermatt town, it’s amazing how high we were. It was worth every ache and pain in my body.

Once the Trift-Hut (http://www.zermatt.net/trift/de/) was reached we started to relax. A super cold mountain river in the late afternoon provided a perfect refresh for our tired legs. A beer and a hearty meal added to the typical alpine hut mood. Once the sun went down and the electric generator was turned off on the dot at 11pm. (Typical Swiss) Thousands of stars were suddenly lit across the sky. Even the Milky Way was easily visible.

After a good sleep and breakfast our group split up as we decided to take the shorter way back to Zermatt (where as the others were keen for “detour” via the Hoehenbalm). After about 150 meters of slight uphill walk a superb view of the Matterhorn opened up. The view was so perfect that it seemed like a postcard.  The downhill walk (heavy work out for the untrained knees) took about 2.5 hours we were rewarded with more excellent views of the nearby mountains. The fear of tripping and missing a step, tumbling down the mountain was always present.

As it was only about 1 pm when we reached Zermatt we spontaneously decided to make a side trip to Interlaken. We used the two hours train ride for resting our feet, reading and enjoying the landscape.

Interlaken, as the name already hints, lies between two lakes. The Lake of Brienz and the Lake of Thun to be precise. The latter we wanted to discover on the water and so after a stroll through the town we boarded the last boat of the day and enjoyed a two hours sunset cruise across the lake to Thun. We spotted the peak of Jungfrau hidden behind the desending mist. Many colourful daredevil paragliders dotted the skyline, enjoying the panorama of lakes and mountains around.

From there, the super punctual Swiss train brought us home again.

Stay tuned for our Italy entries – currently reviewing our pictures we took (might take a while… only 1800 pics to go through and sort out).

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