I was originally going to lump this post in with a review of old photos, but I like the images so much and wanted to discuss them in more detail, that I thought they warranted their own post.
Back in late March 2006, my wife Stephanie and I embarked on a delayed honeymoon to Switzerland for 2 weeks. We hit some major urban centres such as Zurich and Bern, and some not so populous places such as Schaffhausen, Gimmelwald, Grindelwald, Brig and Zermatt. While not by any means off the beaten track, Zermatt was one of our favourite places to visit. Zermatt is well known as a mountaineering and ski resort hub just over the Italian border in the canton of Valais. It was by far, on of the most tourist-y places that I’ve ever been to in Europe… but that’s why we liked it. It was quite fun to people watch and browse through the countless souvenir shops along the main street.
One morning we woke up early and just started walking along a trail heading out of town. Not sure where it was going, but we enjoyed the views, the quietness, and the fresh mountain air. After about an hour, we came around a bend and found ourselves in the tiny village of Z’Mutt. The entire village is nothing more that a restaurant, chapel, and a few buildings. Of course we stopped in the restaurant for some breakfast and a well deserved beer, before slowly making our way back down to Zermatt. From Z’Mutt you could look almost straight up the Matterhorn, Switzerland’s fifth highest peak.
Below are some photos from that little hike to Z’Mutt. This first photo is my favourite, simply because of the way the trail seems to take the viewers eye on a journey counter-clockwise around the image to the small wooden hut. When looking at it, I really get a sense of solitude which perfectly reflects both why that cabin may have been built there in the first place and the feeling we got from actually being there.
This next photo was taken on our way down from Z’Mutt. The Matterhorn starting its epic rise to 4,477ft on the far side of the Z’Mutt Valley on the right side of the photo. Just before we got back to Zermatt we were passed by a flurry of late-waking tourists making their way up the trail. I’m glad we got out early and beat the rush.
This final image was of the Matter Vispa with the mighty Matterhorn in the background. I like contrast of light and dark in this image and the curve of the river. Our hostel was just to the left of where this picture was taken.
I have been to Switzerland on 2 of 3 Europe trips and spent a total of just over a month in the country and love finding hidden gems such as this hiking trail or little mountain villages. While there are no plans to revisit Switzerland or even Europe in the next couple years, it is definitely on our long term travel radar.