As an aside, do you guys think I should do these as new threads, or keep it all in one thread as it is?
Several months later, I present the 2nd part of the Zermatt trip! Actually, I've had a whole separate trip there since, but I won't put those pics up.
Destination: Five-Lakes Way, near Zermatt, Kanton Valais (German part of Valais this time.)
Album link: http://ayleid.net/#90
The second day of our weekend in Zermatt. This time we decided to be a bit more daring and try one of the routes that the Tourist Information had expressly told us were closed. I can't say it was actually that daring in the end, because as you'll see in the pictures there was no danger at all! The route (the "Five-Lakes Way") was to take us past (imagine this!) 5 lakes, all of which had views of the Matterhorn.
We started off by following the railway a bit up the mountain. I tripped as I was running to take this photo, and--not realising just how close the train was--almost got my head knocked off. Woops!
The beginning of the walk was a very pleasant hike up through yellowing trees in an alpine forest.
As we came out of the forest, we started to get some views across the valley and the Matterhorn. This would be a pretty constant feature on this hike, as is perhaps unsurprising. There were a couple of settlements in this area, and a pretty big ski station a bit further up. At this time of year, everything was entirely deserted!
Another pretty constant feature were these birds. They were there for almost all of the hike, and they seem a common feature high up in the mountains! If anyone knows what they are, please enlighten us... we couldn't figure it out!
Once we got a bit higher up, the path started turning surprisingly rocky and barren. With the route being officially closed and so there not being any souls except for us, it felt somewhat isolated. (Of course, in reality it wasn't. Switzerland's not that big!)
About halfway through the hike we reached the biggest lake on the route. We were afforded some incredible views and we decided to have lunch here. We took a lot of pictures here, but I think you can understand why.
The second half of the walk was on the opposite side of the valley, which is in the shade for most of the day. If there was any reason for the route to be closed, it was for the small amount of ice that we found here. The beautiful, burnt-orange colour of the trees made the tiny risk worth it!
We were curious about the type of tree, actually. They seemed to be evergreens with needles, but obviously they weren't exactly green, and the needles were shedding in places!
The sun was beginning to set as we neared the end of our day's journey. The quality of the light was spectacular, and hard to capture with a camera!
And as a bonus picture, what we called "domino goats". Apparently a big thing in that region of Switzerland!