All posts by Philippe

Edelweissweg & Wisshornweg (Trift)

Zermatt (1620m) – Alterhaupt Edelweiss (1961m) –  Trift (2337m) – Schweifinen (2503m) – Zermatt
900m ascent / 900m descent
13 km / 6 hrs

After going through beautiful houses with balcony full of cheerful flowers in the east side of Zermatt, we found a path, leading steep uphill to the restaurant Alterhaupt Edelweiss. It perches on the rock above Zermatt, its white building visible from anywhere.

After a refreshing home-made ice tea, the path follows the narrow gorge and its serene stream. Here, there is no gondola nor mountain trains, nothing but quiet nature. That is not so easy to find in an area as developed as Zermatt.

The higher we go, the valley opens up and we see several impressive peaks and glaciers.

After some serious uphill, we arrived at the pink Trift Mountain Hut. I realised that I had been here more than 10 years ago.

We hang out in the wide basin near the hut for a long time, basking ourselves in the warm sun, having our delicious self-made sandwiches (away from the crowded mountain hut restaurant), taking many photos, listening to the hut owner playing the alphorn.

We changed our original plan which was to head back down the same way we came up and continued up a bit to walk a loop.

Above at Schweifinen (2503m), we have a phenomenal view of the entire east valley: Matterhorn, Klein Matterhorn, Riffelberg, all the way down to Winkelmatten where we stay. I was very happy that Philippe suggested this little scenic detour.

From there the path was steeeep downhill!  With Zermatt visible 900m below, we started that long zig-zagging down the mountain. While descending the narrow path I slipped on a tree root and got a mountain gift in form of a blue ankle for weeks…

We were relieved to be back in town to put our feet up…

Hörnlihütte (3260m)

Convinced that Matterhorn is the most beautiful mountain in the world, Yasuko’s birthday wish was to spend a few days in Zermatt. Our friend Patrick was so kind to let us stay at his studio with a fantastic view of that magnificent mountain. We could have sat in the studio just watching that magnificent mountain from the window, but not with Yasuko, of course.

For non-climbers, the closest you can get to the Matterhorn, is the Hörnlihütte, the base camp for the Matterhorn peak ascent. That’s not something one needs to tell my darling twice. So the  birthday wish became a hike, as the weather forecast promised a sunny day. We packed the sandwiches and off we went…

The Hörnlihütte has been renovated a few years ago, is very modern and serves nice and simple Swiss food (Rösti and similar stuff, that is). Every hiker takes that same picture on the terrace with the Matterhorn in the background. Except us, we took many 😁.

We were a bit worried about the descent, as there are some really steep and scary parts, with a ladder, ropes and almost vertical drops of a few hundred meters right next to the secured path. But it all turned out to be quite manageable. We just avoided looking down for too long.

On the way down, Yasuko expressed a wish for her next birthday. The guess is yours…

Findeln Glacier hike & Chez Vrony

Blauherd – Stellisee – Fluhalp – Findeln – Winkelmatt

It started in the complete fog, when we got out of the gondola at Blauherd this morning….

but soon it cleared out and picturesque lake Stellisee reflected the Matterhorn in its water!

Our plan was to do the 5-lake hike but we saw the tempting glacier beyond the lake so we walked up to the moraine which is simply…

… spectacular. Rocks, stones, gravel and sand pushed by icy snow creates moraines of massive dimensions. Nature at work.

A nice stop at the beautiful and well-known restaurant Chez Vrony.

Eataly 🇮🇹

This trip unexpectedly turned into a fantastic food adventure. The best I can remember (outside Japan, that is). Ohhh… these black smoked gnocchi with truffel and asparagus were to die for and the gnocco fritto a surprising start into a  great meal.

Cagli

We stayed three nights in Cagli, which looks very much like a normal Italian town with a medieval touch, but doesn’t leave as much an impression as the amazing towns of Assisi and Gobbio. The reason why we stayed here was due to the proximity to Philippe’s favorite model sailplane flying place!

But it nevertheless turned out to be an interesting place.  Our B&B apartment, part of an old mansion owned by low-key Italian Francesco, was nice and cozy. What surprised us was Francesco’s museum-like mansion! It has a 4m high-ceiling dining room, several bedrooms with antique furniture, an enormous kitchen with a fireplace and antique plates,  and other countless rooms…. Totally amazing!

The town has a good size square where locals and some tourists hang out for coffee and chatting. We get a good taste for an Italian life, by going for dinner in this square where everyone gathers and also by going for breakfast in one of popular cafes in town where many locals seem to come for espresso and a sweet bread.

A taste of Italian life in Cagli.

Flying at Monte Morcia

The actual flying place is called “La Bandita” on Monte Morcia in Marche. For some unknown reasons, modellers refer to it as Monte Catria in Umbria (even Monte Catria is in Marche). Interesting piece of trivia.

I enjoyed two days of excellent flying conditions. This is the best place for alpine model RC soaring I know.

Spoleto

A beautiful town of Spoleto, with the hilltop fortress, an impressive medieval bridge “Ponte delle Torri” built on a Roman aqueduct, and tasty focaccia…

A 6-km walk, Giro dei Conotti, with a view of the bridge and Spoleto hilltop, gave us a good overview of this charming town.

Assisi

Assisi is an amazing medieval town in terms of its sheer size and grandness. The town sits on the hill-top and one can see its fortress and its massive Basilica of St. Francis from very far.

Going up to the fortress of Rocca Maggiore which is located at the top of the town, spoiled us with fantastic views.

We wandered around small alleys, looked at beautifully maintained stone-wall houses, peaked into delightful gardens and were amazed about those impressive churches and their interiors full of intricate frescos.

We also ate wonderful gelati, frequented our favorite focaccia shop in the Piazza Rufino for lunch and discovered those fantastic black smoked gnocchi with parmesan, asparagus and truffle at the Osteria Piazzetta dell’Erba, a truly memorable dish, according to Philippe.