Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Hiking in Switzerland

If you didn't know, I've been traveling through Europe throughout the summer after graduation.My plan is: Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, Switzerland, and Germany. Here's a more detailed plan. It will probably change as I go.

5-Jul Boston
6-Jul Boston>Paris
7-Jul Paris> Barcelona
8-Jul Barcelona
9-Jul Barcelona
10-Jul Barcelona > Pampalona
11-Jul Pampalona > Madrid
12-Jul Madrid
13-Jul Madrid (Segovia)
14-Jul Madrid > Granada
15-Jul Granada> Ronda
16-Jul Ronda > Algeciras (Gibraltar)
17-Jul La Linea (Gibraltar) >Seville>Lisbon
18-Jul Lisbon
19-Jul Lisbon (Sintra)
20-Jul Lisbon
21-Jul Rome
22-Jul Rome
23-Jul Rome>Pompei>Naples
24-Jul Naples
25-Jul Cinque Terre (La Spezia)
26-Jul Cinque Terre > Pisa>Florence
27-Jul Florence
28-Jul Florence (Siena, San Gigiomano)
29-Jul Florence>Venice
30-Jul Venice
31-Jul Venice>Milan
1-Aug Milan
2-Aug Milan>Grenoble
3-Aug Grenoble
4-Aug Grenoble>Marseille
5-Aug Marseille (Calanques)
6-Aug Marseille>Nice
7-Aug Nice>Monaco>Genoa
8-Aug Genoa
9-Aug Genoa>Laussane
10-Aug Laussane > Zermatt
11-Aug Zermatt > Laussane
12-Aug Laussane (Interlaken)
13-Aug Laussane (Lauterbrunnen)
14-Aug Laussane > Lucerne
15-Aug Lucerene > Zurich >  Munich
16-Aug Munich
17-Aug Munich > Mainz
18-Aug Mainz > Koblenz
19-Aug Koblenz > Cologne
20-Aug Cologne
21-Aug Cologne

I've been pretty bad about posting my adventures to this blog, but here's a blog post about Switzerland, which has mostly been hiking through many mountains and lakes.

[Day 1]

My first destination in Switzerland was Laussane, which is on Lake Geneva. This is where Yo was this summer, and I went to visit him. Upon reaching Laussane, the first thing I had to do was pee, so I found the bathroom.

The price for the bathroom. 1 CHF = 1 USD
That's when I realized it costs $1.50 to take a piss. Really... $1.50... and its an extra $0.50 to poop. The bottom line is Switzerland is super expensive - everything from peeing to food to trains, expect to pay twice or three times as much as you'd pay in the US. (I think I might have spent more money during my week in Switzerland as I've spent on food during my MIT career.)

[Day 2]
Aside from the cost, Switzerland is really beautiful. Which brings me to my visit to Zermatt, a town at the base of the Matterhorn.
The first day at Zermatt, I did a warm up hike, up to the edge of a glacier and around 5 lakes. It was a very pretty view of the Matterhorn and the valley of Zermatt.

Run to the Findelgletcher glacier(9,000 ft)
View of the Matterhorn and Zermatt valley

In Putz spirit, the Marmot Trail.

[Day 3]
My second day in Zermatt, I did one of the best (if not the best) hikes ever. I went up above the clouds to 14,000 ft, climbed on the Matterhorn, and walked on a glacier. What more could you ask for in a day.
At the same time, you could say it was a really really stupid idea. As stupid as I can sometimes be, I initially did not plan to climb the Matterhorn. The hiking office in Zermatt said that it is stupid to hike up the Matterhorn. Yo said that I shouldn’t climb the Matterhorn or go on glaciers. And someone at my hostel got severe altitude sickness after hiking above 12,000 ft. So, my plan was to play it safe and not hike the Matterhorn. Instead, I would hike up to Hornlihutte at 12,000 ft, the base camp for people climbing the Matterhorn.
At 7am in the morning, I set off for Hornlihutte with literally nothing but sunglasses, a water bottle, a phone, and $50 euros. The journey up to Hornlihutte was breathtaking... quite literally. At 12,000 feet, it is also noticeably harder to breathe.
Alpine lake on the trail up to Hornlihutte

At Hornlihutte.

During my ascent to Hornlihutte, I met somebody from Buffalo, NY also hiking alone. He said he was also hiking up to Hornlihutte and wanted to attempt to go up the Matterhorn as much as he could without special equipment. Since I didn’t feel too tired, I decided to join him in the adventure.
We made it to 14,000 feet, where we were above all the clouds. Truly an amazing view up there.

Made it. 14,000 ft.

Taller than anything else in Europe other than Mt Blanc.
On the way back down to Zermatt, the two of us decided to take a longer route down, walking along Oberer Theodulgletcher glacier on the way back.
I walked on a glacier

Matterhorn from the glacier.

After climbing 14,000 ft without carrying any food, I was super super hungry. On the way down, there was a restaurant at 9,000 ft right in front of the Matterhorn. I paid $36 for a pork chop and fries that was helicoptered up there. It was expensive, but the location was worth every penny.
Lunch at 9,000 ft in front of the Matterhorn. I think it tasted better just because it was helicoptered up there. Or I was just super hungry by then.
After 11 hours of hiking, I made it back down to Zermatt. I was super super tired the next day.


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