As we had not done enough hiking (!?!?!!?), we thought it would be good to walk the final route into Zermatt that we would have taken had the last stage of the Europaweg not been closed. To get there we took the funicular up to Rothhorn. It was a lovely day with clear blue skies so we got a great look at all of the peaks. Part of the trip was in a ‘pirate ship’, thankfully it wasn’t in full pirate ship swing when we were on it.
It was a lovely walk down (aided by the lack of packs!) with a stop in at a very cool spot in Findeln – we opted for hot chocolates but I could see it being a great spot for a long lunch!
We were keen to utilise our multi pass while we had good weather so the afternoon was spent going up to view the Matterhorn from the Glacier Express. It was starting to get a few clouds gathering as we approached and we were totally amazed to arrive as it started to snow. The summer skiers were starting to make their way down but Karyn wasn’t put off going for a ride in a tube. I hadn’t seen that it was a bowl and so had a moment of wondering where she would end up – relieved as she rebounded back up the slope.
It was the last night ‘our hiking group’ were all in town so we all caught up for drinks and dinner. There were plenty of laughs with more things learnt about each other.
The next day we had more travel aids, this time the Gornergrat cog train. We decided to walk part of the trip down (we really are saddists) and were rewarded by happening onto the Schwing Festival in full swing. There were horn players with coordinated flag throwing, wrestling (think Swiss sumo) and folk music. Very colourful with a great atmosphere.
Our final journey for the day was another trip up the Glacier Express to hopefully get onto the viewing platform that had been closed the earlier day due to the snow. We’d left it too late to reach the final station but Karyn has since informed me what I missed – a large crucifix of course!
We managed to see the museum and the story of Edward Whymper’s ascent of the Matterhorn in 1865. It was a controversial ascent with there being accusations that a guide had cut the rope when another three of the party had fallen. An inquiry found no evidence this had been the case; implying the rope they were all attached to had cut under the strain.
It was a very teary farewell to Karyn. We’d had such a great trip, spending day and night together for nearly three weeks. Karyn had been the one who’d made the trip happen – organising things with our hiking agent, doing the pack lists and getting all of the necessary documents for the hike together. She had also been my motivator to get fit and ultimately make it up those mountains each and every day (not to mention applied the hike notes to get us there). Words will never convey my gratitude for the experience she has given me that I could never have realised on my own. I knew I had made a wonderful new friend.