Day 58: Zermatt, Switzerland and the Matterhorn
Woke up early this morning to head up to see how close to the Matterhorn we could get. We needed to catch a “shuttle” (actually a train) up to the city of Zermatt. That’s the last village before heading up to the Matterhorn. You need a special permit to drive a car into the city so we needed to take the train. An extra 15 franks per adult.
Once we got to Zermatt we went to the tourist office to figure out how to get started hiking. You need to buy lift tickets to get up the mountain a ways. While we figured that out the kids Got to watch some locals bring their long haired goats through the village. Followed promptly by the street sweepers. The kids got a kick out of all of it.
After grabbing some tickets and maps at the tourist office we wove through the streets up towards the mountain where the lifts were. We took one up to around 7500ft to start our hike. Our plan was to see how close we could get to the basecamp of the Matterhorn keeping in mind that we have a whole slew of kids with us ranging in ages from 2-16. And the emotions that go along with those kids greatly vary as well.
The hike up was fairly moderate but to a 4 year old with small legs it was pretty technical. Bennett was scrambling up rocks left and right. (Most of which he could have gone around) He has turned out to be a great hiker. It’s fun to watch him. When he’s not scrambling up rocks he’s pretending to scramble by getting down on all four. He looked like a monkey going up the trail. We made pretty great time going up but decided to stop around 9000ft. Basecamp was still an hour or more away. We decided the group would enjoy heading back down to the tree line and doing a hike around there.
We had a quick lunch mostly standing up to avoid the giant ants on the ground where we decided to stop.
After lunch we did a quick hike in the trees. We went over a very high suspension bridge that swayed and bounced a lot. If your scared of heights it would bring you to tears. It in fact brought one unnamed child of ours to tears. They were terrified but still did it. We’re so proud of them!! The trail led to an awesome park with a zip line, climbing wall and other fun kid stuff. We stayed there for a while and then started back down the mountain. We needed to be back at camp at 4pm to avoid paying for another day and it was 3:15. We still needed to catch a tram , walk back through town, catch a train then drive back to camp. It was going to be cutting it close. We raced back through all our public transportation and made it back to camp at 4:01 and got to registration a little later. Pretty crazy. They were understanding at the campsite and were ok with us being a little late.
We packed up in a hurry and got on the road. We were planning on being in Venice Italy the next day but decided to break up some of the miles by leaving today and stopping halfway. The driving went well and we ended up at a campsite 70 miles outside of Milan near a lake. We took the scenic route that basically had a road tacked onto the mountain side. We really enjoyed all the scenery.