Sunny and 21 °C

That was the weather forecast for today while preparing to leave for the Zermatt Heliport. A great day for a helicopter flight! Very excited too because I’ve never been ridden in a helicopter. Guess was waiting until today, when I’m in one of the most beautiful places on the Earth!

Each day that I’ve been in Zermatt, I see more and more of this amazing territory from different angles. First, by walking around the town, a few hikes, then the train ride up to Gornergrat, paragliding yesterday, and a helicopter ride today. The vistas today were jaw-dropping!

The helicopter ride was easy to arrange, just phoned to schedule a time, then arrived at the heliport this morning. Like with the paragliding, no forms to fill out, just pay and you’re all set.

While waiting for the helicopter, just saw a empty deck. (Very excited – waiting for the helicopter to arrive.)

IMG_20160823_095101248

Then saw a helicopter in the distance that swooped up to the deck and landed. Just like that! In like 10 seconds. I took the picture below after returning from the flight. (Didn’t have time before)

IMG_20160823_160601

Was introduced to our pilot, Peter. It was just myself and one other passenger for the flight.

peter_zurniwen-300x225

Again, I had faith that the pilot, who I knew was going to take good care of us and offer an unforgettable experience. (And I was right!)

After getting settled in, we took off – about as fast as he landed earlier. Before we knew it, we were up in the air and headed up the side of the nearest mountain.

IMG_20160823_100626312 View of Cockpit

IMG_20160823_101014758 Shadow of our Helicopter in Snow

Our flight plan was to visit the surrounding peaks, then return. I had no idea of what to expect during the flight. As I have mentioned before, we see the Matterhorn from Zermatt and a peak at of some of the surrounding mountains, but until you get some elevation, you don’t see the variety of snow-capped mountains. And we were off…

(Note: I just included a variety of pictures below – some are labeled and others are included just because of the amazing view.)

IMG_20160823_101033800 Starting to Climb

IMG_20160823_101203017

IMG_20160823_101304681 Footprints of Climbers in Snow

IMG_20160823_101330015

IMG_20160823_101358194

IMG_20160823_101529104

IMG_20160823_101533970 Matterhorn Ahead

Even Peter was taking pictures of the Matterhorn! He said today was a perfect day for this flight and a great day for taking pictures. I agreed!

IMG_20160823_101558583 Top of Matterhorn

IMG_20160823_101600243 See the Climbers?

IMG_20160823_101602855 Italy Side (better view of climbers)

IMG_20160823_101706847

IMG_20160823_101735586 IMG_20160823_101751863

IMG_20160823_101911629_HDR IMG_20160823_101916560

IMG_20160823_102130245  More climbers in above picture

IMG_20160823_102216487 View of Gornergrat

IMG_20160823_102416090 IMG_20160823_102420939

At this point, I stopped taking pictures and just enjoyed the ride. So much to take in!

A ride of a lifetime!

Matterhorn Museum 

This museum is more than about the mountain, but describes the lives of those who lived here before the mountain made the town famous. Very hard lives back then, in very challenging weather – but through hard labor, teamwork, and ingenuity, made it work. Now have more appreciation for the remaining older homes (very small, compact, and useful). Also, a lot of the archaeological history of this area – very enlightening!

Old Homes in Zermatt

Zermatt still has a number of the older homes located within the town. Some are here and there – and some more are bunched together.  Here is a link to learn more about these homes (rather than have me explain): http://www.zermatt.ch/en/Media/Attractions/Old-part-of-the-village

I walked around tonight and took pictures of a few of them. (Many sit o flat stone slabs balanced on stilts to keep out mice.)

IMG_20160823_195121641 IMG_20160823_195156797 IMG_20160823_195228987_HDR IMG_20160823_195307541 IMG_20160823_205411 IMG_20160823_205531 IMG_20160823_205519 IMG_20160823_205427

IMG_20160823_205551

Moving Forward…

Have my tickets for my return trip to Zurich – just staying the night there before heading off to Budapest on Thursday. This will be the third time staying at a Mövenpick Hotel (Amsterdam, Stuttgart, and now Zurich) – love them!

My hosts here in Zermatt have been excellent! Got me settled in and made me feel welcome. The flat has been perfect for me – compact, efficient, and quiet. I look forward to returning in January.

Just a Couple More Matterhorn Pictures

When out for my evening walk, found a couple of new views of the Matterhorn. Enjoy!

IMG_20160823_205441 IMG_20160823_205502

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *