By Joanna Zuzanna
There is nothing more magical than autumn in the mountains and I refuse to let anyone tell me otherwise. Although I usually feel a constant urge to be in any kind of mountains, it was the Swiss Alps that have been haunting me for quite a while in form of Alexandre Calame’s paintings, depicting the land of pristine villages and dramatic landscapes with some of the highest peaks in Europe. As imagination drives a hunger, we decided to pack hiking shoes, harnesses and hit the road towards Switzerland and, oh my, reality surpassed all our expectations. Here are some highlights of this one week long adventure.
Under the Matterhorn
Our trip began in Zermatt, a small but bustling town placed under the famous Matterhorn summit. This perfectly cosy town charmed us with its consistent alpine architecture and sporty character. Yet, the real gem of this place is the Matterhorn and seeing it for the first time is quite an experience. It looks even more majestic than in the photos and even more geometric than on the Toblerone package. There are a lot of trails to choose from around the town. From a number of trails surrounding Zermatt we took the one that goes around the beautiful mountain lakes, including Stellisee with a perfect Matterhorn reflection.
On the trail, we encountered the most beautiful autumn intertwining with winter. Bright colours of trees contrasting with snow and lakes reflecting the mountains created multifarious perspectives. All under the mighty silhouette of Matterhorn.
Only one hour drive away from Zermatt, there is Oeshinensee, which figured on my bucket list for a long time. Its turquoise surface becomes visible after following a trail that goes a couple hundred meters up, and as we climbed higher above it we understood the scale of the vertical rock walls that surround the water. The lake is breathtaking from every possible perspective. We spent quite some time absorbing the turquoise color of the lake and vastness of the mountains, which surpassed all the expectations I had about this place.
At the Grindelwald First
After a couple of days on the road, we got to the conclusion that every town in the Swiss Alps is cosy and charming. Grindelwald turned out to be even more than that. This town is located in the valley under the almost 4000 meters high slopes of Eiger and Mattenberg. It gave us the amazing feeling of proximity to the mountains which I have never experienced before. The trails above the town brought us even closer to these mighty mountains and showed another palette of autumn colors.
The top of First mountain served us utterly different images of the Swiss Alps that we had so far. Minimalistic, two- toned landscapes together with rapidly moving clouds were absolutely surreal. As the trail led us to the Bachalpsee lake, the sky turned clear blue contrasting with snowy peaks and desaturated greenery. Nature knows best how to put colors together. Mountains will never cease to amaze me in terms of how different the landscape looks depending on the weather.
Sometimes a spontaneous trip can make a lifetimes worth of memories. Although our journey lasted only one week, we got the chance to see a number of breathtaking places. Switzerland has showed us the most stunning and inspiring pictures of autumn that we could have ever imagined, which made this season even more special.
For more from Joanna you can find her here: @joannafontanna