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Gornergratbahn

It was October some years ago when I got to work for a couple of weeks in Switzerland. We were staying in Visp and the people at the radio station we worked with told me there are some impressive glaciers and a palace from which I could see the Matterhorn.

On the way

So come weekend I put a warm jacket and took a train to Zermatt. It's a beautiful alpine town pretty much focused on people skiing. What else do they have there is the magnificent Gornergratbahn.

It is the highest open-air railway in Europe and the first electrical one in Switzerland - opened in 1898. It takes you to the year-round Zermatt viewing platform at 3131 meters above sea level. Well not just a platform, there is of course a restaurant, a hotel and Europe's highest shopping mall - although in my opinion that's not as much a shopping mall as a series of gift shops. But all that doesn't really matters because of what you get to see from there.

First of course is the Matterhorn. I have to admit I have taken countless pictures, and it still didn't feel like it was enough. And Matterhorn is not the only peak you can admire. There are actually 29 peaks over 4000 meters that you can see.

Spot of red

The next thing to admire are the glaciers I mentioned. The most impressive ones in my opinion are the two around Monte Rosa Dufourspitze the Gornergletscher and Grenzgletscher. I'm not sure if you can go hiking on them as Swiss glaciers are known for being quite treacherous. The danger lies in the fact that people forget that they do move and the ground you think is solid may not be there anymore within seconds.

Lake in the mountains

What I can definitely recommend is to walk down back to Zermatt. It's a fairly easy trek and it only takes about 3h. The views on the way keep being stunning, you get a good work out and an injection of fresh air that you definitely cannot get in London.

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